In ‘Disenchanted’, a Storybook Ending Leads To What Lies Ahead
(CTN News) – As the sequel to Happy Ever After, Disenchanted poses the existential question, “What comes after it?” It is only available on streaming due to its 15-year delay.
In an epilogue to “Enchanted” that has moments of magic without fully delivering on the premise, Amy Adams nimbly returns in the role of an animated princess trying to adapt to a live-action world.
Adams’ Princess Giselle married her unexpected prince, single dad Robert (Patrick Dempsey), and had a child with him. However, living in fantastical Andal asia left her unprepared for the monotony and drudgery of married life, leading her to seek a way to shake up her mundane routine.
In the HBO or Hulu version of that crisis, there would surely be a darker and more difficult edge. However, here on Disney+, Giselle makes the decision to move the entire family to Monroeville.
As a result of this decision, Robert is left with a terrible commute, and Giselle’s teenage stepdaughter, Morgan (Gabriella Bald action), feels displaced and irritable, having to leave “the kingdom of New York.”
The acrimony and tension at home do not sit well with Giselle, who becomes desperate enough to utilize some magic that falls into the category of “Be careful what you wish for.” Giselle’s most inspired flourish backfires due to the fact that she is a stepmother, a family member that has traditionally been poorly represented in animated fairy tales.
With all the singing about urban flora and fauna, the initial kick that enlivened “Enchanted” seems somewhat redundant in this context.
As for the songs, everyone is in fine voice – including Idina Menzel, who appears just long enough to lend her Broadway voice to what is clearly intended as the movie’s show-stopping tune and perhaps help move a few extra CDs.
The Disenchanted songs are composed by Alan Menken and lyricist Stephen Schwartz, an Oscar-nominated team for the original. The music, however, is more upbeat but less memorable.
James Marsden reprises his role as the clueless prince, and Maya Rudolph plays the local queen bee of the ‘burbs, who does appear in an energetic duet with Adams.
Director Adam Shankman (who Disenchanted directed “Hairspray” in the same year as “Enchanted”) plays cleverly with fairy-tale conventions without demonstrating much growth on the part of Giselle or others.
Disenchanted merely recycles mythology despite the possibility of creatively advancing it.
The formula has worked well for Disney+, which has centered its programming strategy on resurrecting older properties as series or movies, including “The Santa Clause,” “Hocus Pocus” and, soon, “Willow.”
“I never sing the right song anymore,” Giselle mutters sadly, before the story begins.
While it would certainly be unfair to say that about “Disenchanted,” it is fair to note that it does not hit nearly as many high notes as its predecessor.
Is Disenchanted done filming?
On August 4, director Adam Shankman confirmed the completion of filming on the long-awaited Enchanted sequel, Disenchanted, set to debut on Disney+ in 2022. Fourteen years after we were graced with the beautiful Disney film, Enchanted, we are finally seeing progress on the film’s sequel, Disenchanted.
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