Disenchanted Parent Guide
If you can make it through the bland and boring beginning, this sequel picks up speed and regains the rollicking screwball vibe of the first movie.
Parent Movie Review
With an active baby, a sarcastic teenage daughter, and an apartment bursting at the seams, Giselle (Amy Adams) is starting to wonder why “happily ever after” takes so much work. Determined to regain the bliss of her early days in New York City while also seeking the enchantment of her animated Andalasian home, Giselle decides that her family needs a fresh start in greener pastures. Robert (Patrick Dempsey) agrees and the family packs up and moves to Monroeville, a leafy suburb with a “ye olde towne” vibe.
Despite Giselle’s fond hopes, the move doesn’t immediately deliver a boost of happiness. Their pink villa is only partially renovated and barely functional, the local moms are weirdly intimidating, and daughter Morgan (Gabriella Baldacchino) is bitterly dissatisfied with the move. Desperate to make everything right, Giselle reaches for a fairytale solution. As she makes a heartfelt wish, she draws on powerful magic that not only enchants Monroeville, but also has disastrous effects on Andalasia and transforms her own life. With magic spiraling towards disaster, it’s going to be up to Morgan to save the day.
The original Enchanted movie debuted in 2007 and was a hit. With its engaging musical numbers, memorable characters, and successful crossover from the animated world of Andalasia and the gritty reality of New York City, it appealed to a wide range of family audiences. Disenchanted is less sure-handed.
The most serious problem with this production is its pacing. The first third of the story is frankly boring. The script tries to develop the characters, explain why they are living in the suburbs, and build up a sense of angst, but it simply lacks interest. We’ve all heard the stories of adolescent insecurity and suburban ennui before so none of it feels fresh. The movie also feels bloated by interminable song and dance numbers, many of which feel labored and lack the charm of the original film’s soundtrack. Only when Giselle makes her wish does the fun kick in. The final act of the movie is a rollicking good time with fairytale tropes galore, action that bounces between Monroeville and Andalasia, and a script that recaptures the good-hearted screwball vibe of the first film.
If you can stick out the boring beginning of the movie, it also delivers solid messages about courage, love, memories, and family devotion. I must also point out that as a bonus, none of the main characters have been starved or corseted into size 0 dresses. Parents of daughters will appreciate that this film doesn’t foist unrealistic body images on the youngsters who watch it.
The downside is some negative content: two minor profanities and many, many moments of peril, some of which will frighten young children. There’s nothing as scary as the first movie’s murderous dragon, but there are repeated scenes of fiery destruction and vicious vines that erupt from the ground to wreak destruction. That said, kids who love the first film will also enjoy the sequel. Parents may be less enchanted, but at least they will find some entertainment here – and just might find themselves identifying with Giselle as she tries to find her “happily ever after” in a workaday world.Directed by Adam Shankman. Starring Amy Adams, James Marsden, Patrick Dempsey. Running time: 118 minutes. Theatrical release November 18, 2022. Updated November 18, 2022
Watch the trailer for Disenchanted
Rating & Content Info
Why is Disenchanted rated PG? Disenchanted is rated PG by the MPAA for mild peril and language.
Violence: A small electrical fire burns a girl’s clothes. A woman is verbally bullied by other adult women on several occasions. Women threaten each other (with death on one occasion) and have a magical duel. A dragon breathes fire and tosses people out of its lair. A giant stomps through a town, frightening people and endangering a child, who is rescued. A woman pushes a girl into a magical well. A woman puts a girl to sleep with a potion. Two women are turned into toads. Characters collapse as magical force is withdrawn from them. Giant vines erupt from the earth, damage buildings, and wrap around people.
Sexual Content: A husband and wife kiss on a few occasions.
Profanity: The script contains a term of deity and a mild profanity.
Alcohol / Drug Use: None noted.
Page last updated November 18, 2022
Disenchanted Parents' Guide
Why does Giselle make the wish she does? Do you think she would have wished differently had she been aware of the consequences? What do you think this story is trying to say about making wishes? Have you ever wished for something only to regret it later? Why?
Giselle is faced with a group of insular and controlling moms. How does she try to gain acceptance to the social group? What eventually works? How does Giselle model kindness here?
Loved this movie? Try these books…
Disenchanted by the palace, Cinderella runs away to pursue a more meaningful life in Just Ella by Margaret Peterson Haddix. Tweens and up.
A princess is shocked to discover that she is really a legendary creature in Kingdom of Ruses by Kate Stradling. Also by Ms. Stradling in Brine and Bone, the story of a mermaid who falls in love with a prince and comes to live in his court – but his heart already belongs to another. Tweens and up.
A gifted pianist finds herself inside a real life version of The Nutcracker ballet, complete with giant rats and a talking nutcracker in The Enchanted Sonata by Heather Dixon Wallwork. Tweens and up.
On a more serious note, kids who can’t get enough of princess stories can learn about the work that real princesses do in our world. Written by Carrie A Pearson and illustrated by Dung Ho, Real Princesses Change the World follows the daily activities of 11 real princesses who work as diplomats, engineers, activists, athletes, philanthropists and advocates.
Related home video titles:
Movies about the perils of magical wishes are easy to find. The classic is Aladdin, in both Disney’s animated and live action versions. Wish Dragonfeatures a story of wishing in an Asian setting. A young woman will do anything to get enough good fortune for a little girl to get her greatest wish in Luck.A wish-granting sand creature introduces four children to the perils of getting whatever you want in Four Kids and It.