(The Disneycember logo is shown, before showing clips from Enchanted. The song "Ever Ever After" by Carrie Underwood plays in the background)
Doug (vo): Okay, so I'm cheating a little bit with this one as a lot of people do sort of consider this as an animated Disney flick...well, okay, maybe not consider it, but it's a satire of a Disney animated flick, done by Disney animation, so it's kind of hard not to talk about it.
Doug (vo): Enchanted starts off in a faraway land, an animated faraway land. There's a handsome prince, he has an evil mother, and he wants to marry a beautiful peasant. But the mother doesn't want them to marry, and so, she banishes her to another kingdom. That is to say, our kingdom; the real world. Yes, isn't that gimmicky? She comes across a father and daughter in New York City, who take pity on her and decide to take her in. She acts the way most of the leading females act from Disney animated films, or, well, more the early ones. And it turns out she manages to bring a little magic into their lives. But then other people start to show up, including the dashing prince, and the evil mother. The dashing prince, of course, is all smiles and heroics, while the mother is all evil and sorcery. And while spending time in the quote/unquote "real world", they find that some of the ways they've been acting in their cartoony world doesn't seem very logical. For example, the peasant decides to ask the prince to go out on a date. They also discover that the stationary roles that they're so used to staying in don't have to be there all the time. A woman can be strong, a man can be weak, and so on and so forth.
Doug (vo): Okay, well, you get the gist of it, so how's the movie? Well, it does have some good laughs in it, especially just from the performances. The peasant and the prince are especially funny. I mean, they just crack me up whenever they're onscreen. And I do like the fact that as much as our world tries to force reality on them, their world can force their magic onto us. Like, sometimes, they'll break into song sequences, animals will suddenly be cleaning up, all that good stuff. I guess what bothers me a little bit is the fact that it is a Disney film, and that really, what they're satirizing, is more over-the-top than they give it credit for. I mean, #1: the films they're satirizing really are the films like Snow White and Cinderella. The more modern fairy tales don't quite go as this goofy. That is, except for this one line, and this does make me laugh.
[A scene showing Giselle and Prince Edward meeting each other for the first time is shown]
Prince Edward: And you are?
Prince Edward: Oh! Giselle! We shall be married in the morning!
Doug (vo): That is spot on. But aside from that, the whole idea that the princesses always have to be damsels and that the princes always have to save the day, I don't know. It seems like with Beauty and the Beast and Mulan and Aladdin and stuff, they've mixed it up a bit. I mean, okay, it's not perfect and they do sometimes go back into those roles, but, I think even Disney knows that they've come further than this movie is giving them credit for. On top of that, it works when they're playing it up for laughs. But the last third, where Susan Sarandon is quoting every obvious stereotype? Man, does that get annoying!
[The film's climatic scene where Queen Narissa turns into a dragon plays out, with Giselle trying to rescue Robert]
Queen Narissa: This is a twist on our story. It's the brave little princess! [To Robert] I guess that makes you the damsel in distress. [To Giselle] We're coming to the end of our story now. "And they all lived happily ever after!" It's time to take our tale to new heights! Just dying to know how it ends?
Doug (vo): Yes! We get it! Things are switched around! Oooh! See, in my opinion, when you really want change to happen, you just sort of do it, you don't draw a ton of attention to it. I guess I'm very much a "by example" person that way. Here, when you draw too much attention to it, it sort of feels like you're focusing on a stereotype that you may or may not have known existed. Like, maybe you had a girl who was a tomboy and wasn't into princesses and then you find out, oh, you were supposed to be this way, but now we're telling you it's okay. Or how about a boy who wasn't into fighting and rescues, but then you find out, oh, no, this is what you're supposed to be, except now we've given you permission not to be. Then again, maybe by drawing more attention to it, they feel like they're slapping the issue in the face, but I don't know. Isn't the female lead holding a sword not really that shocking anymore? Isn't the fact that a guy has to be rescued once in a while not so risqué? I wouldn't dwell on it so much, except for the fact that the MOVIE DWELLS ON IT SO MUCH! But, let's be honest, what Enchanted really wanted to be was a romantic comedy, for kids, but mostly for adults. So in a sense, they overplay the childish stereotypes because, well, it'll get a bigger laugh out of the adults, because that's what they remember growing up with, Snow White, Cinderella and so forth. I guess I just get a little nervous thinking that this could possibly be a kid's first Disney movie, when obviously, it's satirizing Disney movies, and even then, not phenomenally well. I mean, it's funny, but more for the characters they create, not for the ones they're satirizing.
Doug (vo): So, kind of a mixed bag, but I find I do enjoy it, and when you get down to it, I guess it is harmless enough. But what would this mean for Disney? Would this mean that the 2D animation studio is back after such a long and horrible hiatus? Well, we'll find out in the next film.
[One of the movie's animated sequences, showing Giselle and Edward riding off on their horse, is shown]