‘Disenchanted’ enchants audience with mix of magic and music

%28L-R%29%3A+Amy+Adams+as+Giselle+and+Maya+Rudolph+as+Malvina+Monroe+in+Disneys+live-action+DISENCHANTED%2C+exclusively+on+Disney%2B.+Photo+by+Jonathan+Hession.+%C2%A9+2022+Disney+Enterprises%2C+Inc.+All+Rights+Reserved.

Photo by Jonathan Hession. © 2022 Disney Enterprises, Inc.

(L-R): Amy Adams as Giselle and Maya Rudolph as Malvina Monroe in Disney’s live-action DISENCHANTED, exclusively on Disney+. Photo by Jonathan Hession. © 2022 Disney Enterprises, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

By Caleb Johnson, News Reporter

Music and magic collide in “Disenchanted,” a charming tale full of wonder and whimsical daydreams where we learn the truth of what really happens after ‘happily ever after.’ 

Have you ever made a wish with all your heart? Have you wondered what your life would be like if you lived in a fairy tale? These very questions are what Giselle, played by Amy Adams, grapples with. 

RECAP 

A sequel to the 2007 “Enchanted,” the film follows the life of Giselle, Robert, played by Patrick Dempsey and Morgan, played by Gabriella Baldacchino. Adams and Dempsey are reprising their roles from the previous movie. 

“Disenchanted” takes place after Giselle’s supposed happily ever after in the last film, as she struggles to find peace in her life and marriage after having a child and settling down with Robert and his daughter Morgan. 

Both movies blend a fictional cartoon fairytale world, called Andalasia, and the real world of New York City, as characters move between both worlds. 

In the previous film, “Enchanted,” Giselle fell in love with Robert and had chosen to leave behind her fairytale life, marry him and move in with him and his daughter Morgan, played by Rachel Covey. 

In “Disenchanted” we see the consequences of this decision. Giselle is not as happy as she thought she would be, as life in New York is nothing like the fantastical world she came from. In an attempt to reclaim some of this magic, she finds a suburban town that she claims is very similar to her homeland. 

Morgan, now a teenager, is the secondary lead. In parallel to her stepmother, she is also dealing with disenchantment since the previous film.

As a child, Morgan loved the magic and whimsical nature of Giselle, but as she got older she started to become embarrassed by Giselle’s actions, such as bursting into song at random moments and trying to help Morgan make friends. 

THOUGHTS 

While the story itself was similar to the first one in that it blends common fairy tale tropes with a contemporary setting, the sequel doesn’t quite hit the mark at times. 

An example of this is with the characters of Malvina Monroe, the mayor of Monroeville played by Maya Rudolph, and her useless assistants Rosaleen, played by Yvette Nicole Brown and Ruby, played by Jayma Mays. All three women’s characteristics seem to be hollow and cliched, reducing them to nothing more than stereotypical mean girls and bad PTA moms. 

While the plot and characters were a bit lackluster, one thing that did stand out was the music and visuals. 

Visually, the costumes and characters looked great; the Andalasians had lots of bright colors and the modern characters looked trendy and fashionable. This leads to one of my favorite parts of the movie when the townspeople transform into fairytale characters. 

The whole town becomes like Andalasia and is redubbed as “Monrolasia.” This leads to characters acting like they are living in a fairytale, and even has Robert battling dragons and Giselle becoming a wicked stepmother. The townspeople also began to perform musical numbers that were well sung, with the choreography on point and seamlessly executed. 

One treat in the film was when the Queen of Andalasia, Nancy Tremaine, played by Idina Menzel, performs a stunning song, “Love Power.” This song is very reminiscent of Menzel’s performance of “Defying Gravity” from the musical “Wicked,” which should come as no surprise as both songs were written by lyricist Stephen Schwartz. 

In the song, Menzel sings of love, the memories that people make together and how these forces are truly powerful. The lyrics are powerful and really improve the mood of the movie. 

“And we find it in the memories we share / And we need it like the sun and light and air,”

Menzel truly brought these lines to life and you felt their power as she sang them. This performance was definitely one of the highlights of the movie as Menzel didn’t sing in the first movie, which is a travesty. 

Overall, the film was good, but plot-wise it was underwhelming compared to “Enchanted.”. However, I would still definitely recommend people watch this film, as it’s perfect for a family movie night. 

Currently, “Disenchanted” is streaming exclusively on Disney+.