Enchanted: A Bizarre Disney Fairy Tale Film

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Do you believe in destiny? How about on a fairy tale-like love story? We all had once dreamed to have a  fairy tale love story where a perfect-looking prince charming would come at the right time to save you from trouble. You fall in love with each other and live happily ever after. However, is that really always the case? What if you were in love but never meant for an ever after together? Sounds a bit complicated love story right there, just like this next movie I will be reviewing—Enchanted!


(image source: IMDb)

Enchanted is a romantic, comedy, musical, animated film directed by Kevin Lima released on November 21, 2007 and distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures. The movie was produced by Walt Disney Pictures, Josephson Entertainment, Andalasia Productions, Inc., and Right Coast Productions. Story was written by Bill Kelly.

Main cast are Amy Adams (Giselle), Patrick Dempsey (Robert Philip), James Marsden (Prince Edward), Timothy Spall (Nathaniel), Idina Menzel (Nancy Tremaine), Rachel Covey (Morgan Philip), and Susan Sarandon (Queen Narissa). The movie was narrated by Julie Andrews.

Enchanted won the Best Fantasy Film, Best Actress (Amy Adams), and Best Music (composer Alan Menken) at the 34th Saturn Awards, nominated as Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy (Amy Adams) and Best Original Song - Motion Picture (That's How You Know) at the 6th Golden Globe Awards, and also received three nominations on Best Original Song category at the 80th Academy Awards. (See the complete awards list HERE!)


(video source: Kevin_Lima via bitLanders)

On a far away land exists the kingdom of Andalasia ruled by Queen Narissa, the stepmother of Prince Edward. Queen Narissa is wicked, possesses powerful black magic, and would do everything to remain on her throne. Her biggest fear is the day when her stepson would marry someone for that means stepping out of her throne and giving it to her stepson and his wife. When Prince Edward fell in love with Giselle, the queen plotted a way to stop her son’s wedding. She transformed and disguised herself as an old hag and lured Giselle to a deep well before the bride could go to her wedding. While Giselle was making a wish, the queen pushed her into the well sending her to a land with no happily ever after.

(image source: IMDb)

Giselle then found herself on a very different world from hers. Oblivious of her new surroundings, she has nothing in mind but to return to Andalasia. On her search on how to return to her kingdom, she met Robert and his daughter Morgan, who took her home while she continuously finds a way to go back to Andalasia. With her graceful princess-like behavior, out of this world stories, and close connection with animals, people thought she was weird, confused, and unbelievable. Later on, Prince Edward together with Pip, Giselle's chipmunk best friend, went to the real world to find Giselle. The queen then sent Nathaniel to follow and kill Giselle before the prince finds her. After failing on several attempts to kill Giselle, the queen had enough and went to the real world to kill Giselle by herself. Successfully having Giselle bite the poisoned apple, Giselle would die when the clock strikes twelve and only a true love’s kiss could save her.



(image source: IMDb)

Despite most parts of the film were live-action, they were able to bring out the 2D fairy tale animation feel through camera techniques especially on the musical parts and Giselle receiving the true love's kiss. The focus on the poisoned apple rolling down the stairs and bumping into Robert's foot had a dramatic and suspense feeling for me. The low angle to show one of Giselle's heels was taken off when she ran after the queen felt also dramatic and very nostalgic as it reminds everyone of Cinderella. Another was Giselle's arrival to the real world. She slammed into the manhole cover then later on peeking on her side and horizontally into the tiny holes of the cover which got me really confused. Giselle is under a manhole so she should be staring up to peek from the holes. That scene wasn't clear for me, she seemed to have defied gravity or something. Maybe it's just the camera angle? Anyway, I also liked the top angle shots during the King and Queen's Ball. It showed the beauty of the venue and the beautiful formations and synchronized dance of everyone.  


(image source: IMDb)

What’s fun on this movie is the combination of 2D and 3D animation, CGI (Computer-Generated Imagery), visual effects, plus traditional live-action. I think it’s quite rare for films to have a 2D animation combined with the rest, so watching this movie was fresh to my eyes.

The 3D animated animals like Pip are cute and their movements resemble just like a real one. They have to record clips of a real chipmunk in motion to learn its movements and behavior then created a CG (Computer-Generated) chipmunk through Maya and Furrocious. I don’t have any negative comments aside from the 3D animated rats and cockroaches. Seeing lots of cockroaches come out of the bathtub’s drainage looked disgusting. Then later on seeing them help clean the house and crawling into Giselle's hands is just a no for me. Anyway, they probably did that for humor to show that this are the kinds of animals and insects you'll attract when you are a fairy tale character in the real world.

Visual effects were awesome, spectacular, or should I say, magical? Queen Narissa's arrival at the real world, her powers, and her transformation into a dragon. The cut-out and storybook effect by the end of the movie, and many other more visual effects were splendid.

Did you know that 2D animation wasn't done by Disney despite being a Disney movie? The 2D animation division in Disney slowly disappeared after 1995 because of the demand in 3D CGI animation became more popular. So who did the 2D animation and how did it remain its Disney style and vibe? It was James Baxter, a former Disney animator. Among the movies he worked on were Beauty and the Beast and The Lion King.

When it comes to special effects, Susan Sarandon (Queen Narissa) had to wear prosthetic makeup to look like a hag. This takes several hours to create so a huge respect to the prosthetic artists for their patience and passion for this art.


I have nothing but good things to say when it comes to the actors portraying their roles. Amy Adams is perfect for the role with her innocent and beautiful face. Her acting is superb as she can effectively portray Giselle's graceful and classic fairy tale character. Aside from that, she can also sing which makes her totally fit for the role.

(image source: IMDb)

I think all the actors really did well portraying the characters. Aside from acting with the other actors on the scene, they also have to act like they are really interacting with the 3D characters. The dancers during the musical parts and ball also did an amazing job.

Idina Menzel's character, Nancy Tremaine, who was completely not in favor of Giselle gave me a feeling that she would turn out evil at the end and join forces with the queen, but I was wrong. This only shows that Idina fit the role and can  be good in both being an antagonist and protagonist. 

Did you know, director Kevin Lima also had a role in the movie? He voiced Giselle's best friend, Pip!


(image source: IMDb)

Of course, costumes are very important in every movie. The royal costumes were beautiful and made them look like real Disney characters. Giselle's costumes were all gorgeous and elegant-looking. From the simple but classy dress she wore to the ball, to the princess dresses that were "made from curtains and carpet", to the white and huge wedding dress. Did you know that the wedding dress weighed 45 pounds or 20.4 kilograms? Now I'm guessing whether Amy's acting of exhaustion wearing the gown around Manhattan is genuine.


(video source: Josh T via Youtube)

Beautiful and quality music is a must especially when it comes to a fairy tale musical movie and Enchanted never failed to deliver that. Some of the notable songs in the movie are "True Love's Kiss", "Happy Working Song", "So Close", and my favorite "That's How You Know". The "That's How You Know" song is a beautiful song and a perfect fun wedding song in my opinion.

Did you know, Idina Menzel was supposed to sing a song for this movie but didn't pushed through, instead, they had a song called "Ever Ever After" sang by Carrie Underwood? (Well, that's alright. Idina Menzel has Frozen.)


Enchanted’s story is different from the typical fairy tale plot we know. A beautiful maiden lives outside the castle, she crosses path with the prince, fall in love with each other, marry, then live happily ever after. However, this is not the case for Enchanted. This movie is a rule-breaker of the traditional fairy tale plot, but still in a good way.

First unusual happening is the 2D world and real world coexisting together. We usually see fairy tale films in just pure 2D or 3D. Of course, there’s the live-action with visual effects and 3D CGI animation. But Enchanted had mixed everything and brought the 2D characters come to life.

Second is its reference from different Disney fairy tales like the old hag and apple from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, the glass shoes from Cinderella, a prince’s statue and queen’s ability to see people where they are through water reflections from Little Mermaid, and other more. Enchanted is a combination of various fairy tales. You'll even see the other Disney princesses at the ending credits of the movie.

(image source: IMDb)

Third is the most talked about unusual turn of events at the ending. We are all used to fairy tales with the female protagonist ending up marrying the prince, but it wasn’t the case for this movie. The movie began with Giselle and Prince Edward falling in love with each other and are about to get married. When they arrived in the real world, Giselle met Robert whom she unexpectedly fell in love with. The prince on the other hand, met Nancy, and fell in love with her. Well, despite the twist of the story, each of them still got their happy ever afters. Actually, there were fans who were in favor of Giselle ending up with Robert but others say she should end up with the prince. If you were to ask me, I would still go for as how the story ended. Giselle deserves to be with Robert for they have been more together. They have built trust and friendship with each other and had been together through fun and tough times unlike for Prince Edward whom she had only met for a single day. The ending may be surprising but if you try to realize the story, you’ll see why Giselle is better with Robert.


(image source: IMDb)

The highlight and climax of the movie is finding out who could give Giselle the true love’s kiss. Giselle says, you’ll know that he truly loves you when he cares for you and shows his love even with the little things he does for you every single day. That’s how you’ll know.

(image source: IMDb)

In the end, it’s not the prince but Robert who had given a true love’s kiss. Robert knew and cared more for Giselle unlike for Prince Edward who immediately demanded marriage right after he caught her from falling. There is no deep reason on Prince Edward's love for Giselle. The movie conveys that true love may not be with someone you’ve been dreaming of, but with someone who understands and cares for you genuinely. Someone who knows you more than your physical appearance. Someone you can trust and depend on.

Sometimes, the person whom you thought you were destined with wasn’t meant for you. Just like Giselle and Prince Edward, and Robert and Nancy. Still, they all lived happily ever after, after being with the person they are truly meant to be with. On a side note, kudos to Nancy for permitting Robert to kiss Giselle. She understands the situation and did not turn into some possessive and crazy fiancé. Her 2D version is also very gorgeous.


(image source: IMDb)

Enchanted is a film that I will probably remember forever because of its unique story and style. Some may not like how the story went but its uniqueness is what made it stand out from the rest of fairy tale stories.

This is my first time watching this film so thanks to bitLanders for hosting a film series (Blog for "The bitLanders Film Series" to Support Women Empowerment). Enchanted is a movie everyone will surely enjoy and I would definitely recommend this to anyone who wants to watch a fairy tale film.

Thanks for reading!

✧ Katsanslimites

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