Disney’s ENCHANTED turns the fairy tale story inside out in a delightful, positive, morally worthwhile way. Narissa, the evil stepmother of Prince Edward, pushes Giselle down a well after the Prince asks Giselle to marry him. The well leads across the dimensions to New York City, and sweet, kind, joyful Giselle is totally lost in the cruel, uncaring real world of New York. There, she meets a divorce lawyer named Robert and turns his life upside down. Meanwhile, Prince Edward follows Giselle into the well, but the evil stepmother orders her henchman to follow him, find Giselle and kill her.
ENCHANTED is a story of real love and real marriage. It contains tremendous musical numbers, flights of fancy, wonderful humor, heart-rending moments, and everything that a great movie should have. The evil stepmother is very scary and there is lots of action violence with funny cartoon moments, so MOVIEGUIDE® advises caution for very young children. ENCHANTED may not go over well with the PC crowd. If, however, word of mouth gets out about how good it is, it should become one of the most popular Disney movies of all time.
(BBB, C, Ho, VV, M) Very strong moral worldview with light Christian elements and messages and a refutation of Romantic love, upholding a biblical view of love, and a biblical relationship between a man and a woman, showing evil as evil and good as good, plus a couple very light jokes about homosexuality; no discernible foul language in movie but one light exclamatory “Oh God” in trailer and dog urinates on man’s boot; lots of action, cartoon violence, with pratfalls, animals fly into windows, people hit their heads, people run over, sword-fighting, and a scary witch tries to poison the heroine and turns into a dragon who causes havoc and threatens the lives of people; several kisses, very simple and sweet; woman steps out of bathtub with towel around her; alcohol use in restaurant and bar scenes; no smoking; and, lying, cheating and mean-spirited villains.
ENCHANTED turns the fairy tale story inside out in a delightful, positive, worthwhile way. Unlike SHREK, which has a low ironic and sardonic element to it, ENCHANTED’s re-discovery of the fairy tale turns selfish Romantic notions into a story of real love, real commitment and real sacrifice.
The movie opens in a two dimensional animated world with Giselle in a beautiful cottage singing to her plethora of sweet forest friends. The forest animals are helping her to clean and sew. She is creating a life-size mannequin of the man of her dreams and is singing a song about one true kiss.
Meanwhile, Prince Edward is hunting trolls in the forest with his knave, who is the henchman of his wicked stepmother, Narissa. Narissa has told her henchman not to let Edward meet any women, lest the Prince gets married, and she loses the crown.
The Prince hears Giselle and saves her from a troll, and, together, they finish her song in a great duet. Immediately, he asks her to marry him. When she comes to the castle in her pumpkin-like carriage, the mother changes herself into a little old witch who pushes Giselle down a well. The well leads across the dimensions to real life New York City, and sweet, kind, joyful Giselle is totally lost in the cruel, uncaring real world of Urban America.
Giselle sees a poster of a castle and tries to climb up into the picture but falls into the arms of a divorce lawyer named Robert, who’s with his daughter, Morgan. Morgan convinces Robert to shelter Giselle. The next morning, Giselle opens the windows to sing to get help from her animal friends to clean up the apartment. Instead of cute forest creatures, rats, cockroaches, crows, and pigeons and other varmints come by droves to start cleaning up the apartment. When Robert awakes and sees the rats, he goes bonkers. Giselle settles him down and fixes breakfast. Her desire to serve and may not go well with the politically correct crowd.
Robert takes Giselle to his law firm. She tells him about Prince Edward. He tells her that people need to get to know each other before they decide to get married and tells her about the divorce case he’s handling. Giselle convinces the divorcing couple, however, that they shouldn’t throw away all the good times just because of a few bad times. Robert’s boss is furious that Giselle is cutting the firm out of a big retainer.
Back in the animated world, Prince Edward finds out what happens. He jumps into the well to find Giselle, but Narissa sends the henchman after him. She tells the henchman to kill Giselle. What she doesn’t know is that Giselle and Robert are falling for each other in a more real and courageous way, than the fantasy love of the Prince.
ENCHANTED continues to get more delightful as it proceeds to a very exciting, edge-of-your-seat ending. Will Narissa kill Giselle? Will Giselle marry the Prince or will she realize that Robert is her true love?
ENCHANTED is a story of real love. It contains tremendous musical numbers, flights of fancy, wonderful humor, heart-rending moments, and everything that a great movie should have. When it appears to be cloying, it suddenly gets a perspective toward itself that re-affirms the good and exposes the foolishness of the Romantic worldview.
Be careful, however, because the witch is very scary. There’s also a lot of action violence, but it is not malicious.
Director Kevin Lima does a marvelous job of keeping a fine edge and yet filling the movie with joy and excitement. The cast gives wonderful performances, and Amy Adams excels as Giselle, who is someone who is pure and naïve, but not foolish or a caricature. The music is contagious, and the dance numbers are captivating. Having grown up with a father (Robert Allen) who starred on Broadway, the movie brought back fond memories of the golden age of musical comedies in the mid-1950s.
ENCHANTED may not go over well with the PC crowd on the left, but if word of mouth has the time to spread the word about how good the movie is before the critics try to slice it and dice it, it should become one of the most popular Disney movies of all time.
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