Enchanted (2007, DVD)

I consider myself a rational person.  As an armchair critic, you have to, right?  Analytical, critical, not easily moved… But when it comes to humor, I just can’t resist.  I have to admit, I tried to control myself from laughing out loud many times, and not embarrass myself among all the preschool kids and their parents in that matinee show, even though it was dark there in the theatre.

Note to myself:  get the DVD when it’s out.  And so I did.

Why am I enchanted?  First of all the movie.  It’s loaded with smart dialogues, humorous parodies, seamless fusion of animation and real characters, and an old-fashioned and yet still wise message for today.  And the cast,  sure looks like they are having the time of their life making the movie. And the Oscar nominated songs by Menken and Schwartz, with the huge conglomeration of dancers, a delightful revival of the old musicals of the heydays.

Enchanted is a classic fairy tale: An evil queen, afraid of being dethroned, tries in all her power to prevent her stepson from marrying his true love by banishing her to the real world of modern day New York City, where there are no “happily ever afters”, a punishment indeed.  While there, the fairytale maiden meets her real life prince…and so on and so forth…But, what’s not typical is that it’s being handled intelligently, thanks to an excellent script, and the talented technical support it receives.

Amy Adams, Patrick Dempsey,  James Marsden, and Timothy Spall all deliver lively and very gratifying performances. Also, Susan Sarandon as the wicked Queen Narissa…I say, she’s in character.  And the then 8-year-old Rachel Covey, the cutest child star I’ve seen in movies these years. This is only her second movie, but she’s a natural, that is, she doesn’t need to act. She can just stand there and be adored.

The DVD is packed full of fun and information. We have a Carrie Underwood music video “Ever Ever After”, an additional animated story, bloopers, and director Kevin Lima commenting on the deleted scenes. I’m most fascinated by the behind the scene look at how the songs and the musical scenes are produced.  It’s fascinating to watch how choreographers have to coordinate hundreds of performers involving gymnastic troops, stilt walkers, eclectic groups of dancers and multicultural musicians in the “That’s How You Know” scene in Central Park.  I’m most impressed to find a few of them are veteran dancers who had appeared in the classic movie West Side Story (1961) and one was a chimney sweeper in Mary Poppins (1964)!  I’m thinking…Can I even get out of my bed when I’m at their age?

Great family entertainment for the Easter break coming up.  In a world of dysfunctional relationships, no wonder I am enchanted by a movie painting couples reconciled, yes right in the divorce lawyer office, and lovers united after swashbuckling adventures in the hustle and bustle of New York City. 

Just don’t remind me it’s only a fairy tale.

~ ~ ~ Ripples

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If she’s not birding by the Pond, Arti’s likely watching a movie, reading, or writing a review. Creator of Ripple Effects, bylines in Asian American Press, Vague Visages, Curator Magazine.

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