Review by Adam Donato
After a few years of Disney+‘s dominance in the streaming wars, a pattern of behavior has become apparent. Whether it’s their Marvel/Star Wars shows, short and sweet animated series, or entirely unnecessary live-action sequels to Disney Channel quality movies, it's all content. The first Enchanted movie was quite the hit. When traditional 2D animation looked like it was on its way out, Enchanted puts a twist on the classic formula and cliches of the subgenre of animated Princess fairytales. Today, Disney has an insatiable monster it has to feed content to on a regular schedule to maintain subscribers. Any brand name that can be salvaged will be revived whether you like it or not. This time, the fairytale doesn’t end as Giselle and her new family move to the suburbs to pursue a more quiet, simple life together. Will Disenchanted live up to the original?
Seldom do good movies launch exclusively on streaming services. This fall is seeing the release of the hotly anticipated Knives Out sequel on Netflix and even that is getting a shot at a theatrical run. If Disney had any real faith in this project whatsoever, it would get some kind of wider release. It’s clear from the start that this sequel was a passionless piece of content. That being said, it’s not devoid of quality. Enchanted is such an interesting concept and the cast is returning so there’s some things going for this sequel.
The best thing about the first movie is also the best thing about the sequel, which is the cast. Amy Adams and James Marsden seamlessly slip back into these iconic roles. The best idea for this sequel was having Adams play a contrasting role to what she did in the first one. She’s still hamming it up, but it feels fresh following up the first one. It’s nowhere near the caliber of the first movie, but that wasn’t Oscar worthy either. Patrick Dempsey is equally as unlikable in this movie as he was in the previous one except here he has nothing to do. Maya Rudolph is the big new addition to the cast and she clearly has fun doing the whole evil Queen stereotype.
The musical numbers here are not as memorable as they were in the first one. Despite this, Disenchanted has another feather in its cap compared to other Disney live action rehashes because it’s filled with musical numbers. Nothing here is worthy of being added to your playlist. Speaking of unremarkable, but appreciated aspects of the movie, the animation is entirely uninspired. Either it’s 3D animation made to look like 2D animation or it’s cheap 2D animation. Disney has a reputation of being stingy on their budget for these projects they clearly have no faith in.
It’s not the worst Disney live-action rehash, but that’s not saying anything at all. Eventually, Disney will run out of things audiences remember and start making more original content. When it comes to Disenchanted, stick to the first movie as this sequel is uninspired and skippable.
Disenchanted is now streaming on Disney+.