Enchanted (2007)

(On DVD, June 2008) I missed this in theaters, and shame on me: There is some really clever stuff in this modern retelling of the usual Disney fare. It starts in classic Disney-fairlytale flat 2-D animation, where a princess is exiled to real-world New York. Then things get more interesting as the fairytale idealism of the princess (a perfect, and I do meant perfect, Amy Adams) clashes with the grim (but not-too-grim) practicalities of the big city. The tension here is made even more interesting by the idea that this is a Disney film commenting upon an entire in-house tradition. Nobody will be surprised to find out that idealism ultimately wins over even the lead skeptic (a rather good Patrick Dempsey) by way of sheer cuteness, dragon-fighting and a number of snappy musical numbers (two of which, “Happy Working Song” and “That’s How You Know”, stick in mind well after the end credits). As a family film it sometimes loses itself in cute-animals shenanigans, obvious plot-points, overacting and some idiot-plotting. But there are enough clever sequences, smarts details and genre-aware commentary to make it seem interesting even to those who fall outside the “family” audience. Better yet: if wouldn’t have been as good had it come from another studio than Disney.

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