Disenchanted is now streaming on Disney+.
Back in 2007, Enchanted gave us a fun and fresh take on the fairy tale, showing us that everyone’s happily ever after looks a little different no matter what the storybooks may say. Along with that new take came songs that remain stuck in our heads to this day and an “I’m angry” gif that still hasn’t lost its sparkle. Obviously, the real question is whether or not the sparkle has dulled from the film itself as it returns for a sequel 15 years later. And that, my friends, is kind of a complicated answer!
It’s not that Disenchanted has less potent magic than Enchanted did in 2007; it’s just a little bit different than it was back then. Perhaps more pointedly, the demographic excited for this movie is a little bit different, too – in short, folks who enjoyed the simple charms of the original are at different parts of their lives now, and may feel disappointed to see the new swings the sequel’s taking, no matter how much many of them work. Though, I will say that the music in Disenchanted doesn’t have the same kind of timeless feel as Enchanted did and there’s only so much the renowned Idina Menzel’s Nancy can do with silly lyrics.
Giselle (Amy Adams), Robert (Patrick Dempsey), and Morgan (Gabriella Baldacchino) have grown tired of the hubbub of New York City. Or, at least Giselle has. In an effort to recapture that “happily ever after” feeling, the family uproots themselves to the suburb of Monroeville and starts a new life. Only that new life is quite far from Robert’s job in New York, Morgan’s forced to start over in a new school, and even Giselle finds herself lost in the mundane. And things only get worse with an errant wish, a venomous accusation of “step mother,” and the complications of everyday magic.
Unsurprisingly, Adams’ star shines the brightest. Disenchanted’s story does make way for Morgan to be her own hero, but this is still Giselle’s story. Watching Adams play against herself as she starts to fall into the Wicked Stepmother trope is a joy that helps keep her character just the right amount of over-the-top against her comparatively normal counterparts. As an added bonus, you’ll get to see everyone in Monroeville turn on the Andalasian charm as the fairytale world takes over reality. Patrick Dempsey as flamboyant prince, anyone?
One part of the magic remains unchanged, and that’s the costumes. What stunners! Giselle and her evil counterpart Malvina (Maya Rudolph) are both given several incredible dresses, but the clothes throughout are all a delight. You’ll see plenty of fun Disney shout-outs, too! A trio shows up right when the family moves to town in gardening clothes mirroring the fairies from Sleeping Beauty, and you can guess what they turn into when the town starts to change into a fairytale land.
The clothes and sets are all lovely to look at, but you can’t have a good contemporary fairytale without a beautiful story. Disenchanted has that in spades but it is, as I mentioned, a different kind of magic. Enchanted saw Giselle fighting for herself and learning how to chase her own version of happily ever after. Disenchanted, on the other hand, has the former Andalasian as a member of a team. Her decisions have real-world consequences for the family she’s become a part of and, while it never asks her to sacrifice her happiness in favor of theirs, it does teach her to listen to their needs a little bit better. It’s a lovely message for a nice and easy fantasy story that’s a good watch for the whole family.
Amy Adams’ return as Giselle is a charming one, and families will have plenty of fun sitting down to watch this sequel together.“
Ultimately, Disenchanted plays out as a different but still pretty wonderful continuation to Enchanted. However, some fans might feel a little robbed that instead of growing with its original audience it chose to trill a cheery tune for a new one. Still, those who remember the magic will still see a lot of it in this new iteration, even if the new soundtrack does leave you wanting.
This story originally appeared on: IGN - Author:Amelia Emberwing