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