An upbeat musical created to delight Disney fans

In 2007 I was just a teenager enchanted was released, and like so many people who were introduced to Giselle from Amy Adams and the magical kingdom of Andalasia, I walked out of the theater with a new favorite Disney movie. The wait for a sequel has been long, and now it is Disillusioned is finally here, I’m relieved to report it was worth the wait. While nothing will ever capture the originality and charm of the first film, the sequel provided the perfect answer to that burning fairytale question: What happens after “happily ever after?”

Even though it’s been 15 years enchanted was released, less time passed between movies. We last saw Giselle fall in love with Patrick Dempsey’s Robert Philip and choose to stay in New York to start a new life with him and his six-year-old daughter Morgan (originally played by Rachel Covey). Now Morgan is a teenager (played by Gabriella Baldacchino) and Giselle and Robert have a new baby. Like many growing families, they decide to leave the city for the suburbs where Giselle hopes life can be a little more like her days in Andalasia. However, their new home isn’t exactly what Giselle imagined, so she uses a magic wand to make things her way. In true fairytale fashion, the wish backfires, which is bad for Giselle but a gift for the audience.

Amy Adams’ beloved performance in enchanted earned her a Golden Globe nomination in 2008 and she returns to the role with delightful ease. Not only will fans get to see more of the perky, princess-like Giselle, but the wish gone wrong also gives Adams room to play a whole new side of the character. Unsurprisingly, the six-time Academy Award nominee has mastered duality and brings a new perspective to the role we all know and love. Her biggest adversary in the film is Malvina (Maya Rudolph) and while no one can match the fiendish attitude of Susan Sarandon’s Queen Narissa from enchantedRudolph brings her famous comedic timing to the role and makes the Evil Queen stereotype her own.

Another bright spot in the film is newcomer Gabriella Baldacchino. Not only does she have tremendous vocal talent, but she also adds nuance to Morgan. The character isn’t happy about her move to the suburbs and she has that classic teenage angst, but it doesn’t consume her like some of the teens you see in stories like this. She still has empathy and cares about her family, even as she exudes sarcasm that Giselle hilariously struggles to detect. The film’s casting department also deserves big credit for finding someone so much like the original Morgan. Covey presumably didn’t return to the role because she’s too old to play a teenager, but the original star does make a bit of an appearance in the new film. For a split second I thought Morgan had multiplied until I remembered Covey had a cameo.

The biggest annoyance of Disillusioned is the lack of James Marsden as Prince Edward. His performance in the first film rivals Adams when it comes to stealing scenes and every moment he has in the sequel delivered my biggest laugh. While we should be grateful to have Marsden at all, there are many scenes that could have been improved by Edward’s mad ignorance. During certain moments in the movie, Dempsey clearly tries to channel that Edward energy, but it’s impossible to argue with Marsden’s lovable magnetism. That’s not to say that Dempsey’s role wasn’t fun. In fact, he had his own little side missions that worked much better than if they had tried to squeeze him into the entire main plot.

Disillusioned also corrected the first film’s only flaw by having Idina Menzel (Nancy) sing, as she is known for her original roles in some of Broadway’s most popular musicals, including Rent and Bad. Not only does she get to do a cute little duet with Marsden, but she also sings the movie’s big song, “Love Power,” which resembles one of her most iconic songs, “Let It Go” from Frozen. In fact, most of the song is included in an animated sequence, which is sure to leave fans craving a Nancy/Elsa crossover. Like the first movie, the Andalasia scenes are done in 2D animation and they don’t disappoint.

While “Love Power” is probably the song you hear on the radio Disillusioned‘s release, there’s another musical number that stands out as an instant Disney classic. Adams and Rudolph sing a duet called “Badder”, which rivals some of the most iconic female-led Disney villain jams like The little Mermaid‘s “Poor Unfortunate Souls” and ConfusedMother knows best. “Badder” also has the potential to join Aladdin‘A Whole New World’ as a go-to Disney karaoke duet. Some of the other songs are a bit repetitive and there’s no guarantee they’ll stick in your head as quickly as “That’s How You Know” from the first film, but the return of composer Alan Menken and lyricist Stephen Schwartz will be a very be a welcome relief. for music lovers.

A lot enchanted fans are understandably upset that the movie is going straight to Disney+, but skipping the theatrical release was probably the right decision. If you liked the first one but are not a fan of Disney or musicals, Disillusioned definitely not for you. The first movie was such an innovative, original ride, while the sequel is just a fun, sweet time. However, if you have a enchanted superfan or a general lover of all things Disney, the new film will not disappoint. Even watching it at home, seeing Adams play Giselle again, took me right back to that theater in 2007, and I couldn’t help feeling the same wave of joy I felt as a teenager. Disillusioned is pure magic and a must-see for Disney fans.

Rating: 4 out of 5

Disillusioned now streaming on Disney+.

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