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"Enchanted" deserves its success - CinemaDave

Nov. 29th, 2007 08:11 pm "Enchanted" deserves its success

"Enchanted" earned over 50 million dollars in six days and easily became the number one box office draw for the Thanksgiving weekend. The competition was the Stephen King horror movie "The Mist," the critically acclaimed Coen Brothers film noir 'No Country for Old Men," and Robert Redford's anitiBill Orielly propaganda fest "Lions for Lambs." With such dismal choices, it is easy to see why a like weight film like "Enchanted" would do so well at the box office. Will "Enchanted" hold up for the duration of the holiday season?

The film opens with the traditional Walt Disney logo of Cinderella's castle. The camera zooms into one of the open windows of the castle and we meet an animated Gisele (Amy Adams), who dreams that her prince will rescue her. After the rescue, Gisele and the Prince (James Marsden) will live happily ever after. The prince's mother (Susan Sarandon) does not approve of the union and attempts to destroy the naive Giselle. Through chicanery and dark magic, Gisele is tricked into a portal and lands in a manhole on Times Square. Until this point, "Enchanted" had been animated. With the New York scenes, the film changes to live action.

The animated scenes are the old fashioned two dimensional animation scenes similar to that of Walt Disney's classic award winning movies like "The Little Mermaid," "Beauty and the Beast," and "Pocahontas." For the astute Disneyphiles, the leading ladies from those three Disney Animated Classics, Jodi Benson (Ariel) Paige O'Hara (Belle) and Judy Kuhn (Pocahontas ), have a cameo appearances in "Enchanted," respectively. It is this attention to detail and sentiment that raises "Enchanted" from other animated fare.

Once in New York , Giselle is rescued by Robert Philip (Patrick Dempsey) and her daughter Morgan (Rachel Covey). This nice family takes the stranger in bloomers to their apartment. Being a grateful fairly tale princess, Gisele still manages to do extraordinary things with house keeping. Having seen the animated sequence of house cleaning earlier, "Enchanted" sets up several belly laughs involving domestic sanitation with friendly forest creatures, the New York sequence features domestic chores being performed by urban creatures found in sewers. Unless you are a pure germaphobe, this sequence is extremely funny.

Conflict ensues; the evil queen sets forth a goofy henchman, Nathaniel (Timothy Spall) to kill the princess with deadly apples. Robert tries to convince his daughter that romance is not realistic and Giselle and her Prince find a ticket to a big romantic renaissance ball.

It helps that the live actors, particularly James Marsden, Timothy Spall and Amy Adams bring forth a sense of truth in portraying cartoon characters trapped in the real world. The three actors manage to play the broad and small moments with equal conviction. Susan Sarandon appears to be having a ball portraying the regal queen who can easily transform into that of a crone.

"Enchanted" is pure Walt Disney film making. While poking fun at their own corny legacy, "Enchanted" manages to retain the importance of their values about love, romance and adventure. It is a film that fathers will enjoy watching with their children.

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