Enchanted has clearly set out to puncture the naivete of classic Disney animated fairytales in particular, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937) and Sleeping Beauty (1959). There are many homages to the Disney Snow White in the film poison apples, the queen disguised as a hag and especially the scenes of Giselle singing and being aided in the housework by a horde of frolicking woodland animals. The animated sequences use the same stylised look of Sleeping Beauty, while the witch and especially her climactic transformation into a dragon is clearly modelled on Sleeping Beautys Maleficent. The film even credits its source openly by including cameos from actresses who have voiced various Disney heroines and throwing in a number of in-jokes.
Enchanted is often not much more than a single gag film but it does generate some amusement from its basic concept. There is an especially appealing scene where Amy Adams wakes up in Patrick Dempseys apartment and calls various animals to her for their help in cleaning up, a la the famous scene in Snow White. This is promptly satirically skewered by Patrick Dempseys reactions as he enters to see birds, cockroaches and rodents having taken over his lounge. There are some nice contrasts between fairytale idealism and the real world of seeing the concept of true love coming up against the notion of a date; or an earthbound Patrick Dempsey trying to deal with Amy Adams constant bursting into song while out in public. There is the ever-so-delightful moment where young Rachel Covey tries to deal with Amy Adams anxiety about lack of fairy godmothers: I have something better than a fairy godmother and whipping out an American Express card.
Enchanted is an eminently predictable film. You can see every gag that Kevin Lima sets up being wheeled into place from the other side of Central Park. You know from about the point that Patrick Dempsey is introduced that Giselle is going to end up with him rather than her supposed true love Prince Edward. You know from the point they meet that Edward is going to end up with Patrick Dempseys fiancee Irina Menzel. But then Enchanted is one of those films where you expect there to be a high degree of predictability about the way that things turn out. That said, there is a surprising lack of drama when it comes to the climactic scenes and especially the death of Susan Sarandons wicked queen (not to mention some decidedly spotty CGI effects in the creation of the dragon).
There was a considerable degree of buzz surrounding Amy Adams performance even before Enchanted opened. Watching the film, you end up scratching your head. Amy Adams performance almost entirely consists of a series of face wide-open gee-gosh expressions. Undeniably, she has a bubbly frothiness that carries the film and without question the film would be a good deal the lesser without her but what so many people saw in all the manic cheer that they were calling worthy of an Academy Award leaves one puzzled. Opposite her is Patrick Dempsey, the former 1980s teen actor see embarrassments like Meatballs III: Summer Job (1987) who recently successfully reinvented himself as a sex symbol as a result of tvs Greys Anatomy (2005 ).
Enchanted was parodied in Disaster Movie (2008).
Director Kevin Lima was a former Disney animator who co-directed two animated films with A Goofy Movie (1995) and Tarzan (1999), before making his live-action debut with 102 Dalmatians (2000). Lima has also directed two live-action Disney tv movies Eloise at Christmastime (2003) and Eloise at the Plaza (2003).