Film review: Enchanted (2007), directed by Kevin Lima
Once upon a time, in an animated fairytale land called Andalasia where everyone lives happily ever after, lives a beautiful girl, dancing with the animals around her and dreaming of a prince to come and take her away. She finds one, a real prince, and they are to get married the very next day – except for his wicked stepmother, who doesn’t want her reign threatened. She constructs a portal and tricks the bride-to-be into it, to a land where there are no happily ever afters: real-life New York City.
Wide-eyed Giselle (Amy Adams) encounters a cynical father (Patrick Dempsey) and his fairytale-loving daughter, who take her on, thinking she’s some sort of escaped mental patient or something. The culture differences are huge, but still, they manage to get along, and find they actually get along rather swimmingly.
Hot on Giselle’s tail is the queen’s (Susan Sarandon) henchman (Timothy Spall, or Wormtail to fans of Harry Potter – recognised him straight away when I saw the animated version of the character!), an adorable CGI chipmunk who finds he can’t actually talk in the real world, and the prince (James Marsden). Will the prince be able to find his bride and bring her back to Andalasia before the queen’s henchman manages to get that poisoned apple down her throat?
What follows is a funny, refreshing musical piss-take of classic Disney movies … and to think it’s actually made by Disney! It plays with all the stereotypes you’d expect – talking animals who help out with things like sowing and cleaning, couples that get married the next day because of twu wuv, evil stepmother witches, evil henchmen, airhead princes and seriously naive princesses. Oh yes, and bursting out into song at any given moment. If you’ve ever seen a classic Disney movie, you’ll get the jokes.
Enchanted is wonderfully tongue-in-cheek, and instead of the musical numbers being a bit tedious, they’re really good and fit in very well. This is a movie I really, really enjoyed. From the chipmunk who had to resort to charades to get his message across in more than undecipherable squeaks, to the big evil showdown in the end. And yes, even the sappy love story and the rather predictable ending. Well done, Disney! Very well done indeed!
5 out of 5 fairytales.