Disney’s Would-Be Princess: Giselle from Enchanted

imageEnchanted is an interesting film. It was released in 2007, nine years after the last Princess film, Mulan, and marketed as a Princess film… that is, until Disney realised their cartoon Giselle was based on live-action Amy Adam’s looks, and they’d have to pay her to use her likeness as a part of their merchandise. Giselle is built on the wide-eyed innocence of the early Disney Princesses, Cinderella, Sleepy Beauty and especially Snow White. The film is at the same time a homage to classic Disney while parodying it. While it’s not a favourite film, because of its parody I do find it hilariously entertaining. It’s only fit to include Giselle in my Disney dissections because she was very close to being an official Princess.

Into The Woods

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Did I mention Andalasia is a cartoon land?

The film begins with a wide-eyed and completely one-hundred per cent innocent Giselle talking and singing to her talking animals friends about what her True Love would be like, and the Kiss they will inevitably share. Unlike most Disney Princesses, both of Giselle’s parents are absent. She believes that “lips are the only things that touch.” I hate to bust her bubble, she’s just so happy being oblivious. Soon after, her *gasp* ShinyTrueLove Prince Edward (could that have CHOSEN a more tween-romance-loaded name?) rescues her from a troll and they pledge to be married the next day, riding off into the sunset singing duets and acting all lovey-dovey. But the next morning, Edward’s evil step mother Queen Narcissa, convinced that if Edward married then she shall lose the crown (I don’t know how that works, the same way the Jasmine marrying Aladdin turns him into the Sultan, I guess! I mean, if she married the king, Edward’s father, after his birth mother had died, then the crown would have passed on to him when his father died. I don’t pretend to understand: it’s Disney, after all!) tricks Giselle into a magic portal that throws her from Andalasia into New York City.

Disney has conditioned us to believe that this is an entirely normal sort of dress for someone to wear…

… when in reality it looks completely over the top.

Into the City

Completely overwhelmed by the city, Giselle wanders around, getting rained on and pushed around by typical impolite New Yorkers. She’s so beguilingly innocent she tries to make friend with a homeless bum who steals her tiara. Then when Lawyer McDreamy rescues her, and sarcastically welcomes her to New York, she looks at him with wide eyes and genuinely thanks him. McDreamy’s daughter is convinced Giselle really is a princess because she’s wearing a ridiculously enormous dress. At the behest of his daughter. McDreamy takes in Giselle who, in true Disney Princess style, gets everything she wants.

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Including a dress made out of curtains. That's right: curtains.

Without realising it, Giselle and McDreamy end up on a date while she tries to explain to him what true love is all about – which cracks me up because he’s a single dad divorce lawyer and she’s never even been in love. Poor silly little girl. but it’s still sweet, in an annoying kind of way. She has full faith that Edward will find her, and when he does, she’s learned enough about the world to want to date him instead of going home to Andalasia right away and getting married. But while some of McDreamy’s cynicism and real-worldness has rubbed off on her, she’s given him some of her idealism and optimism.

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Maybe it's the fact that she's so utterly trusting and naive. Some blokes go for that.

Into the Ball

The King and Queen’s Ball is part of Giselle’s deal-making date. She and Edward attend, although Edward and McDreamy’s long-term girlfriend Nancy can clearly see something is going on between the two. It is at this point that Giselle realises she’s not in love with her ShinyTrueLove Prince, but before she can tell McDreamy, Queen Narcissa poisons her a la Snow White – seriously, we’re constantly told not to take sweets from strangers! When will these dumb bitches sweet, innocent Princesses learn? Giselle is awakened from her poisoned stupor by McDreamy, and in a rage Narcissa turns into a dragon and takes him hostage. Now, this is where the film got cool – for all of about ten seconds. Giselle races after Narcissa with a sword, climbing a tower in the rain to get McDreamy back. But it’s not Giselle who actually saves him – nope, it’s her annoying useless non-talking ball of fluff rat chipmunk pal that destroys Narcissa. Let down or what?

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Well, she's at least holding the sword.

However, I would like to point out that the first time Giselle met McDreamy it was raining and she was helpless. And now it’s raining and she’s pretty much coming to rescue him. Balls or not? Symbolism win.

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OK so she saves the dude in distress but isn't the one to defeat the monster. I guess Disney could only go so far in their feminism for a white girl.

Now that everyone’s safe, they do the old Midsummer Night’s Dream bride swap and Giselle stays in the real world with McDreamy while Nancy runs off to Andalasia with Edward. Which totally makes sense, right? because as Beyoncé said, “If you like it then you should have put a ring on it.” Nancy was in a relationship with McDreamy for five years with no ring. Why shouldn’t she run off with some singing freak Prince she literally just met?

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I''m just pissed she cut her hair.

Makes sense, for sure. Oh yeah, and Nancy steal Giselle’s shoe. The end.

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The obligatory Disney kiss picture. Enjoy the rain!

BONUS TIME!

Let’s play spot the Disney heroine!

  • Jodi Benson appears as McDreamy’s secretary. Jodi provided the voice for Ariel in The Little Mermaid (and also the voice of Barbie in Toy Story 2 & 3).
  • Paige O’Hara appears as a character on a soap opera. Paige provided the voice of Belle in Beauty and the Beast.
  • Judy Khun appears as a pregnant woman with a lot of kids. Judy provided the singing voice of Pocahontas.
  • Julie Andrews is the narrator. Julie played Mary Poppins and appeared as Queen Clarisse in The Princess Diaries.
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17 thoughts on “Disney’s Would-Be Princess: Giselle from Enchanted

  1. Charlotte says:

    I really didn’t know what to make of this film when I first saw it. I watched the first half with a sort of open-mouthed disbelief.

    But then I was charmed in the end. I can’t resist a good parody. Giselle’s quite annoying in all her early trilling sweetness, but she gets there in the end after the real world has toned her down a bit.

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  2. Archer says:

    Initially I wasn’t looking forward to this flick, but then after about 15 minutes I twigged that Disney were doing what they hadn’t done in a princess film before, they were being self deprecating. Yes Giselle is an annoying little twit at the beginning of the film BUT she really is no different than any of the older, more classic, of their princesses. I love the fact that they decided to use NYC to make her tone down, I don’t think it’d work in any other city. The musical numbers had me in stitches, they were the ultimate flashmobs in central park. I can honestly say I wouldn’t choose to watch it again but I wouldn’t mind if someone else wanted to watch it.

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  3. Emilia Quill says:

    You’d need a carriage for that dress. Also you couldn’t slow dance, because you partner couldn’t get close enough.

    I found her annoying as well, but she got better. Loved the ending, dude in distress 😄 wish we could see more of that.

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  4. Emilia Quill says:

    She did =) sorry brain to keyboard connection is not working properly (slight fever). I loved the way she and McDreamy changed each other during the course of the movie and I love strong women, since I’m not that strong. Unless forced to.

    Thanks Archer I will 🙂

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    • Archer says:

      No worries lol. Dudes in distress seems to be a popular running thing in media atm. There are a lot of Beta males in leads that have strong women to save them lol

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  5. Penelope says:

    Hahaha, I LOVED Enchanted (despite all the cheesy-ness, and the horribly cliche events). I think most of it had to do with the fact that it was a little bit of a parody of Disney’s princess movies.

    I didn’t realize there were so many other actresses in the movie who had played in the other Disney princess movies, though. Cool info!

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    • Lissa says:

      I think the parody is why I love it so much, too. Giselle could get away with being the wide-eyed innocent naive little girl because it spoofed the other films, and in the end she grew up, anyway.

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