Monday, November 26, 2007

Enchanted, or How Disney is Back

Five Reasons I fell in Love with Enchanted:

5. The Traditional Animation Opening
Because there is nothing more exciting than seeing Disney doing what Disney does best: traditional animation starring a feisty, fun and fearless female protagonist.

4. Alan Menken & Stephen Schwartz's Songs and Lyrics
You can't just have great female heroines (Ariel, Snow White, Belle) you have to pair them with great songs. That's how Disney became what it is today and Enchanted surely delivers great tunes that take their rightful place in the pantheon of good Disney music. I am still humming 'So Close' (and wanting to dance to it with a handsome young prince) and will probably make 'That's How You Know' an iTunes favourite.

3. The Disney-related cameos and references
Wikipedia alone lists close to 50 Disney intertextual moments. My favourites:
- The song True Love's Kiss is a tribute to the songs I'm Wishing, A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes, and Once Upon a Dream. The construction of Giselle's dream prince with the help of the woodland animals is also a tribute to a similar scene in Sleeping Beauty.
- The song "So Close" is a tribute to the song Beauty and the Beast, from both the moment in the film the song is played, as well as that the song is sung from the perspective of an observer. The camera angles during the song are also a tribute to the same scene.

- The canoe scene is reminiscent of the Kiss the Girl in Little Mermaid.

2. James Marsden as Prince Edward
I love James in all and every of his endeavours (though I am not a big fan of his turn in 24th Day, or of his stale character in Superman Returns). That said, here he is deliciously vain as Prince Edward and even showcases his singing talents, which fans will of course remember not only from the film version of Hairspray but from his stint in Ally McBeal's last season.

1. Amy Adams as Giselle
I have never been a big fan of the man-crazy Disney princesses. Snow, Aurora and Cinderella are probably the least appealing of the Disney girls (I tend to like the feisty Belle, the tiny Lilo and even the rebellious Ariel). That said Amy Adams makes Giselle lovable and makes her ingenuity adorable rather than annoying. Plus, I think other than Mulan she is one of the the few Disney princesses to wield a sword so skillfully.

That said, there were three things that nagged me about the movie, but the whimsical world Kevin Lima created made me forget about them:

3. Patrick Dempsey
McSteamy over Cyclops? Really...?

2. Disney's heterosexism
What can be said that hasn't been said already? We live with it and hope that one day we'll be able to see a young, handsome, singing boy finding his Prince in the same Disney fashion we've seen a mermaid find her prince, a beast find his true love and an ape-man find his mate.

1. The fact that I'll never hear the Idina Menzel-James Marsden titular song 'Enchanted'!
How did we miss out on a Corny Collins-Elphaba duet? Do I need to wait for a great Broadway producer to find Idina and James singing together anytime soon?


POP COLONY said...

Idina should have said NOOOOOOOOOO to BEOWULF and Yessssss to James Marsden!

Vance said...

Yeah, other than Patrick's hair playing a bigger role than he did, I adored Enchanted.

I have a whole new respect for James Marsden after this year. Between Hairspray and Enchanted now, I don't just see him as some delicious piece of manmeat, but a truly incredible singer/comedian/manmeat actor. Who knew the pretty boy had chops in him?

Amy Adams ROCKS!

Anonymous said...

The day disney goes gay is the day I give up on the world of purity and innocence and kill myself. Other than that I really enjoyed reading your lists.

mB said...

Wow. I guess I'll take the compliment but do away with the blatant homophobia in it... No wait. Keep your compliments to yourself if you're going to embed them with hateful speech that of course you don't acknowledge as such.

It's my blog and I'll rant if I want to, rant if I want to.

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