As for Disenchantment – And they lived unhappy and discontented aka As if by magic 2 finally debuted on Disney Plus under the leadership of director Adam Shankman, in his third collaboration with Disney since Nanny mission with Vin Diesel and Enchanted tales with Adam Sandler.
As for Disenchantment – The review
Disney once again, as for the enjoyable Hocus Pocus 2, bets on the nostalgia effect, but in both cases the attempt to relaunch two classics by focusing on a potential future franchise doesn’t always work at full capacity. “Come per Disenchantment” features a strengthened musical sector and a cast literally dragged by an irresistible and histrionic Amy Adams, who in this sequel is magically affected by a sort of double personality, a bit princess and a bit stepmother, which actress alternates with playful theatricality.
The original As if by magic is a jewel dated 2007 which had the particularity of being a successful parody of all the elements that have distinguished Disney animated productions from the very beginning: the musical format, talking animals, the mixed technique and in the case of “Enchanted” the whole made into a delightful live-action family comedy. The plot followed a fairytale princess named Giselle (Amy Adams) who, having lost her prince at the hands of an evil witch (Susan Sarandon), finds herself catapulted from the fairytale and animated Andalasia, in a sprawling live-action New York where she meets a charming widower and his daughter (Patrick Dempsey and Rachel Covey) who will take her in, unaware of the troubles that adorable and somewhat vanished girl will bring with her.
“Enchanted” was a success for its mix of well-dosed elements and a fun and amused cast, above all an adorable “singing” Amy Adams and an amazing Susan Sarandon in “Maleficent” stood out. “Come per Disenchantment” has its weakest point in the incipit of the story, even if the preamble is intriguing: a fairytale princess discovers that the assumption on which her entire existence was built, the iconic and everlasting “And they lived happily ever after”, has in that “always” what we could define as a deceptive practice, something that in everyday reality and in life outside Andalasia is something rather complicated if not impossible to achieve. While watching the film we will discover that enjoying small moments of true joy and sharing could prove to be something much more satisfying than stubbornly chasing after an unattainable idealized happiness, which could turn out to be the poisoned fruit of fairy tales that fate offers us grinning in disguise.
The incipit of “Come per Disenchantment” takes us to the charming town Monroeville, where Giselle and her family move in search of a new beginning and where they meet Malvina Monroe, a sort of icy and opinionated “queen bee ” played by the talented Maya Rudolph. The unhappiness and stress that Giselle hoped to leave behind by fleeing the city has followed her and it is no longer enough to sing a song and dance with the animals of the forest to make the day brighter, especially when you have just become mum and have a loving teenage daughter (Gabriella Baldacchino) and husband, but clearly frustrated that you helped uproot them from where they have always lived. The introduction as well as the final part of therefore become a sort of fleeting and unappetizing parenthesis that opens and closes on what is the heart of the story and which takes place in the middle. The narrative takes off when the magic peeps out and transforms Monroeville into Andalasia, or rather into some similar hybrid with some typically human “bugs”, including an evil version of Giselle, which we will call “Evil Giselle” in homage to “Evil Ash ”, which begins to emerge in the personality of the former fairy tale princess, traits of a wicked stepmother that Amy Adams uses to create hilarious nuances to her character that reach their apotheosis in the musical duet “Badder”, which sees opposites “Evil Giselle” to Maya Rudolph’s Malvina, in one of the film’s most successful moments.
As for the entirely animated part, in “Come per Disenchantment” it is not as memorable and incisive as in the first film, ditto for the musical part, in fact the backbone of this sequel compared to the counterpart in the original, in short, a sequel without a doubt more “musical”. But even if the musical part is predominant, the sequel lacks instead of songs that, like in the original, really leave their mark, we refer to songs like the brilliant “That’s How You Know / Dille che l’ami” or the romantic and fairytale ” So Close / So close” by Jon McLaughlin (interpreted in the Italian version by Luca Velletri). On the other hand, the edifying “Power Love” (both in the “Andalasia” version and in the end credits) has a significant impact, a wide-ranging song that showcases the vocal skills of Idina Menzel, a talented and award-winning Broadway diva as well as of Elsa in the movies by frozen.
Trivia about the movie
- Director Adam Shankman also directed as well Return of the Cheaper Dozen, Hairspray – Fat is beautiful, Rock of Ages And What Men Want – What men want.
- “As per Disenchantment” is set in upstate New York, but was filmed in Ireland. Filming locations include RDS in Dublin, Enniskerry, Dundalk and Dublin city centre.
- Patrick Dempsey in the film made his debut as a singer. He had already done a small singing part in the original film where he sang a snippet of “So Close / Cosi Vicini” (Jon McLaughlin / Luca Velletri) during the ballroom scene
- Rachel Covey, the original actress who played Morgan Philip and replaced in the sequel by Gabriella Baldacchino due to a question of age (the two actually spend only three years), plays a cameo in the role of a girl from Monrolasia (hybrid of Monroeville and Andalasia) during the town square scene. She can be seen talking to Giselle (Amy Adams) in the first scene of the Monrolasia city market.
- When Morgan is singing in the market, she climbs a stack of crates of apples with water splashing behind her. This is a clear tribute to Ariel in the Disney classic The little Mermaid in particular of the song “Part of Your World Reprise”.
- Some of the homages to the classics of the film: three women dressed in pink, blue and green as the fairy godmothers of Sleeping Beauty. The broom that dances and sweeps with Morgan is the same as the magic broom from Fantasy. The dresses in the clothing store include: Belle and Snow White. Princess-related props in the dress shop include: Rose (Beauty and the Beast), Apple (Snow White), Pumpkin (Cinderella). The candle shop in town is called “Lumiere’s Candleworks” (The name of the candlestick from Beauty and the Beast.). Included in the Queen’s lockers: Spinning Wheel (Sleeping Beauty), Rose in a Glass (Beauty and the Beast), Poisoned Apple (Snow White), Potions/Drinks (Alice in Wonderland). The queen’s henchmen are dressed like Anastasia and Drizella (Cinderella’s stepsisters).
- The cat “Squirrel” when he infiltrates to steal the wishing wand. he jumps off a door and lands in a Black Widow pose known as “Black Widow Super Hero Landing”.
- In addition to singing and playing Giselle, Amy Adams is also executive producing the film alongside Barry Sommerfield.
- Although Amy Adams has auburn hair, the actress still opted for a wig during filming.
- Both Jayma Mays and Idina Menzel have starred in the tv series Glee.
- The film’s first test screenings did not go well, resulting in a series of re-shoots.
- Anne Fletcher was set to direct this film, but passed the torch to Adam Shankman to make “Hocus Pocus 2”.
- When Giselle is looking for Morgan in the market, the voice of a vendor is heard exclaiming: “Sugar, dates and pistachios!”. This is a nod to a scene from Aladdin (1992) when Jasmine visits the market building.
- During the final scene, the colors of the costumes are references to the characters from Cinderella (1950). Morgan’s costume is a reference to Cinderella, Giselle’s costume is a reference to her stepmother Lady Tremaine and Tyson’s costume is a reference to Prince Charming. Rosaleen and Ruby’s costumes are references to Drizella and Anastasia, respectively.
- During the “Perfect” song sequence, Morgan does the move similar to the one Ariel does in “The Little Mermaid” as she sings “Part of Your World.”
- During the opening sequence, young Edward and his parents, the late king and queen of Andalasia, can be seen.