Voiceover Bloke tells us that “there’s never been anything like Enchanted” on the film’s trailer. But it’s not strictly true. There have been other storybook send-ups (The Princess Bride, Shrek) and other family jaunts that segue between animation and live action (Osmosis Jones, The Pagemaster). This isn’t even the first Disney flick to slyly cut to a wider aspect ratio in its second act (Brother Bear).
What there hasn’t been before is Amy Adams as a Disney princess. Junebug made her an Oscar nominee; musical-fantasia Enchanted makes her a star. Wide-eyed, button-nosed, big-lunged, Adams delights as Giselle, a resident of toon world Andalasia who’s waiting for her Prince Charming ( James Marsden). But when she finally bags him, Giselle is promptly banished by his jealous mother Narissa (Susan Sarandon) to real-world New York, where’s she taken in by Patrick Dempsey’s single dad.
Forget the romance – this is a one-starlet show. Uncannily aping the exaggerated gestures of past 2D cartoon sweethearts, Adams balances the theatrics with an earnest warmth and carries the film even in its patchiest moments. But Enchanted still stumbles over rigid Mouse House rules, gradually shooing away subversion with sentimentality. It’s also let down by a villainess who’s no match for a vintage Disney bitch like The Little Mermaid’s Ursula.
Savour instead the song set-pieces. Central Park showstopper ‘That’s How You Know’ and ‘Happy Working Song’ are both dissected in the extras, alongside deleted scenes, bloopers and a chipmunk caper for the kids.