Movie Review: Disenchanted


Another Disney sequel has just recently made it to Disney+, the long-awaited continuation of Enchanted.  With the popularity of the original film, the standards were set high.

Disenchanted takes place ten years after Enchanted, with Giselle married to Robert and a newborn baby named Sofia.  Since the story had left on, the new family moved to Monroeville (soon becoming Monroelasia); as Giselle didn’t like how New York differed from her original home, Andalasia. It is heavily implied at this point that Giselle misses her old fairytale life, and she has still not come to terms that her life now is not out of a fantasy book, even after 10 years.

After their arrival, everything starts going wrong in their new fixer upper house. Morgan, Robert’s daughter from the original Enchanted, didn’t want to move in the first place, and in response begins blaming everything that goes wrong on Giselle. 

Throughout the beginning of the movie, Morgan is seen to refer to Giselle as ‘mom’, even though Giselle is her stepmother; but after Giselle embarrasses Morgan a few times at school, she lashes out and says Giselle is her ‘stepmother’. 

As she had always tried to be the best mom possible to Morgan, this made Giselle very upset.  After their fight, she uses a wishing wand gifted to Sofia by Edward and Nancy and wishes for a fairytale life, something she couldn’t find here.  But as every Disney movie does, something goes wrong.  In this case, the magic inside the wishing wand was the culprit. 

From that point on, Disenchanted felt like a real fairytale and reminded me of how the original princess movies made me feel as a kid, with the common stereotypes carefully wound inside the plot. Stereotypes used throughout Disney movies are a recurring thing. In this movie, Disney took them into careful consideration, and beautifully executed them.  

As the story progresses, now a ‘fairytale life’, Morgan transformed into the main character, similar to a Disney princess. In her song ‘Perfect’, she sits down on a trailer as water splashes up behind her exactly like ‘The Little Mermaid’ princess Ariel. On the contrary, Giselle is shown turning into an evil stepmother, noticing the change herself after looking in the mirror with a lower dress and taller hair.

While the plot for this film was incredible, it was just as confusing.  The whole concept of the wishing wand magic malfunctioning, and other confusing scenes left me questioning tiny things about the plot that made me question if this movie made sense or not. 

For example, Pip tells the story of how Giselle comes to see how New York isn’t like Andalasia at the beginning of the film, but after ten years, it’s a bit confusing as to why she hasn’t adjusted to the real world. Considering the sequel has come out 15 years later, it’s understandable that they had to make the sequel have a significant time skip, but after ten years of living in the busy burgh of New York City, you would think that Giselle would get used to how hard life is in the real world compared to where she grew up. Having a baby is also not the easiest thing in the world, so you would think Giselle would start to understand that the real world isn’t what she thought it would be.

In terms of personality and overall enjoyment and accuracy of the film, not much has changed. Giselle is still Giselle. Personally, I absolutely adore when characters’ personalities don’t change drastically in their continuations; but for this movie in particular, I’m not sure that’s the case.

 In Enchanted Giselle appears to be around 30 years old, with an innocent and naive personality. With that in mind, Giselle would be about 40 in Disenchanted, but she has not matured or changed at all, making her character to be a bit annoying.  While the movie itself is realistic on life after ‘happily ever after’s’, her personality itself is the most unrealistic thing about the film, even the fact that there is magic.  

A detail I truly adored about this movie is that instead of making the plot about Giselle falling out with Robert, like a lot of sequels are, they made it about Giselle and Morgan’s relationship as mother and daughter. A lot of times, in sequels, the main relationship from the first movie has a falling out then comes back together in the end, such as Mulan 2, but for this film, they made Robert the loving father and supportive husband, just as he was in the first film. 

He became a ‘hero’, even gaining a sword from Prince Edward. Due to Giselle’s strong love towards Robert, throughout the movie she talks about how worried she is about Robert getting in trouble with a monster of some sort; this was definitely a good choice on the writer’s end, it was sweet to see that they’re still as in love as they were 10 years before. 

Honorable mentions being that the songs felt like they came from a Broadway musical. None of the songs felt unnecessary unless they were supposed to feel that way. The choreography also reminded me of a musical, especially how the background dancers look like they’re carrying on with their lives while also being a part of the number. I was disappointed that one of the main songs was unbearable though. The song by the legendary Broadway and Disney singer/actor, Idina Menzel named “Love Powers” was one of the worst songs on the whole soundtrack. Idina Menzel has such a beautiful voice, shown in Wicked and Disney’s Frozen, and yet the lyrics and production of the song made her voice sound cheesy, unauthentic and underwhelming. It sounded like a rip-off of a Wicked song, making it sound like they scraped what they could from Wicked to try to make it sound good. 

Like many other reviews in the past, although I point out the bad, that doesn’t mean the movie was unwatchable. I adored seeing Giselle and her family throughout this continuation of the princess on the billboard. If you look past the small details that are slightly annoying about this film, Disenchanted is worth a watch, especially if you want to relax and watch a true Disney musical.