Enchanted - DVD Review

After meticulously adhering to the formula of Pixar produced/influenced CGI creations which gradually fermented the feeling of ‘haven’t I seen this before’ like no other studio has managed before, Disney presents Enchanted, their very own attempt to drag the classic fairy tale into the 21st century.

Merging a classic Disney ‘wicked witch, beautiful princess, handsome prince’ formula with a good old rom-com, Enchanted’s plot follows Amy Adam’s Princess Giselle on her enforced trip to New York where she comes across handsome lawyer Robert (Patrick Dempsey) who leads her to question her relationship with similarly handsome Prince Edward (James Marsden).

As a children’s film Enchanted ticks all the right boxes. It’s heart-warming and funny, the comedy side-kicks are present as is the villain children will scream with delight at come the predictable denouement. The transition from drawn art animation to real-life tale is handled skilfully and believably and with a speed that will ensure even the most cynical of youngsters will be drawn along with it. Parents are on safe ground as well as the PG rating is hardly deserved.

For the adults Enchanted provides more than the average kiddies’ tale with a decent love triangle to become involved in along with the considerable talents of Amy Adams and Patrick Dempsey in the leads. The formula of displacement provides its fair share of laughs but occasionally these fall into the overly predictable (oh wait, is that someone from another world who thinks the TV is some sort of magic box?).

In other areas too the film trips over its own strengths. The CGI is generally impressive but the final battle’s is unforgivably weak and on occasion actors actually look like they are talking to thin air. The film also comes complete with its own high level of smugness at the fact it’s doing something different. Characters have a tendency to announce things which reject regular Disney norms, ‘The brave Princess is coming to the rescue. I guess that makes you the damsel in distress’ Susan Sarandon’s wicked witch tells Robert at one point.

Despite it’s weaknesses Enchanted is a generally enjoyable children’s fable and a decent attempt by Disney to revive and update it’s own classic drawn animation flicks which were so popular not so many years ago. At times it misses its steps and the talents of Sarandon, Marsden and the rising Idina Menzel are largely ignored. Dempsey and Adams however, drive it along satisfactorily enough and in the end adults will be smiling at the jokes more than they grimace at the corny references and predictable plotlines, children on the other hand will, indeed, find themselves Enchanted.

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