Disney+ has become the perfect platform to revive classics, but does the magic endure for Giselle and Robert? Critical.
After Hocus Pocusit’s the turn of Once upon a time to make his big return in a long-awaited sequel. The 2007 classic cleverly parodied fairy tales and their clichéd magic in a musical and romantic comedy between cartoon and reality.
Giselle, a princess from the kingdom of Andalasia finds herself transported from a fantasy world to New York, where the reality is far from being so magical. This funny adventure of a new kind for Disney studios then offered a new perspective on the enchanting works that rocked our childhood. Much appreciated by fans of the big-eared firm, this original feature film, to say the least, never received a sequel… Until Disney+ entered the scene and acted as a springboard for the studio’s various licenses.
The success of certain sequels and reboots such as the series High School Musical convinced Disney that nostalgia definitely had a place on the platform. Relentlessly drawing from his bestselling works from the 2000s to 2010 to satisfy millennials and other Gen Z among his subscribers, it did not take long before a sequel to Once upon a time finally be announced.
Here we are 15 years after the original film. A few weeks away from Christmas, once upon a time 2 arrives just in time for a family session. Giselle (Amy Adams) and Robert (Patrick Dempsey) lived happily ever after… But that kind of ending is hard to apply in the real world. Life without magic has caught up with the couple and this sequel offers to discover the new enchanted adventures that await the little family. Faerie operates again, but like all things, this one is capable of fading.
Nostalgia rhymes with magic
From the first moments ofonce upon a time 2the viewer finds himself transported to the atmosphere of the 2007 footage. The parallel between cartoon and reality is so important that it is taken from the introductory sequence with the Disney castle. Pip, the little squirrel and friend of Giselle in the first film tells the beginnings of this new adventure in a format that is reminiscent of the intro sequences of old-fashioned Disney films. Book with gilding and solemn tone: everything is there to be immersed in the classic charm of the firm’s productions. References to the studio’s cult feature films follow one another in the sets and costumes as well as in the songs, but the fan service still manages to be discreet. The aspect of fairy tales and unfailing joy is however pushed to the extreme, at the risk of putting off more than one.
Nevertheless, lovers of princess stories and rose water movies will find their (fairy) account there and it is not difficult to understand that this film was made for them and them only. The structure of the film is not original and is too easily impregnated with the usual format of the classics of the genre. Like a thesis/antithesis/synthesis, once upon a time 2 offers a narrative based on joy, adventures, misfortune and magic and does nothing to move away from this almost academic format for Disney studios. The entertainment offered is simple and effective, and easily manages to satisfy the youngest and their families. However, the most critical will find it difficult to ignore the laziness of the feature film, in all its aspects: the magic is quickly tarnished.
A refrain that rings false
The quirky story of Giselle, Robert and little Morgan shines with its ability to deliver a fairy tale tale aware of the clichés and standards of the genre. The discrepancy between the main character and the coldness of New York City madeOnce upon a time an effective parody doubled with a musical and romantic comedy at the height of the heritage of Disney. Unfortunately, this suite comes to play the same notes, without changing by an octave a score that is starting to sound out of tune.
In once upon a time 2, it is the character of Morgan who comes to play the coldness. Now a teenager, it is sometimes hard for her to live her daily life alongside a princess-like mother who sings songs all day long. It is without counting on a move to a new city which once again complicates the lives of the characters. The film then comes to tick all the boxes of the basic adolescent drama: new high school, heavy parents and quest for identity.
Giselle then attempts to use Andalasia’s magic to fix her daughter’s problems…and that’s how trouble begins. Even this narration is unoriginal and plays into the clichés of dangerous magic, which always has a price to pay. Without being boring, the feature film fails to surprise. The journey offered to spectators may well be anchored in the codes of magic and magic, but it is often hard to be amazed by the whole that is offered to us. The sets, costumes and choreography looked like a great musical, but the songs are far from memorable: a real flaw when Disney usually plays in the big leagues. What was supposed to be the very heart of the film finally turns out to be more than forgettable and the music does not have enough to end up in our playlists.