Disenchanted Review: Too Long Sequel Still Allows for Heartwarming Joy
Fifteen years ago, we were introduced to Giselle of Andalasia, and the world fell in love with her and her love story. Disenchanted offers a different look at Giselle’s family and reimagines true love into something deeply uplifting.
From the beginning, Disenchanted was never going to be a perfect movie. No remake, reboot, or sequel can truly capture the magic of seeing Enchanted for the first time.
Disenchanted is full of magic — both good and bad — and it definitely has all the makings of a great Disney movie, but it still doesn’t quite get all the way there.
When the movie starts, Giselle is questioning her happily ever after and decides to make a big change by moving to Monroeville, a suburban town a tad too reminiscent of Westview, the doomed town on WandaVision.
King Edward (James Mardsen) and Queen Nancy (Idina Menzel) drop off an Andalasian wishing wand for little Sofia, stating clear rules that only a true Andalasian daughter may wield the wand.
Thus, our story kicks off. Giselle and her family go to sleep in the real world and wake up in a fairytale.
Disenchanted suffers by doing something that’s become too common — explaining the plot, conflict, and resolution in full instead of trusting the audience to catch on.
This is unsurprising as it’s, at its core, a Disney movie, but still frustrating when the majority of people who are watching the sequel are in their early 20s and even 30s at this point.
It feels like a good chunk of the movie lends itself to repeatedly explaining what’s happening instead of simply showing us.
Alan Menken, though a true icon, lets Disenchanted slip through his fingers with forgettable songs accompanying Stephen Schwartz’s clunky lyrics.
Enchanted comes with a soundtrack, which features artists such as Carrie Underwood, whose songs take days to leave your brain. Disenchanted‘s soundtrack, on the other hand, feels like it’s going on forever when a new song begins.
This, however, does not include “Badder,” the duet between Amy Adams and Maya Rudolph that ends up being the best song in the movie and the newest song in my library.
Amy Adams shines as Giselle in Disenchanted, but the real star of the movie is Morgan, played by up-and-coming actress Gabriella Baldacchino.
No teenager wants to be told that it will get better even if it will.
Teenagers are living in the here and now with school bullies, popular students, and college on their minds. It’s difficult to envision their lives years out when today is what’s most important to them.
Morgan has dealt with a lot in the last handful of years, so it’s no wonder her mood consists of sarcasm and frustration.
In every moment, Baldacchino makes it very clear who Morgan is, and how Morgan feels, without having to state it outright.
The script for Disenchanted isn’t a throwaway, but it feels excessively long for a story that can usually be told in 50 pages or less.
It’s not that you can feel every moment passing, but it’s noticeable when we’re focusing on characters that inevitably do not matter.
This happens almost too much.
My very favorite thing about Disenchanted is certainly the set designs and the costumes.
Disenchanted, despite its title and the power “Evil” Giselle is trying to win, is a very bright, pink, in-your-face in a good way movie.
Entire sections of Giselle and Robert’s fixer-upper are painted pink, dresses match earrings that match hairpieces, and it all comes together for a beautiful movie that you can’t take your eyes off of.
Even Malvina, played by Maya Rudolph, always has a pop of color amongst her black dresses, hair, or makeup.
It’s a movie that, like Enchanted, visually represents the word dreamy in the most literal sense.
Enchanted is a rom-com with tropes galore, and you always know what’s coming. Disenchanted, however, upends the romantic love, shows us a love that is from mother to daughter, and teaches that home is not always a place, but sometimes a person, or a feeling.
Even with the flaws of Disenchanted, the little hiccups don’t inevitably make it a bad movie. Disenchanted is fun and easy to watch because it’s an okay movie.
- If Disney doesn’t make Pip the cat stuffed animals, what was the point?
- Is this movie too long? Yes. Did we deserve to see the wedding sequence between Giselle and Robert? Also yes.
- Disenchanted proves that there is nothing Oscar Nuñez can’t do.
- If we were already going to give Morgan a love interest, and we were discussing the intricacies of mother/daughter love… they should’ve simply let Morgan be gay.
- Patrick Dempsey and James Marsden fought hard for Hottest Man in Disenchanted (2022).
What did you think of Disenchanted? Share your thoughts in the comments below!
Disenchanted is currently available on Disney+.
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One thought on “Disenchanted Review: Too Long Sequel Still Allows for Heartwarming Joy”
Have to agree – it was fun enough, but just dragged and explained so much and took so much time over fiddling small things. The worst bit was when there was the clock counting down to the deadline, Robert works out how to cheat and temporarily stop the last chime, and then, rather than have any kind of urgency in this temporary reprieve, Gisele and Morgan had about three minutes of emoting very slowly and achieving nothing until the last second. Made worse by the fact that I loved that the narrative tension was over Morgan not feeling like Gisele’s “real” daughter, but we barely spent any time on that. Frankly I would’ve liked the film much more if it’d been Morgan as the main character and the one making the wish – she was the one with all the motivations and a character arc (plus the actor was *superb* as you said, as well as being a perfect match for the “original” Morgan from the first film).