‘Disenchanted’ is everything one could wish for

David Matos, Arts & Life Editor

Living in an imperfect world where the idea of a “happily ever after” is more of a concept than reality can be quite upsetting to someone who was raised on the notion of a true love’s kiss and a talking chipmunk.

“Disenchanted” follows Giselle (Amy Adams) as she embarks on a new chapter but this time, she brings her perfect fairy-tale world to her.

The Disney+ sequel made its debut on Nov. 18, fifteen years later after the 2007 film “Enchanted.”

“Enchanted” observes Giselle as she makes sense of a place where there is no happily ever after — New York City. See, Giselle comes from the magical fairy-tale kingdom of Andalasia, an animated world reminiscent of past Disney films like “Sleeping Beauty” or “Cinderella.”

In Andalasia, every negative emotion or trouble is seemingly non-existent, a stark contrast to our society where we don’t have talking animals to clean up our messes or sew our clothes. I mean, we do have Amazon and Taylor Swift, so I guess it’s not all bad over here.

“Disenchanted” continues seamlessly a few years after “Enchanted” left off. Giselle, now unhappy with the small living situation in New York City, comes up with the idea to pack up her home and move her stepdaughter Morgan (Gabriella Baldacchino), husband Robert (Patrick Dempsey) and their baby Sofia to the fictional suburban town of Monroeville.

Morgan, the now angsty teen, is not supportive of the decision to move out into a town that is more reminiscent of Andalasia than the noisy streets of Manhattan.

With this, Morgan struggles to adapt to Monroeville and is growing old with Giselle’s “glass half full” persona. Frustrated with how things are now going in Monroeville, Giselle takes things into her own hands and uses a wand gifted to Sofia by Andalasia’s Prince Edward (James Marsden) and his wife Nancy Tremaine (Idina Menzel) and wishes the live-action town of Monroeville into a real-life fairy-tale kingdom.

“Enchanted” was my favorite movie as a child. After the film was released on DVD in March 2008, it became customary to watch the entirety of the angelic Giselle’s adventure in New York City every weekend with my mom and sister for a year.

I particularly connected to the grand storytelling, comedy and lovable characters of the first film, and “Disenchanted” undoubtedly brought back that same spark. I had goosebumps halfway through the 118 minute run-time of the Disney+ film because I felt like a kid again. I was enthralled by Adams’ effortless ability to recreate the happy-go-lucky Disney princess-esque character I connected with as a 6-year-old.

As part of the plot, Giselle’s lovable personality is traded for one of a wicked stepmother, which was a nice contrast and further showcases Adams’ abilities as an actress.

Her villainy discourse with Malvina Monroe (Maya Rudolph) was also one of my favorite moments of the film, along with their hilarious and fun duet “Badder.” Overall, the chemistry between characters like Giselle and Robert was brilliant despite some of the actors not having played these characters in over a decade.

Though the familiarity of the first film was present in “Disenchanted,” it still held its own, and in some ways, was better than its predecessor. For one, it strongly incorporates the fairy-tale element of the world of Andalasia.

The point of the first film was to erase Giselle’s world of Andalasia, whereas “Disenchanted” totally immerses the viewer into the fantasy land instead, and as a fan of fairy tales, I was completely satisfied with this decision. Also, the costumes in the latter half of the film when Monroeville turned fairy-tale mode were unbelievably eye-catching, further throwing the viewer down the well of the fantastical world of Andalasia.

My only critique of “Disenchanted” is the soundtrack not being as catchy as its predecessor film. With absolute bangers like “That’s How You Know” and “Happy Working Song” in “Enchanted,” it was somewhat disappointing leaving its sequel not having remembered a majority of the songs. Though the songs were particularly bad, most were missing the campy and fun melodies from the original. Not even Menzel’s strong vocals can save the soundtrack. Sorry, Elsa.

Overall, the film was a perfect continuation of its previous film and I was not bored once. I went into viewing this film unsure as sequels notoriously aren’t as good as the original, but I am elated with how “Disenchanted” came out and was undoubtedly worth the wait.

Watching the actors step back into their roles and even some actresses like Rudolph, Yvette Nicole Brown and Jayma Mays take on new characters was like a dream. I could see myself watching this film on repeat, following the routine I had with the DVD release of the introductory film. I couldn’t recommend the film enough to anyone who is a fan of fun, magic and Andalasian lore.