“Disenchanted” fails to enchant viewers


Courtesy of imdb.com

“Disenchanted” was released to Disney Plus on November 18, 2022 as a sequel to “Enchanted.”

On November 18, 2022, Disney Plus brought viewers back to the fantastical land of Andalasia in their latest movie, Disenchanted. The film is a sequel to the 2008 box office hit, Enchanted.

Enchanted is filled with a magical nostalgia and wistfulness due to its loveable original songs, characters, and plot line. Fans hoped to once again be whisked away on a magical journey in Disenchanted with Giselle, the protagonist; however, they were mainly left with disappointment.

Amy Adams and Patrick Dempsey reprise their roles as Giselle and Robert Philip, respectively, and Idina Menzel and James Marsden return as Nancy Tremaine and Prince Edwards. The return of these well-known actors to their original characters allows viewers to find the comfort that was originally felt with Enchanted. However, the magic of the first movie was not present in the sequel.

Disenchanted takes place ten years after the events of the first film, and Giselle, Robert, his daughter Morgan, and the Philips’ newborn baby Sofia are living together in New York City. Giselle has come to the conclusion that the city is not the land of her happy ending, so she initiates a family move to the fictional, suburban town of Monroeville.

Giselle and her family move into a fixer-upper in the town, and they are immediately greeted by Malvina Monroe, the “queen” of Monroeville, portrayed by Maya Rudolph. Giselle quickly realizes her “happily ever after” may not be as easily attainable as she previously thought, so she resorts to the magic of her enchanting homeland, Andalasia. With the help of a magic wand, Monroeville changes into Monroelasia as a result of Giselle wishing for a fairytale life. Yet Giselle’s wish does more harm than good as a series of events unravel into catastrophic effects. Giselle’s desire for a fairytale ending leads to her transformation from protagonist to antagonist and results in an unnatural hunger for power. Like most Disney movies, Disenchanted does provide Giselle with her so-called “fairytale ending.”

Although the movie is captivating, it doesn’t procure the same charm as Enchanted. Besides “Badder”, the ultra-villain collaboration performed by Adams and Rudolph, the new original songs feel rather forced and unnecessary. The film also fails to maintain the spark and romance between Adams’ and Dempsey’s characters, which was a primary aspect in the previous film. Fans were thrilled when the duo found their happy ending in Enchanted, and it was a disappointment to see so little of that sweetness in their relationship.

The movie did, however, succeed in cultivating the perfect, picturesque, fairytale village. With pastels, flowers, and smiles plastered on all of the supporting characters’ faces, Moneroeville channels the feel of a classic Disney princess village.

A notable feature of the film is multiple nods to other Disney movies. For example, the names of some of the shops in Monroelasia are Smee’s Cheese, A Whole Food World, Mary Popover’s Bakery, Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Butcher, Beauty and the Book, and Lumiere’s Candle Works which are references to Peter Pan, Aladdin, Mary Poppins, Cinderella, and Beauty and the Beast, respectively. There are many other “easter eggs” in the movie, such as the Magic Mirror from Snow White and the Seven Dwarves and Giselle’s transformation into a wicked stepmother, which pays homage to Cinderella.

Although Disenchanted fails to truly enchant viewers, it does return them to Giselle’s magical world and take a step back from reality. If Disenchanted were in theaters, it may not be worth the ticket price; however, it’s suitable for a movie night at home.