Disenchanted, as the long-awaited sequel of the 2007 film, may not be as good as the original, but is still a ton of fun.
Disney‘s Disenchanted is the highly-anticipated follow-up to the 2007 fantasy musical Enchanted starring Amy Adams. And after 15 years of waiting, it’s finally here.
The synopsis of the film is as such, “Years after her happily ever after, Giselle, Robert and Morgan move to a new community and Andalasia and the real world are thrown off-balance.” While the film will likely make for a lovely winter viewing experience, its placement on Disney+ makes sense, as it lacks the grand scope of the original cinematic release. But before we get into it, WARNING: Mild spoilers for Disenchanted to follow…
Even if you’re an original purist, you’re not likely going to hate Disenchanted, because how could you? With the bright costumes, lively sets, and the childlike wonder of this world, you’re going to have a nice time watching it, despite the film’s issues.
One issue certainly isn’t Amy Adams, who is back in the lead role of Giselle. Despite years passing between films, Adams still captures the kind innocence of the character, who despite having grown accustomed to the real world, is still somewhat of a fish out of water.
Teenage daughter Morgan (Gabriella Baldacchino) also shines in her role, and manages to portray a moody teenager without making her insufferable. Though Disenchanted may not have an amazing grasp on teenagers; the film’s lines that involve the word “selfies” are as forced as ever.
The two actors are also amazing at playing their alternative role, that of sweet maiden and wicked step-mother. Adams in particular truly embodies this twist, switching between good and evil with delightful ease.
Not that she’s the only villain; Maya Rudolph plays a delightful PTA mom turned Evil Queen, who manages to hold her own when facing off against Amy Adam’s screen presence.
Sadly, not every actor gets to shine as much as they should, and this mostly includes the male actors. Robert (Patrick Dempsey) has limited emotional moments with Giselle, or anyone for that matter, and is often given separate scenes that feel like forgettable skits. Prince Edward (James Marsden) is criminally under-utilized, and you wonder if he was only available for a few days of filming, amounting to just a couple of minutes onscreen.
If Disenchanted was its own original film, that wouldn’t matter as much, as the arc between Giselle and Morgan is a good one, good enough to carry the film. But considering we’ve come to love Edward and Robert so much beforehand, this sequel feels almost disrespectful to them.
And while there’s plenty of songs to try and keep you entertained, unfortunately not many of them are great. The lyrics, instrumentals, and staging of every song generally feels very basic, causing them all to blend into one another forgettably. Now, everyone’s singing their heart out, particularly Idina Menzel, who probably has the best song in the film. But even then, her song mostly involves her repeating the works “Love” and “Power,” so it’s hardly the next “That’s How You Know.”
The script can often feel equally as basic. There’s a clock in the middle of the town in which this film is set, that plays into the movie’s plot and climax. Now, you’d think the script would therefore set the clock up in a natural, meaningful way, but nope. At one point Robert just points to a clock and says, “Hey, look.” That’s it. It’s so forced that it’s jarring.
The movie is filled with little rushed moments like this, and it leads to a stilted feeling story, weakening the film overall.
Disenchanted features some great performances, and will no doubt entertain your family for a while with its songs and bright colors. But unfortunately, the colors aren’t bright enough to hide the fact that not as much thought or effort was put into this – barring perhaps Amy Adams who has to sing and dance way more in this film.
And ultimately, while the movie does well in playing with fairy tale tropes, such as the Wicked Stepmother, and even having a magic mirror for the Evil Queen, Disenchanted lacks the bite that the original had. Nothing is going to top Giselle getting attacked on the dirty streets of New York, and it makes Disenchanted feel like Halloweentown in comparison. Not that there isn’t a place for that, as that style perfectly fits into the Disney+ release genre, but having a D-Com feeling film is disappointing after the theatrical event that was Enchanted.
But while you may feel disenchanted with this film, if you go in with somewhat lower expectations, you’ll still have an enchanting time.
Disenchanted is currently available to stream on Disney+