Enchanted (and the power of True Love’s kiss)


When I was a kid, I’ve always wondered what it would be like when Peter Pan and Wendy and the Lost Boys and Tinker Bell and Cinderella and the X-Men will somehow get to this world, like, you know, be actually here in their cartoon bodies without the aid of T.V.

I would find out years later that someone else had this same childhood fantasy and made it to a movie. (Is it the universe’s way of telling me that great minds think alike?)

Enchanted has been deemed by RottenTomatoes as ‘the best family movie of 2007.’ In my opinion, this is one of Disney’s best movies in recent years. In other’s opinion, Disney revived itself with this movie. And family movie it is, and revived Disney it certainly did. The movie is a for all ages entertainment. It is delightful and charming, the kind of which the Holywood movie industry has lost for a long time and has been trying to revive in recent years. They got it right with Enchanted.

The movie opens in Andalasia (a place beyond the Meadows of Joy and the Valley of Contentmentwhere Giselle, in her house-tree (not the other way around) sings of true love’s kiss as her animal friends eagerly listens. Suddenly a troll appears. Giselle and her friends flee. As she hangs on the farthest branch of her house, Prince Edward of Andalasia comes and saves her. With the troll defeated, the Prince takes one look at her, asks her her name, and declares, “Oh Giselle! We shall be married in the morning!” And they sing once more of true love’s kiss and ride off in his white horse. But the happy ending doesn’t come in the next sentence. It comes after a lot of sentences ninety or so minutes later.

We finally meet the evil stepmother on their wedding day. She is Queen Narissa, Edward’s stepmother, and a sorceress. She hatches up a plan to break the wedding off and uses the servant Nathaniel, who is more than in love with her, to be her henchman in her evil plot. And together, they send Giselle off to the real world. Pip the chipmunk, Giselle’s closest animal friend, is with her. Nathaniel follows. Prince Edward follows. Queen Narissa follows later.

And so our story starts. Giselle, thrown in the real world, with her huge wedding gown in tow. She’s trying to enter a picture of a castle when dashing (I’m sorry, I couldn’t help it) McDreamy – Robert Philip and his daughter, Morgan, sees her. Robert helps her when she tells him of her plan to sleep inside a tree. And you can immediately tell that he is her Prince Charming and she is his Princess. But they don’t know that yet, because there is no love at first sight.

I would like to write more on the story, but it seems to me that I’ll only be doing an injustice. So I just won’t.

Enchanted is a smart movie – and that is something for a film with such a screwball, (childhood fantasy?) plot as this. But oh how it showed how awkward it was when the Disney fairytale world clashes with ours. And yet it was done without violating a single element that distinguishes one from the other. And I love it for that. Finally, a movie that has charm and delight. And, as one critic has said, the glue that holds it all together is Giselle, disarmingly played to the heart by Amy Adams.

A person who can poke fun of himself is fun, a movie which can do so is ten times more. And Disney poked fun of itself here, and it did so well. Sure, I had a problem with the Evil Queen turning herself into a dragon. But, I guess that’s forgivable.)

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