Instead of rehashing what came before Disenchanted attempts to do something different, and through that proves itself a similar success.
WRITTEN BY ALEX GILSTON / NOVEMBER 21, 2022
It’s been 15 years since Giselle (Amy Adams) left the idealised luxury of Andalasia to traverse the smokey streets of New York City, and convinced us that a happily ever after can exist in the real world. Amy Adams returns alongside Patrick Dempsey, James Marsden, and Idina Menzel in Disenchanted. A somewhat long awaited sequel considering the success of Enchanted.
Many years have passed and Giselle and Robert have a newborn baby and Morgan is all grown up. When city life proves too challenging for Giselle she suggests the family moves to Monroeville and start a fresh. But after she makes a wish Andalasia starts to seep into the real world making the lives of Giselle, her family, and everyone in town into a fairytale. The fear when films like Enchanted get the sequel treatment is that it’s going to rely too heavily on what made the first film so good. Disenchanted doesn’t lose any marks for this. Instead of rehashing what came before it attempts to do something different, and through that proves itself a similar success.
If Enchanted is considered a fish out of water story, then Disenchanted is almost a fish back into the water story. Giselle gets to play around in the world she came from. As the fairytale land of Andalasia seeps into Monroeville it manifests itself in vaying fantastical ways. One of the more uncanny valley manifestations is electrical devices coming to life to sing along with Giselle like a modern-day Beauty and the Beast. It’s strange at first but really it’s a sufficiently Enchanted way of doing things. In Enchanted the juxtaposition of Andalaisa to New York City was meant to be stark, and although Giselle brought her fairytale flourishes it was easy to differentiate. In Disenchanted however, Andalasia comes into live action and its bright and beautiful. The Phillips’ suburban house becomes a towering, flowering Rapunzel-esque dream and everything else touched by the animated world makes for a convincing paradise.
Amy Adams slips back into Giselle as Cinderella did into her glass slippers. She plays off Giselle’s naivety well but she gets more to chew on as she slowly becomes a wicked step-mother. It’s unsurprising that Adams’ vocals are still tiptop and she gets another decent solo outing. Idina Menzel, who has provided her voice for some of Disney’s most iconic original songs, steals the show with the ballad ‘Love Power’. No one quite serves it on the level she does. Patrick Dempsey dabbles in a sing song and for all its worth does a fine job. The line-up wouldn’t be complete without the doting Prince Edward played by James Marsden, who isn’t around much but just enough to make an impression.
Disenchanted might not reach the heights of Enchanted, a hard task but one that wasn’t necessarily expected of the sequel, but theres still more than enough reason to give it a chance. The star pull, or the equally incredible songs from composter Alan Menken, the lightness of it all, or even getting to spend time with lovable characters that we have since lost sight of.