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Kevin Lima
Julie Andrews, Amy Adams, James Marsden, Idina Menzel, Susan Sarandon, Patrick Dempsey
Writing Credits:
Bill Kelly

The real world and the animated world collide.

A fairy tale comes to life in this thoroughly original, new Disney Classic. Drawing inspiration from its classic heritage, Disney creates an inspired story unlike any you've experienced before. Filled with excitement, fun, and incredible music from the legendary Alan Menken, Enchanted is the ultimate fish-out-of-water adventure. For princess-to-be Giselle, life is a fairy tale - until she's banished from the animated land of Andalasia and thrust into the very unmagical, live-action world of modern-day Manhattan. When a cynical, no-nonsense divorce lawyer comes to her aid, little does he realize that this joyful, wide-eyed innocent is about to enchant him. Enchanted - the musical comedy that will have your entire family under its spell.

Box Office:
Opening Weekend
$34.440 million on 3730 screens.
Domestic Gross
$126.964 million.

Rated PG

Widescreen 2.35:1/16x9
English Dolby Digital 5.1
English DTS 5.1
Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1
French Dolby Digital 5.1
Supplements Subtitles:

Runtime: 107 min.
Price: $29.99
Release Date: 3/18/2008

• “Fantasy Comes to Life” Featurettes
• Deleted Scenes
• Bloopers
• “Pip’s Predicament: A Pop-up Adventure”
• Easter Eggs
• Sneak Peeks


Panasonic 50" TH-50PZ77U 1080p Plasma Monitor; Harman/Kardon DPR 2005 7.1 Channel Receiver; Toshiba A-30 HD-DVD/1080p Upconverting DVD Player using HDMI outputs; Michael Green Revolution Cinema 6i Speakers (all five); Kenwood 1050SW 150-watt Subwoofer.


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Enchanted (2007)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (March 12, 2008)

No one will mistake 2007’s Enchanted for a mega-hit. It made a decent $127 million which meant it landed in 20th place for the year. However, gross and box office ranking don’t mean everything. While Enchanted didn’t dazzle in terms of money made, it found a better than expected audience, especially among adults, as the unusual Disney effort appealed to a broad crowd.

The film takes us to the fantasy cartoon kingdom of Andalasia, where we meet perky Giselle (Amy Adams). After an introduction to hunky Prince Edward (James Marsden), they immediately fall in love and make plans to marry. However, his wicked stepmother Queen Narissa (Susan Sarandon) wants to prevent this union so she can maintain control of the throne.

How does Narissa deal with this threat? She uses a trick to dispatch Giselle to a place the opposite of happy, sunny Andalasia: Times Square. A stranger in a strange land, Giselle transforms from animated character to flesh and blood human and she struggles to cope with this perplexing and threatening place. She ends up rescued by Robert Philip (Patrick Dempsey), a divorce lawyer with a relentlessly pragmatic streak. Robert thinks Giselle’s a loon, but his daughter Morgan (Rachel Covey) convinces him to assist her. The movie follows their path, Edward’s attempts to save Giselle, and Narissa’s plot to prevent happily-ever-after.

While I enjoyed Enchanted, I think it would’ve played better 10 years ago. The movie suffers from a bit of a “been-there, done-that” factor since we’ve seen plenty of flicks that have satirized the usual cartoon fare. The Shrek films have beaten that particular horse to death, and we’ve gotten other saucy efforts like Hoodwinked have treaded on very similar territory. Sure, it’s semi-new for Disney to poke fun at themselves - their flicks have included a little self-satire in the past, but not on this level – and the live-action aspect offers something different, but I still can’t help but feel that Enchanted would’ve seemed much fresher in the 90s.

Does that mean it doesn’t entertain? No, Enchanted has its moments and manages to carry us through its running time pretty well. Much of the credit goes to the lovely and ebullient Adams. She gets stuck with the task of playing a cartoon character but eventually making her three-dimensional. The other denizens of Andalasia get to remain fairly one-note even after they come to New York, but Giselle needs to do the Pinocchio transformation into a Real Woman. The flick doesn’t work if she remains so naïve from start to finish.

It also collapses if Giselle totally loses her earlier charm and sense of wonder. Adams deftly balances her initial simplicity with her growing realism. She demonstrates Giselle’s changes with aplomb and never makes her growth feel artificial or stilted. Giselle is a very different character by the film’s end, but she makes the transition effortlessly. Adams provides a very strong performance without a hint of irony or condescension.

The rest of the actors also fill their roles well – even the usually irritating Dempsey. He often possesses a dour tone that makes him a real drag. Some of that comes through here, especially since Robert needs to provide a contrast to the sunny Giselle, but Dempsey allows us to see some charm and personality. Robert also grows through the film; it’s not the same leap that Giselle takes, but Dempsey pulls it off reasonably well.

Honestly, on paper I think Enchanted seems like a solid film, and I guess it stands that way on screen as well. So why do I feel… well, less than enchanted? It’s tough to say, but I don’t think there’s quite enough story to fully hold our attention through the flick’s 107 minutes.

That makes Enchanted wear thin after a while, and it never quite lives up to its potential. I think all involved try their best, and the actors help make it entertaining. It’s just not quite as good as one might hope.

The DVD Grades: Picture B/ Audio A-/ Bonus C+

Enchanted appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.35:1 on this single-sided, double-layered DVD; the image has been enhanced for 16X9 televisions. Though much of the transfer seemed very good, it lacked a certain expected sparkle.

Colors were a moderate disappointment. While I couldn’t say they looked flat, I thought a storybook tale like this should boast more vivacious tones. The hues tended to be clear but without consistent liveliness.

Sharpness was usually fine. Some edge enhancement made wide shots a little soft, but the majority of the elements appeared acceptably concise and distinctive. Jagged edges and shimmering were absent, and source flaws also failed to materialize. Blacks were dark and tight, and shadows showed nice delineation.

To my surprise, the brief animated sequences were lackluster. The first 10 minutes or so gave us 1.85:1 cartoon work that was a bit fuzzy and messy. I thought those scenes were less vibrant than the live-action material; they seemed decent but not any better than that. I figured enough of the flick looked good enough to merit a “B” grade, but I felt somewhat unenthusiastic about the visuals.

On the other hand, I thought the audio of Enchanted consistently satisfied. For this DVD, we got both Dolby Digital 5.1 and DTS 5.1 soundtracks. The DTS mix was mastered at a noticeably higher volume level than the DD track, so expect to adjust the settings if you flip between them. Otherwise I felt the pair sounded virtually identical.

Since both excelled, that was fine with me. Audio quality pleased. Speech remained natural and concise, with no edginess or other issues. Music was quite dynamic and vibrant, as both score and songs showed positive range and clarity. Effects were also very good. Those elements always sounded accurate and clean, and some louder bits – like a thunderstorm – boasted solid bass response.

Across the board, the soundfields were lively and involving. I heard a surprising amount of directional speech and singing, and the music boasted fine stereo delineation. Both used the surrounds in a nice manner, and effects broadened across all five channels well. The various elements blended together in a smooth way and they created a clean, engaging setting for all the different sequences. I can’t say I expected a ton from this movie’s audio, but the two mixes really impressed me.

Despite Enchanted’s success at the box office, we don’t get a lot of extras here. Under Fantasy Comes to Life, we get three featurettes: “Happy Working Song” (6:26), “That’s How You Know” (5:55), and “A Blast at the Ball” (5:28). Across these, we find movie clips, behind the scenes bits, and interviews with lyricist Stephen Schwartz, composer/lyricist Alan Menken, director Kevin Lima, visual effects supervisor Thomas Schelesny, editor Gregory Perler, choreographer John O’Connell, associate choreographer Maria Torres, producer Barry Josephson, executive producer Chris Chase, stunt coordinator George Aguilar, visual effects producer David Dranitzke and actor Amy Adams, Robert Dempsey, and Susan Sarandon.

In the featurettes, we get some notes about songs and choreography, visual effects, and various scene specifics. These cover the three sequences quite well, especially in the case of “Working”. I like the way that featurette details all the work required to show insects and animals as they clean an apartment; the dailies that show Adams without the critters are particularly fun. These three pieces are quite fun and informative.

Six Deleted Scenes run a total of seven minutes, 51 seconds. We find “A Lock of Prince Edward’s Hair” (2:28), “Leaving Karate” (1:28), “I Am Not Waiting for My Prince” (0:57), “Hotdogs on the Bridge” (0:42), “Nathaniel’s Revelation” (1:15) and “Exit with a Twist” (1:01). “Lock” offers a storyreel since it never got to final animation, while the others provide live-action clips. All are interesting to see, but none seem very useful. They made sense as cuts.

Note that the running times also include introductions from director Kevin Lima. He essentially just tells us why he eliminated the sequence, as he doesn’t add much other information in his brief remarks.

Next comes a two-minute and 11-second collection of Bloopers. Expect the standard collection of goofing around and mistakes.

We see an additional tale with the Enchanted characters in Pip’s Predicament: A Pop-up Adventure. This provides a short that tries to look like a slightly animated version of a pop-up book. Here Pip the chipmunk tries to break a spell to free Prince Edward so he can rescue Giselle. The five-minute and 35-second cartoon offers decent entertainment.

At least two Easter eggs pop up in the “Bonus Features” menu. First click on the musical note below the entry for “Fantasy Come to Life”. This reveals a music video for Carrie Underwood’s version of “Ever Ever After”. Parts of the video just show shots from the movie, but most of it posits Underwood as a Giselle-style character who comes to New York and inspires others. It’s a better than average video.

Click on the street sign with the Mickey Mouse head to see a one-minute and 19-second clip. Josephson tells us how great the Blu-ray release is, and we also get a short montage that shows Enchanted’s references to other Disney movies. The promise is that we’ll get more of that stuff on the Blu-ray disc, so this amounts to little more than an ad.

A few ads open the DVD. We get clips for Blu-ray Discs, Sleeping Beauty, National Treasure: Book of Secrets, Disney Movie Rewards and The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian. These also appear under Sneak Peeks along with promos for The Little Mermaid: Ariel’s Beginning, Minutemen, The Jungle Book 2, Tinkerbell, Disney Parks and Hannah Montana: One in a Million. No trailer for Enchanted shows up here.

Enchanted offers an entertaining and fairly charming fable, even if it doesn’t always feel particularly original. The movie probably runs a little long, but it still manages to keep us amused and involved most of the time. The DVD presents pretty good picture, excellent audio, and a modest roster of extras. There’s enough fun to be had here to earn my recommendation.

Viewer Film Ratings: 3.75 Stars Number of Votes: 16
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