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Review: ‘Disenchanted’ continues the original’s legacy of quirky delightful fun

Since the first movie was released back in 2007, fans have been wanting a continuation of Giselle and Robert’s “ever ever after”. Well, it’s finally here, and Disenchanted retains the magic, fun, and cheesiness of classic Disney animated films. Here’s our review.

It’s been 15 years since the release of the 2007 fantasy-comedy-musical film Enchanted and the day the world met Giselle. Played by Amy Adams, Giselle hailed from the fairy tale kingdom of Andalasia and always believed in searching for a “happily ever after”. In the first film, she found her true love with Robert (Patrick Dempsey, AKA the one-and-only “McDreamy”). When it was announced that the fantasy musical flick would (finally) have a sequel, our hearts leapt with joy. With its incredible box-office success and eventually becoming the 15th highest-grossing film of 2007, it was definitely about time for its highly-anticipated legacy sequel.

Disenchanted is a breath of fresh air as the movie continues to pay homage to classic Disney tales like Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Snow White, and more. You can’t help but feel a rush of nostalgia as you identify every reference in the movie — look out for an easter egg alluding to the three fairies from Sleeping Beauty.

And of course, it wouldn’t be a fairy tale film without show tunes; trust us, there’s plenty of that.

Disenchanted: Our Review

(L-R): Yvette Nicole Brown as Rosaleen, Maya Rudolph as Malvina Monroe, Jayma Mays as Ruby, and Amy Adams as Giselle in Disney’s live-action DISENCHANTED (photo by: Disney/Jonathan Hession)

Much of what made Enchanted so charming and engaging was its comedic use of the fish-out-of-water trope — Giselle’s bewilderment amidst the hustle and bustle (and uncaring crowds) of New York City life provided plenty of laughs. After all, who can forget the scene of her scaling up a billboard, mistaking it for an Andalusian castle? Or when she — in true Disney princess style — sang out of an apartment window, summoning pigeons, rats and roaches to help clean up the place? Enchanted focused on the wide-eyed innocence and optimism of Giselle in contrast to the jaded real world around her, the magic that she brought out in the people around her, and her search for her one true love.

In Disenchanted, reality and its mundanity have taken a toil on Giselle, and real world problems have crept in. Blissfully married but grappling with exhaustion after the arrival of their newborn baby — as well as dealing with teenage angst from Robert’s now grown-up daughter Morgan (now played by newcomer Gabriella Baldacchino) — Giselle and Robert decide to move out of the Big Apple and to the idyllic suburban community of Monroeville.

The big move, however, isn’t exactly the answer to Giselle’s quest for a new happily-ever-after. She can’t seem to get anything right, be it building the perfect home to impressing Morgan — who’s now a sarcastic teen and resentful about being uprooted from her old school and friends.

Amy Adams as Giselle, Sofia (played by Mila & Lara Jackson), Gabriella Baldacchino as Morgan Philip, and Patrick Dempsey as Robert Philip in Disney’s live-action DISENCHANTED, exclusively on Disney+. Courtesy of Disney Enterprises; Inc. © 2022 Disney Enterprises, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Things kick into action after a royal visit by the Prince Edward and Princess Nancy of Andalasia, portrayed by the talented Idina Menzel (who finally gets to sing, unlike in Enchanted) and James Marsden (just as bubbly and good-natured as he was in the original flick) all decked out in opulent, regal garb. They bring with them some Andalasia magic in a “Wishing Wand”, which Giselle uses to turn Monroeville into a real-life fairy tale. What happens next reminds us a little of Marvel’s WandaVision, sans the scary graphics and violence, as Giselle’s plan backfires and she ends up becoming the stereotypical ‘evil stepmother’.

We won’t spoil the rest of the movie for you, but this deliciously dark twist makes it a lot of fun to watch. Adams’ Giselle in villain mode is captivating to see and reminds us of a tamer Maleficent, while her nemesis — the local queen bee who transforms into, well, an ‘evil queen’ — Malvina Monroe gives a scene-chewing performance packed with wit and sass. If you’re familiar with Rudolph’s work, the actress is famously known for her humorous roles in major comedy films, and she nails her character in Disenchanted.

(L-R): James Marsden as Prince Edward and Idina Menzel as Nancy Tremaine in Disney’s live-action DISENCHANTED, exclusively on Disney+. (photo by: Disney/Jonathan Hession)

The rest of the cast doesn’t disappoint either. The chemistry between Marsden and Menzel’s Prince Edward and Princess Nancy of Andalasia is magnetic, and we’d love to see more of them. Hopefully, Disney recognises this too, and considers making a spin-off on their characters.

Fans of Dempsey won’t want to miss this movie too, as it apparently marks his singing debut. If you ask us, he seems a little awkward at first with the musical numbers, but does a decent job and looks adorable while doing so.

Like the first film, Disenchanted still holds onto that magical feeling but carries a different focus. It’s about embracing change and the strength of mother-daughter relationships while finding the true meaning of happiness.

So the question is, did it cure our heart after waiting for 15 years? We would say so. If you’re looking for an easy, feel-good watch, this movie is definitely it. We’re just glad there’s a continuation to the love story of Giselle and Robert, and after this film, we guarantee they are living “happily ever after”.

Watch Disenchanted here on Disney+ Hotstar.

All images are credited to Disney.

Review: ‘Disenchanted’ continues the original’s legacy of quirky delightful fun

Amalina Anuar

Senior Writer

Amalina seeks joy in writing the ins and outs of the fashion, dining and beauty world. When she’s not stalking for her next handbag purchase, you can find her binge-watching the latest tv series, testing out beauty products or singing her heart out at concerts. As a part-time spin instructor, she uses music as a quick escape, which explains why she’s always bopping her head to a good tune, no matter where she is. Amalina is a fashion journalism graduate from the Academy of Art University, San Francisco and has always loved exploring big cities.

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