Enchanted is one of my all-time favorite Disney movies. I love the music, story, and of course the characters. So, when it was announced that a sequel, Disenchanted, was in the works excitement doesn’t even explain it!
When we left off in the first film, we had multiple happily-ever-afters. Robert (Patrick Dempsey) with himself and Giselle (Amy Adams). As well as Giselle and Robert’s daughter Morgan becoming one happy family. We can’t forget about Nancy (Idina Menzel) and Prince Edward (James Marsden) running off to Andalasia together.
DISENCHANTED PICKS UP RIGHT WHERE WE LEFT OFF…SORT OF
Disenchanted takes place 15 years after the events of the original. Giselle and Robert have a newborn baby, and Morgan is now an angsty teenager. For some reason, Morgan and the baby can’t share a room, so they’re all packing up and leaving new york city for the more rural countryside.
This move turns Robert into a miserable commuter, Morgan is ripped from her friends, and Giselle has to deal with the Queen Bee of their small town Malvina (Maya Rudolph). Giselle realizes her family is miserable and doesn’t know what to do. One day, Prince Edward and Nancy show up with a belated birthday gift of an Andalasian Wishing Wand. Giselle accidentally makes a wish to try and help her family be happy again. We’ve all heard the saying Be Careful What You Wish For. Giselle’s wish accidentally turns their new town into an Andalasia 2.0 turning Giselle and Malvina into rival villains, as well as Giselle the ultimate evil stepmother.
FANTASTIC PERFORMANCES – SO WHY IS DISENCHANTED SUCH A MISS?
On paper, Disenchanted sounds super fun. Having the entire original cast back is such a blessing. Every one of them slips right back into their characters like it’s been days not years. However, my biggest issues are the lack of character development, forgettable music, and an overabundance of characters that take away from the heart of the story. Giselle has lived in NYC for 15 years! During the previous movie, she learns all about anger and is excited about it. She shows huge growth throughout the entire film. How has NYC not rubbed off on her more? How has she not learned about sarcasm? Why can she not deal with a teenage daughter like an adult with the help of Robert? It doesn’t make any sense to keep her stagnant.
That being said, I will also say watching Amy Adams tackle the moments where Giselle switches back and forth between herself and the villain trying to take over is wildly impressive. Every moment is so clean, distinct, and brilliantly executed.
When we see Prince Edward and Nancy again this is one of the most magical moments. We see how Edward is the same daft, adorable man because he’s never left home. However, cynical Nancy has had Analasia rub off on her giving her more happiness and optimism. Their voices blend beautifully together and Nancy has my favorite song of the entire film – but the bar isn’t very high.
For a film that’s supposed to be all about family, it spends an awful lot of time on subplots and keeping the family apart. Instead of focusing on Giselle being taken over by the spell and turning into a villain and wicked stepmother to Morgan everyone going off on their own “adventure”? Why?
An overabundance of Characters and Plot Points Muddy The Charm
I am sure this is blasphemous to say, but I think the addition of Malvina and her “henchwomen” – while I LOVE all of these actresses – is a detriment to the story. Instead of keeping the story focused on the family, Giselle now has to out villain another villain. What would’ve been more interesting was making Giselle the top dog from the get. Then, turning the queen bee of the rural town into her advisor. Team them up to make one power villain entity that her husband, daughter, and friends have to combat in order to bring her back.
Disenchanted is now playing in theaters. Check it out and let me know your thoughts in the comments below!