Discover more from The Mendez Movie Report
Quick Review: Disenchanted
Happily Never After
The following is my review for the film Disenchanted. A reminder, you can click this link to see how I score films when I review them.
Disillusioned with life in the city, feeling out of place in suburbia, and frustrated that her happily ever after hasn’t been so easy to find, Giselle turns to the magic of Andalasia for help. Accidentally transforming the entire town into a real-life fairy tale, and placing her family’s future happiness in jeopardy, she must race against time to reverse the spell and determine what happily ever after truly means to her and her family.
Its been fifteen years since we got Disney’s satire fish-out-of-water fantasy about their own princess and fairy-tale movies with 2007’s Enchanted; a film that was a big hit critically and financially and even enjoyed some Oscars recognition. It arguably launched Amy Adams into super-stardom thanks to her lead role as Giselle, and in the time since has become a true mainstream classic. Its easily one of my favorite films from that great year for movies, and for a long time now rumors have persisted about a planned sequel.
Finally in the day and age of Disney Plus we’re getting one with the follow-up, Disenchanted, which attempts to tackle and subvert the “happily ever after” trope that just doesn’t work in the real-world.
And save for the role of Morgan, Giselle’s stepdaughter (This time played by Gabriella Baldacchino, Disney has somehow managed to bring back all the main actors and actresses they could for this sequel. Including Patrick Dempsey, James Mardsen, and Idina Menzel. The biggest and newest addition is Maya Rudolph who plays the film’s antagonist Malvina, getting to be both a neighborhood queen bee in reality and an evil fairy-tale Queen.
This movie has been getting pretty mediocre reviews, and I understand why in some respects. Its clearly a Disney Plus production, and somehow manages to look more cheap than the original 2007 film thanks to that fact. The animation and visual effects suffer the most, and take away the magic of getting us to fully buy into the fantastical elements of the story. The movie’s songs are nowhere near as memorable as the ones from the original that got Oscar nominations, and its a bit ill-paced and feels overlong by the time you get to the finale which drags a bit.
But I have to confess that even with its flaws, I had a ton of fun with this. Mainly thanks to Amy Adams and Maya Rudolph’s performances, they both really look like they’re just having the time of their lives playing their roles and their duet song was the one soundtrack single that stood out to me. Getting to see the characters play other roles such as Giselle turning into a wicked stepmother was a ton of fun as well for me, and yeah the humor got more than a few chuckles from me.
I have a feeling audiences will generally respond better to this than my peers in film criticism did; and between this and the other Disney Plus nostalgia legacy-sequel, Hocus Pocus 2, I have to give this one a clear edge over that one. Maybe I’m a sucker for the nostalgia of returning to this world and revisiting these characters fifteen years later, but I can’t lie to you and pretend I was underwhelmed by this as others were because I wasn’t. Disenchanted was a fun sequel to a great movie, and while it doesn’t fully make a case for its existence I don’t mind that it does either.