Making the Grades
Aside from Mickey Mouse, Disney Studios may be best known for their assortment of fairytale princesses. Beginning with Snow White , these lovely ladies sing away their woes (often with the help of their animal friends) while waiting for their Prince to arrive and whisk them off to happily ever after.
From all appearances, Giselle (Amy Adams) is no different. Living in a cartoon forest, she and her woodland friends croon through an upbeat tune in anticipation of the regal arrival of the man of her dreams. In the meantime, Queen Narissa (Susan Sarandon) has her stepson, Prince Edward (James Marsden), tied up with troll hunting in an attempt to keep him from finding his true love. Yet as fate would have it, the two meet and plan to marry the following day. Stepping in to stop the ceremony, the Queen banishes Giselle to a strange and foreign land known as modern day New York City.
Popping up in a manhole, the now real life Giselle is terrified by her new surroundings and wanders the streets in search of the castle. Luckily along the way, she meets Robert (Patrick Dempsey), a disillusioned divorce lawyer who is about to propose to his girlfriend, Nancy (Idina Menzel). Going against his better judgment, Robert and his six-year-old daughter, Morgan (Rachel Covey), bring the disheveled and disoriented "princess" home for the night. By morning, Giselle has sewn a new dress and cleaned up the place with the help of some sewer rats and other assorted city wildlife.
While her naivety worries Robert, her optimism slowly begins to rub off on him. Unsure whether she is for real or just delusional, the cynical lawyer soon finds himself tutoring Giselle about love and life in the modern world.
This charming collision of the animated Andalasia with real-life Manhattan takes an age-old genre and tweaks it for contemporary audiences. Viewers get plenty to laugh about as the innocent Giselle navigates the unfamiliar streets of the Big Apple and learns to take a more sensible approach to falling in love. While the film has few language concerns and brief moments of sexual innuendo, this princess is busting out all over in her self-made clothing. The script also contains some perilous moments for the characters, including a hideous monster that swoops down on the city.
Fortunately Giselle's unexpected experience doesn't dampen her cheerful attitude, which inspires others to have a more positive outlook on life. And while audiences can laugh at the romantic notions promoted in classic Disney tales, most of us will still enjoy this happily ever after ending.
Discussion Ideas After The Movie
Teaching ideas and topics to discuss about Enchanted.
What do Giselle and Robert each teach the other about love? How do they moderate the other’s view of romance?
How does Giselle’s cheery attitude affect those around her? What impact does it have on the couple involved in divorce proceedings? What influence can a person’s outlook on life, either optimistic or pessimistic, have on others?
Are “happily ever afters” achievable in real life? What sacrifices would be needed to make relationships succeed?