Wednesday, March 03, 2010

The Sun Always Shines on T.V.: Enchanted

Ok so when you have a little girl you tend to watch things you normally wouldn't, Enchanted is one of those things. Enchanted is a movie about a princess from a Disney-type fairy tale land (ironic that this is a Disney movie) that gets transported to New York. At first I thought it was that horrible Drew Barrymore remake of Cinderella.

I won't spoil too much of the movie, even though it was released in 2007. I will talk a little bit about what makes this movie work. The first thing I noticed was the constant nods to earlier Disney princess movies. Literally, the movie starts like all the others with the book opening up and pages turning. A couple of others that stuck out was the obvious storyline that matched Sleeping Beauty, Snow White, Cinderella, with some moments from The Little Mermaid and Beauty and the Beast. Look at all of those classic movies they worked into it! Impressive...most impressive. Some of my favorites I picked up on after the book
  • Happy Working Song is a play on Whistle While You Work
  • Poison apples...duh Snow White
  • Evil Queen turns into dragon from Sleeping Beauty
Now when I see a good movie, I like to research it a bit on Wikipedia and other sites. There are so many references to other Disney movies that Wikipedia has its own page for them HERE. The director said there are 1000's of hidden allusions to Disney movies. What I found out was that it just wasn't storyline or songs, but actual filming of a scene and camera angles. Some hidden gems that I appreciated after reading the list
  • Jodi Benson (voice of Ariel in The Little Mermaid) plays Patrick Dempsey's secretary
  • The last name of Patrick Dempsey's girlfriend is Tremaine, which is the last name of Cinderella's step mom
  • Every character in the background named is named after voice actors or artists/directors of the original Disney princess movies
  • My favorite: during a scene in Patrick Dempsey's office there is a fish tank and Part of Your World is played in the background...awesome!
Here's a quick video of some allusions;

The story makes this movie an instant Disney classic. Patrick Dempsey is fantastic in his role as a realistic lawyer. Amy Adams brings every Disney princess that you saw growing up to life on screen. It really is magical to see her act. The songs are catchy as well. They rank up there with Aladdin and The Little Mermaid. That's How You Know is my favorite one...I admit it. Patrick Dempsey's character has the great line when someone starts singing the song..."he's knows this song too?" "I've never even heard this song?"

A couple of things in the video above, my wife realized right away this was an allusion to The Little Mermaid because of the Jamaican song, but there is a bigger one in the song! The only time in the song when the Jamaican man is singing lead and Amy Adams isn't, they are in the lake rowing a in The Little Mermaid when Sebastian is singing to Ariel and Eric. Seriously, that's just impressive.

When Giselle is running over the hill, at first I thought it was a reference to The Sound of Music, but then I forgot Belle did the same thing in Beauty and the Beast.

How about the reference to an animated movie Disney is working on? That's right, when Giselle is singing in the tower with Rapunzel it is a reference to the animated movie coming out later this year. Remember it takes a long time to make an animated movie, and in 2007 they green lit the project. On a related side note, there is reference to The Princess and the Frog. In the beginning of the movie a frog falls in a bucket of soapy water and comes out with a crown on his head. Two references that didn't make that much sense for 3 years!!! Amazing.

Finally, some of the elderly people dancing in the park were dancers in Mary Poppins!!

There is tons more I could go into, but I will stop here. This is one of my favorite movies right now and probably will be for years to come. Great acting, excellent writing, including references to past can you go wrong? Definitely a great movie for a family night or date night.

If you want to see more, including some side by side photos, check out this page from FilmSchoolRejects.


Mr. W said...

comments now open...

teacherblogger411 said...

The name "Tremaine" was also use in an earlier Disney movie called "Johnny Tremaine."