Disenchanted, Disney’s long-awaited sequel to Enchanted, has finally arrived, reintroducing viewers to Giselle 15 years later. She and Robert are now married, Morgan is a teenager, and the family has welcomed a new baby. Despite having gained her happy ending, Giselle is weary of city life and moves the family to a suburban town called Monroeville, where queen bee Malvina Monroe makes adjusting difficult for Giselle. Desperate to recapture the magic, Giselle turns to Andalasian magic. But when the spell doesn’t go quite as she expected, it’s a race against time to reverse it before the town, Andalasia, and Giselle’s happiness are gone for good.
Amy Adams, the beating heart of Enchanted, doesn’t miss a beat in stepping back into Giselle’s shoes. When viewers catch back up with her, she remains the optimistic person from the first movie as she hopes the move will kickstart her fairy tale life again. Something I was especially interested in seeing since it was revealed was her wicked stepmother turn. We’re so used to knowing Giselle as a ray of sunshine that it was a bit weird (in a good way) to see her as anything else. It was fun to watch Adams embrace the darker side of Giselle and she takes every opportunity to play it up.
Similarly, Maya Rudolph’s Malvina is an excellent antagonist for Giselle and plays well off Adams. As the queen bee of the town (that’s apparently named after her. But that’s neither here nor there), Malvina becomes threatened when she takes Giselle’s actions as competition, and later learns about the magic. In general, she’s a fairly straightforward villain, but Rudolph’s performance keeps her both interesting and entertaining.
James Marsden and Idina Menzel also returned for the sequel, though they weren’t in it nearly enough (or as much as I expected). Regardless, it was wonderful to see them on screen again. Menzel finally gets to show off her singing chops, something she didn’t do in Enchanted. After only initially seeing her in the context of Robert’s former girlfriend, this time around viewers see a little more about how she and Giselle have become closer, especially after they both found happy endings in the first movie. Marsden is still an absolute delight as himbo king Edward. With the little time viewers do get to spend with him, he maintains his ridiculous and hilarious nature, offering a great contrast to Menzel’s Nancy.
Though the cast is great, there were still some noticeable weaknesses. Disenchanted doesn’t carry quite the same charm as Enchanted – which still stands the test of time 15 years later. Few aspects make it truly stand out from the crowd. Pacing itself I thought worked well, but the story felt a bit lackluster. The movie clocks in at around two hours, yet that almost didn’t feel long enough. Certain elements didn’t feel as fleshed out as they could’ve been, and much of the cast could’ve been utilized more.
Disenchanted isn’t a perfect movie, but it doesn’t need to be. Even with its flaws, it manages to hold its own with what it’s got, including its cast, visual effects, and dazzling costume design. It leans fully into the Disney of it all, acknowledging the most recognizable clichés and running with them. There’s more music, magic, and plenty of Easter eggs that culminate into an overall enjoyable movie.
Disenchanted is streaming now on Disney+.