Reviewed on 2008 August 30
This is a wonderful thing to pop in your DVD player when you’re entertaining a group of all different ages. It’s a fractured version of a fairy tale on its most basic level. While I can think of nothing that a parent could object to, the parents can enjoy it for the fact that it seems like what the Brothers Grimm would write if they got silly after too much mead (if not something stronger). It good-naturedly skewers every prince-meets-princess story out there.
Princess Giselle (Amy Adams) is a blissfully happy animated princess from Andalasia, twirling about her castle with her cute little animal friends and singing of her true love, whomever he may be. Sure enough, she meets him — the obligatorily handsome Prince Edward (James Marsden). She prepares for their wedding, little knowing that his stepmother is the spiteful Queen Narissa (Susan Sarandon). Narissa doesn’t care about her stepson — all she cares about is protecting her crown. She banishes Giselle to a place where there are no happy endings: Manhattan.
Giselle emerges from basic 2D animation into our world, confused and frightened but doggedly seeking her fiance. She meets a jaded divorce lawyer, Robert Philip (Patrick Dempsey), who takes her in, even though he tells her she’s something that “escaped from a Hallmark card”. He little suspects that Giselle is being pursued, both by her prince and his mother.
I thought Disney did something creative here. From the beginning, it goes overboard with the woodland animals swarming around the princess and doesn’t really let up. Both Adams and Marsden do a great job with the cartoonishness of their characters, and I was impressed that Adams could do the first “human” scenes in a wedding gown that probably weighed as much as her. I know some guys may cringe at the thought of watching it, but I can tell you Mama Shukti, Mr. Shukti and I all have different senses of humor and we all thought the housecleaning sequence was hysterically funny.
Three chocolate morsels.