In many ways harking back to the Disney animated movies of old, Enchanted
is a terrific, contemporary fairy tale. It mixes in live action with hand drawn animation to terrific effect, and in true traditional Disney style, it’s got a princess, a baddie and a clutch of catchy songs too.
At the heart of Enchanted is the wonderful Amy Adams, as the cartoon princess who arrives in human form in the middle of New York City. There, she must seek her prince, while finding her storybook view of fairy tale romance thoroughly challenged by a very modern New York. The film expertly mines this scenario for its many laughs, and even during the weaker moments, Adams easily sells the concept in a star-making performance. A pity that Susan Sarandon’s villain doesn’t get more screen time, though. The glimpses of her that we get are very, very good.
Enchanted does nonetheless benefit from a very strong high definition transfer. And what’s particularly impressive here is how well it handles the contrast between the animated and live action segments, both of which are backed by a lively surround sound mix. Ultimately, though, Enchanted earns a firm recommendation not just for the quality of its Blu-ray release, but for being a genuinely funny and charming modern day fairy tale, with real family appeal. A real achievement, and an accomplished mix of old and new Disney. --Jon Foster
With a fine cast and fun in-jokes, Disney's Enchanted
is sure to cast a spell over both children and adults. It begins with a 2-D animation sequence reminiscent of the company's beloved past. Surrounded by dozens of cute animals, Giselle (voiced and later played by Amy Adams) sings about her desire to find her one true love. Meanwhile, a handsome prince (James Marsden) overhears her, and they meet and fall in love. In many Disney movies, this is where the story ends, but Enchanted
is just starting out on its journey. The prince’s wicked stepmother (Susan Sarandon) can’t stand to lose her throne, so she pushes Giselle down a well, and the beauty ends up in the real world. Gone is the animated fantasy, and a live-action Giselle lands in the middle of Times Square in New York City. Her optimism and perkiness put her at odds with the New Yorkers she encounters, but she gets help from a cynical divorce lawyer (Patrick Dempsey) as she waits for her prince to rescue her.
Fans of Disney classics from Sleeping Beauty
to Beauty and the Beast
will be glad to see their favourite films referenced in Enchanted
. Jodi Benson (the voice of Ariel in The Little Mermaid
) makes a brief appearance, and the evil queen threatens to kill Giselle with a poisoned apple a la Snow White
. Though it reminds the audience of past favourites, Enchanted
boasts its own script that is at once intelligent and heartwarming. But the true highlight of the film is the acting by the fairy tale couple. Marsden (Hairspray
) couldn’t be funnier as the charming prince, while Adams (an Oscar nominee for 2005’s Junebug
) gives dimension to the heroine. As a result, Enchanted
is a film that deserves to sit on a shelf with Disney’s classics.