Now beginning its third weekend, I finally got to see Disney’s charming ENCHANTED, starring Dr. McDreamy – Patrick Dempsey of Grey’s Anatomy as Robert, Amy Adams as Giselle, James Mardsen as Prince Edward, Susan Sarandon as the evil stepmother Queen Narissa, and Rachel Covey as Morgan, Robert’s daughter.
Adams, Mardsen, and Sarandon all exist in all of Disney’s Wonderlands collapsed together. Sarandon/Narissa doesn’t want Adams to marry her step-son the Prince because she will lose her queenship as a result. So she gets sweet Giselle to fall into a deep hole that leads her through a very ironic portal – a sewage drain into the streets of New York.
Enchanted is surprisingly funny with good performances by all – in very predictable roles. Disney’s look into its own mirror is clever enough, though they just cannot get rid of the evil step-mother and the mother who deserts her child as the plot around which the story spins. Having said that, Sarandon is deliciously evil and looks like she is having a very good time (much like Anjelica Huston in Ever After). As Narissa/Narsissa morphs into a dragon at the end, the first thing that came to my mind was: Oh! Snow White meets Godzilla…
The cultural diversity in the film is interesting as well. Disney has been into cultural and racial diversity for some time now, perhaps one of the film/television studios that does it best. At the same time, it is very smart marketing.
Kudos to Rachel Covey as Morgan ( a nod to Morgan Le Fay in the King Arthur Legends/). She’s bright and smart as the little girl charmed by a fairy princess.
One of the nicest things about the film is how kind it is, even when it looks like selfishness will triumph over love. This is a film that will probably not offend anyone; if so, then it succeeds as pure entertainment. Thoughtful parents, however, will find it useful to look at the commercialization/consumerism that goes along with the film. How to enjoy a film without buying the accessories and the lifestyle is always a challenge. Talking about the highpoints of the film and what each one finds most meaningful is a way to internalize the positive and pro-social values of the film.
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