Enchanted (2007)

Rated: PG
Length: 107 Minutes
Grade: C+ABC=B
Budget: $85 million
Box Office: $127 million US, $196 million Int’l

Directed by: Kevin Lima, who previously made 102 Dalmations, 1999’s animated Tarzan, and A Goofy Movie
Starring: Amy Adams, Patrick Dempsey, James Marsden, Susan Sarandon, Timothy Spall, Idina Menzel, and the voice of Julie Andrews.

The wicked Queen of the animated realm, Andalasia, wants to prevent her stepson from marrying his newly found true love, so she sends the girl through a portal to the real New York City, where she winds up in the care of a single dad divorce attorney. As the prince tries to rescue her, the queen sends her minions to kill her, and along the way there is singing and many discussions about love.

Entertainment Value: C+
This was a very interesting concept that just didn’t quite manage to become the movie it could have been. The animated portions were poor by Disney standards, and the plot revolved around events that seemed purely improbable, like a guy in New York just letting this seemingly insane woman into his life. I liked the characters, and I wanted the movie to work, but it wound up being merely average.
Superficial Content: A
Drugs/Alcohol A, Sexuality A, Violence B, Language A, Illegality A
I’m torn on whether I’d recommend this be rated G or PG because there were a couple of scary scenes, including especially the final sequence. On the other hand, it’s well within the parameters of the old time Disney movies like Snow White or Sleeping Beauty and certainly the Wizard of Oz. There is one scene involving the princess taking a shower and Robert walks in on her. Plus, the movie deals with divorce, spousal abandonment, and kissing. I’d call it G-5 or G-6.

Significant Content: B
Love is a passion and it’s vital. Even though you can know that you’ve found your true love in a short amount of time, you can also be misled about this fact. If you don’t want to sing about and with the person, then you haven’t found the right one yet. Divorce is bad, and marriages can be saved if people will only refocus on what drew them to their spouses in the first place. Imagination is wonderful, and, if the practical people would only listen a little bit more to the idealistic people, the world would be a better place. Vanity, power, and selfishness make people do awful things.

Artistic/Thought Value: C
As I mentioned before, I found the animated portions disappointing. I enjoyed many of the artistic choices made in showing the hybrid life of a fairy tale princess in a real urban city, especially some of the animal stuff. As for thought value, it’s not clear that this was really meant as a thinker sort of movie.

Discussion Questions:
~Giselle indicates that Nancy is rightly unhappy with Robert for waiting so long to propose, but does his delaying turn out to be a bad thing? I’ve often said that the right length for a romantic relationship before marriage is 18-24 months. Any longer than this, and the problem isn’t that you don’t know, it’s that you do know and you aren’t willing to admit that it’s the wrong one. What do you think of this advice?
~What do you think of love at first encounter? How important is the process of getting to know the person you want to marry through dating?
~Is a solid marriage something that you discover with one perfect person or something that you create with someone who is within a range of compatibility? How important is it that you marry someone you want to sing about? Is that just a romantic notion that fits with some personality types?
~Is it better for romantic types to marry practical people or for each to marry those more like themselves?
~Is happiness contagious? If this is true, would this mean that we have a moral obligation to be as happy as we can be?
~What do you think of the concept of “happily ever after?”

Overall Grade: B-
In a word, goofy, which winds up being appropriate, given that this director made A Goofy Movie. It’s my guess that children will love it much more than adults.

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