Directed by Kevin Lima
Written by Bill Kelly
Amy Adams as Giselle
Patrick Dempsey as Robert Philip
James Marsden as Prince Edward
Timothy Spall as Nathaniel
Idina Menzel as Nancy Tremaine
Susan Sarandon as Queen Narissa
Rachel Covey as Morgan Philip
107 Minutes(Rated PG for some scary images and mild innuendo. )
I wasn't going to see "Enchanted," the first Disney film is a while to even use 2-D animation in its contents, but I heard so many glowing things about it, and there was even Oscar buzz surrounding the performance of its lead Amy Adams. Chances are you haven't heard about her, even though she has an Oscar nomination for her masterful performance in the wonderful 2005 indie film "Junebug." She's one of those rare young actresses around at the moment who just puts so much energy into her work-from that film, to this, even to a bit part in the upcoming "Charlie Wilson's War," she just has this extreme likability. And she's very talented. And that shines through every second she's onscreen in "Enchanted." So I went to see the movie-mostly for the good reviews, and mostly because its free where I work. The price was right, and in the end, so was the movie-a clever and very enjoyable children's movie, with enough laughs and satire to keep everyone amused.
A little throwback to the classic Disney musicals of the past-"Snow White," "Sleeping Beauty," "Beauty and the Beast," etc, "Enchanted" actually begins like one of those movies. Adams plays Giselle, a beautiful princess who has all the classic Disney princess attributes-including the singing and the fact that animals enjoy helping her clean. When she angers the evil Queen Narissa by getting engaged to her stepson Prince Edward, endangering her crown, Narissa pretends to be an old woman and tricks Giselle into going through a portal bringing her right into the center of Times Square. She ends up getting help around the city by Robert, a single father who intends on asking his long time girlfriend Nancy-who is exactly the opposite of Giselle right down to her hair color and nose size, of course-to marry him. Meanwhile the evil Queen sends out her short and worshipping servant Nathaniel to give Giselle a poison apple and get her out of her life forever, while Prince Edward is also on the track to rescue her.
First of all, the casting here is perfection. Amy Adams really lights up the screen with her work here, never breaking character and always giving it the strong amount of energy it needs. James Marsden brings that campy overacting quality here just like he did in the summer's "Hairspray," and its the second best performance here. Susan Sarandon is good at playing evil characters, hence her as the queen, and of course Timothy Spall, who is cartoonish himself, is great as the hunchbacked servant. Spall doesn't get enough credit in anything he does, from his drama in the summer's pretty good "Pierrepoint: The Last Hangman" to this, plus all his vocal work in the past. He really is quite an underrated talent. But the movie is just clever-it's a good time for young children, with plenty of fun little throwbacks to the classic fairy tales of the past. The movies that me and several people out there grew up with. Those timeless cartoons that'll be around until the day you die and beyond. Fans of those movies will find it impossible to resist "Enchanted"'s clever charm. Disney manages to make their first real winner solo in a long time.