Happily Ever Ever After
November 22, 2022
One of the things that Disney is known for are heartwarming and charming movies aimed at children. Of course we think of the animated classics such as Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. Peter Pan. Lady and the Tramp. Disney has also done films with actual people such as Mary Poppins and Old Yeller.
It was during the third week of November 2007, when Disney turned their formula on its head and created a truly charming movie which mixed animation and live actors to great effect.
Enchanted is the story of several ‘animated’ characters: Giselle, Edward, Pip, and Narissa who, it would seem, will follow the somewhat predictable storyline of the poor young woman who meets and falls in love with the handsome prince. She is aided by a forest full of adorable animals and the only thing to stand in the way of Giselle and Edward’s happiness is the wicked queen, Narissa.
It is a twist in the story, however, which propelled this movie into a different realm when Giselle, dressed in an over the top, white hooped wedding dress, big hair and a tiara to top it all off, finds herself as a ‘human’ and in the middle of modern day New York City.
Giselle is played by Amy Adams who perfectly encapsulates the naiveté and charm one expects from an animated character made human. The Infallible Wikipedia tells us:
“Disguised as an old hag, Narissa intercepts Giselle on her way to the wedding and pushes her into a well, where Giselle is magically transformed into a live-action version of herself and transported to New York’s Times Square in the real reality. Giselle, frightened and confused, quickly becomes lost and homeless. Meanwhile, Robert, a single father and divorce lawyer, prepares to propose to his girlfriend Nancy. Robert and his young daughter Morgan encounter Giselle on their way home, and Robert begrudgingly allows Giselle to stay the night in their apartment at the insistence of Morgan, who believes Giselle is a princess”
I have to say, the Wikipedia account really does not do the movie justice. It is the on screen chemistry between Adams and the somewhat cynical lawyer Robert – portrayed by Patrick Dempsey – where the real magic happens.
While many of my readers might be tempted to dismiss Enchanted as a children’s film, I would suggest one should not. It’s funny for how the writers and producers take the formulaic Disney film and make fun of themselves in a truly charming and original way, right down to the animals which show up to help Giselle in the middle of the city.
My family saw the movie in the theatre during its original release in November 2007. I truly enjoyed every minute of the movie and it landed at least in the Top 20 list of my personal favorites.
At the time, my children were 14 and 17 and the last Disney movie we saw as a family. In fact, up until the early 2000’s the only movies I had seen were pretty much animated Disney movies.
There are times when someone will ask if I’ve ever seen ‘such and such.’ If it’s not familiar to me I will ask, “When did it come out? Was that in the 90’s?”
It pretty much always is. It’s then I admit that I rarely saw a single film or TV show in the 1990’s which wasn’t Disney or a kid’s program. Except for the month of January 1990, I was fully immersed in babies and little kids for the entire decade.
I have discovered, however, that there are some really terrific movies from the 1990’s which I’ve never seen: Saving Private Ryan, Schindler’s List, and Silence of the Lambs to name a few. It was at least a decade after the release of Forrest Gump that I finally saw that movie. One night about two years ago I happened upon the Shawshank Redemption and was hooked in. I’ve now seen that movie a second time and it landed on my top 20 list also.
One of these days I’ll watch the first three I listed and, no doubt, a whole bunch of others from the 1990’s. It’s kind of nice to have lists of new movies to watch on a late fall or winter evening.
But for today, it’s all about Disney and the enchanting Enchanted and a happily Ever Ever After story.
A couple of links:
Postscript: At long last there is a sequel to the original movie, Disenchanted, which was released this past Friday, November 18. The trailer can be found here: https://youtu.be/DY63dfyn7HQ