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The cover of “Disenchanted” depicts the returning cast from the original “Enchanted” and added roles. We love this movie series, but we were shocked at the announcement of a sequel. Between reused plot lines and confusing character arcs, “Disenchanted” was underwhelming.

“Disenchanted:” the Disney sequel we didn’t need

Disclaimer: article may contain spoilers

December 21, 2022

Enchanted:” a princess is thrown into the harsh reality of New York City, only to find herself and fall in love along the way.

Disenchanted:” a perfect plotline ruined by Disney’s attempt to profit off the series further.

Released Nov. 16, “Disenchanted” is the sequel to Disney’s 2007 movie “Enchanted.” Despite the 15-year gap between the movies, this sequel has been in the making since Disney hired screenwriters in July 2014. Although it’s been years since Disney released its original fairytale film, fans came crawling back to watch the sequel. In fact, when “Disenchanted” was released, Disney+ revenue rose from $1.9 million to $3.2 million in just one day. 

However, despite the eight years filmmakers worked on “Disenchanted,” somehow, this sequel has nothing to do with the original. The end of “Enchanted” seamlessly concluded the plot and left no room for further development. On the other hand, “Disenchanted” could have been a completely separate film if not for the returning familiar faces of the original. The tone, soundtrack and characters are vastly different from the original Disney film. The character inconsistency between the movies — as well as within the sequel — creates a large personality disconnect between the original characters and their reconstructed versions that is confusing to watch. 

Both films follow fairytale characters and princess-to-be Giselle as she learns about life outside of her storybook fantasy world, Andalasia. Overall, the tales contain a mixture of classic fairytale plotlines and new twists. Although there were some differences between them — namely, “Enchanted” took inspiration from “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” while “Disenchanted” took inspiration from “Cinderella” — one thing remained the same: throughout both of the movies, we found a mix of Disney references. “Enchanted” has a perfect combination of fairy-tale icons, from having its evil queen to Giselle forgetting her glass slipper at the ball. However, the amount of additional Disney references in “Disenchanted” becomes overwhelming, including easter eggs and plot points from “The Little Mermaid,” “Beauty and the Beast,” “The Princess and the Frog,” “Frozen” and “Tangled.”

“Enchanted” review

“Enchanted” is a household classic across the country. Throwing a fairytale princess into the real world is an easily captivating plot, and the cast pulled it off almost perfectly. These characters are nostalgic figures of our childhood, the soundtrack is memorable and catchy and the plot leaves us satisfied with its conclusion. 

Cast and characters

Overall, this set of cast members work well together to create an amazing film. The lead characters of Giselle and Robert Philip are played by Amy Adams and Patrick Dempsey, respectively, both popular actors with good reputations and chemistry. Adams embodies the doe-eyed, clueless optimist well; she is a romantic who knows nothing about living in the real world yet somehow inspires hope and joy in the people around her. Her character grows immensely by the end, learning about concepts like sarcasm and the appreciation of a real relationship. 

On the other hand, Robert is a grumpy lawyer and single parent living in New York City. However, we see his character arc of love and growth in the song “That’s How You Know.” When Giselle becomes defensive about Robert’s pessimistic attitude towards Edward, we encounter the first fight between our two protagonists, leading to Giselle’s emotional growth as she develops real-world emotions. This scene denotes the first time the protagonists learn something from each other — Giselle learns how to label her new emotions while Robert learns how to listen. This is also the beginning of an iconic romance; the audience finally sees how much Robert truly likes Giselle. Instead of continuing to be closed off and frustrated with Giselle’s optimism and belief in magic, he hears her out. He considers her point of view, which is a touching moment of growth and the catalyst for their blossoming enchantment with each other.

Actress Rachel Covey played Morgan Philip, Robert’s 6-year-old daughter, who, in the beginning, is a shy girl not looking forward to having a stepmother. By the end, Giselle helps Morgan become more social and comfortable talking with adult figures by telling her stories before she goes to bed and teaching her how to have fun in the real world.

Nancy, played by actress Idina Menzel, is a businesswoman who has been dating Robert for five years and becomes jealous of Giselle when she finds out Giselle stayed overnight in Robert’s apartment. By the movie’s end, she accepts that Robert and Giselle are each other’s soulmates and decides to encourage their romance. Watching this as a kid, Nancy seemed like a villain — second to Narissa, the evil queen — getting in the way of Giselle and Robert’s relationship, but the way she realizes and accepts that Robert is Giselle’s true love shows significant character development and self-reflection. In fact, she’s the one to convince him to kiss Giselle in the end. 

Prince Edward — originally believed to be Giselle’s true love — acts as the comedic relief of this movie and is played by actor James Marsden. While Giselle is clueless about the real world, Edward just gives us dumb jock vibes. Though this characteristic can get repetitive, his entertaining yet weird journey through New York City makes him a lovable character in “Enchanted.”

With an amazing cast, great chemistry, and well-thought-out character development, we are left pleased with their interactions and each plot line at the end of the movie. 

Plot points and critiques

Similar to other classic Disney fairy tales like “Sleeping Beauty” and “The Jungle Book,” “Enchanted” begins with a storybook read to the audience. This cute homage then transitions the story into an animated scene where we are introduced to the lead character Giselle. Immediately, we are made aware of how cliche Giselle’s life is: she lives in a treehouse in the woods, seems to only have talking animals for friends and is searching for her prince. When she finds her prince, Edward, he saves her from an ogre, and they ride off into the sunset to be married the next morning. Your classic Disney fairytale.

The plot twist comes when Edward’s mother, the evil queen Narissa, pushes Giselle down a wishing well to maintain her reign as queen. Giselle climbs out of the well and into the streets of New York City. Dazed and confused, she topples right into Robert’s arms, paralleling her fall into Edward’s arms. Robert tries to get Giselle back to her home while she drags him around the city on her journey exploring the real world, creating some of the cutest scenes in the movie as Robert and Giselle begin to fall in love.

When Edward is finally reunited with Giselle, he whisks her off her feet and takes her on a date in the real world. Though we had to hold back tears when Robert’s daughter Morgan and Giselle separate when Giselle decides to go to the ball, she is reunited with Morgan to go shopping and spend some “grown-up girl bonding time.” Together they create Giselle’s look, one of the most iconic looks of live-action Disney.

At the ball, Robert and Giselle begin to dance, only to be interrupted by Edward, who is ready to return to Andalasia. Upon taking a bite of a poisoned apple given to her by a disguised Narissa, Giselle falls into a deep slumber that can only be awakened by — you guessed it! —  a true love’s kiss. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” obviously inspires this plotline, but it works in this film for us. To no one’s surprise, Edward’s kiss doesn’t work, and Robert is the one to awaken her. Narissa then commences the final battle of the movie, becoming an angry-evil-queen-turned-dragon. Remarkably replicating Maleficent’s transformation from “Sleeping Beauty,” the dragon animations were decent for a 15-year-old film. We love how Giselle saved Robert in the end, adding a twist to the cliches throughout the movie.

We love this movie, from Edward’s wacky adventures in New York City to Morgan’s adorable optimism and Giselle’s show-stopping look at the ball. The classic “happily ever after” conclusion is satisfying to the plot: the film ends with Pip, Giselle’s chipmunk sidekick, writing a storybook about Giselle’s journey. We see Giselle, Robert and Morgan happy in New York City and Nancy marrying Edward in Andalasia. We are not left wanting more, which is why the sequel came as a surprise. “Enchanted” stands alone as a wonderful nostalgic Disney movie. 


The “Enchanted” soundtrack is a dynamic yet simple masterpiece; we never realized how short this soundtrack is because of how memorable the songs are, truly defining the phrase “quality over quantity.” We were left dancing with the characters at the end of every song. 

“Enchanted” opens with Giselle singing about dreams of finding her Prince Charming in the song “True Love’s Kiss.” This movie would not be the same without its classic storybook beginning, and this enticing song is the perfect way to introduce it. Similarly, the snappy sing-along “That’s How You Know” plays an important role in character development. Whereas Robert originally stated, “I don’t sing” and “I don’t dance,” we find him smiling and nodding his head along to the song by the end, leading to his first acceptance of Giselle and the beginning of their love story. 


The remainder of the songs are essential to Giselle and Robert’s relationship. While they dance together to “So Close” during The King and Queen’s Waltz at the beginning of their relationship, the closing song, “Ever Ever After,” gives us a little bit more information about what happens after Giselle and Robert start to live happily ever after. Both songs are romantic and overall heart-melting. The chemistry they portray in both scenes the songs accompany is breathtaking compared to the cringey “relationship” we see between Giselle and Edward. Not to mention, the choice of Carrie Underwood in “Ever Ever After” matches the other vocals in this movie so well that, as kids, we didn’t realize Adams didn’t sing this song.

This amazing soundtrack brings another added sense of magic and happiness to this movie. Even though it has been years since we have seen this movie, the lyrics to these memorable and captivating songs came right back to our memories as we sang along with Giselle and the other characters. Without songs like “That’s How You Know” and “So Close,” the movie would have missed major moments of character development and opportunity to draw the audience in more. We were happy to revisit the songs in this movie and continue to hum their catchy toons for the rest of the week. 

Pathfinder Ranking: 9/10

Overall, this movie is a perfect mix of classical Disney fairytales with memorable and catchy songs that keep the viewer interested and singing along. We love the captivating soundtrack, seamless fairytale style and the organic chemistry of the characters. The plotline is lighthearted and entertaining. Although there are multiple Disney references and a few similar plotlines to other tales we have heard before, there is still some unpredictability to this movie that keeps us hanging on to every moment.

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“Disenchanted” review

Out of all of the Disney movies we were expecting sequels for, “Enchanted” was not on the list. Though the movie brought viewers into a state of childhood nostalgia, “Enchanted” had such a perfect fairy-tale ending that left us satisfied with the plot and in disbelief to hear about an upcoming sequel. “Disenchanted” throws fairytale twists under a suburban spotlight. However, the characters seem to be solely repetitive of other Disney classics instead of having their plot, personalities and story development like in “Enchanted.”

Cast and characters

Still shining under the spotlight, actors Amy Adams and Patrick Dempsey returned to play their characters, Giselle and Robert. Throughout “Disenchanted,” their characters undergo multiple personality changes that take a toll on their overall chemistry and affect aspects of their relationship. 

Robert has dramatically changed into a happy husband and is uncharacteristically optimistic about the move to the suburbs, which is a far cry from the normal Robert we know. He briefly seems unhappy about his job and commuting to work, but he doesn’t outwardly show it to Giselle. Later, due to Giselle’s wish, Robert turns into what we can only imagine is supposed to be a charming prince. His new habit of oddly-timed heroism and sudden ability to burst into song remind us of Edward from the first movie. The cringey Prince Charming was not played well by Dempsey and displays that there should certainly be a limit to how much facepalming a character causes us to do. Furthermore, there is little to no relationship shown between Giselle and Robert. Adams and Dempsey did not do as good of a job playing these characters and developing the romance between them as they did in the first movie; the original spark we saw between them in the first movie is lost. As Giselle’s role delves into the mother-daughter relationship between her and Morgan, Robert disappears into the plotline, and we find ourselves asking, where is Robert? 

In the beginning, the movie introduces Giselle and Robert’s new baby girl, Sofia, played by Mila and Lara Jackson. Sofia is unessential to the plot, only there to create an excuse for the existence of a magical wand used in the final battle and initiate the jealousy we see from Morgan. However, as Giselle’s character changes throughout the movie, Sofia gets less and less screen time, where we were expecting her to have greater importance. In general, Sofia seems like a justification for Morgan’s attitude and that conflict in this movie, which is a waste of a character that could have had a much more significant role. 

Rachel Covey, who played Morgan in the first movie, did not reprise her role in the sequel. Although we did not care for the cast switch, we were surprised to find a cameo of Covey halfway into the movie. Morgan, now played by Gabriella Baldacchino, follows the grumpy, isolated teenager stereotype that we too often see in movies. Quite frankly, this actor change is upsetting and unrealistic; she looks much older than Morgan’s projected age as a high school student. It was upsetting to see Morgan, a character who was previously a bright and happy young girl, turn into a disobedient and gloomy teenager. We know she’s supposed to have grown up, but her personality changed so much that it is extremely off-putting for viewers who expected the characters to stay in character. 

Many returning characters seemed to get a bit lost in the convoluted plot line, including Robert, Edward and Nancy. When we discovered that Idina Menzel, who plays Nancy, was going to have a song, we expected a bigger role in this movie, but she is another character that gets lost in the storyline. Nancy and Edward come to Monroeville to drop off the Magic Wishing Wand as a present from Sofia. We do not see them until the end when Nancy shows Morgan the importance of the memory tree in Andalasia. Though we wished to see more from her, her character transition between the two movies was the most natural among all the characters.

Another character we wanted to see more from was Pip, who Griffin Newman voiced. In “Enchanted,” Pip is Giselle’s sidekick like Mushu is to “Mulan” and Meekoo is to “Pocahontas.” Pip also provides a lot of comedic relief to more serious or dramatic scenes in “Enchanted.” However, in “Disenchanted,” Pip becomes more of a forgotten character than a sidekick, and his comedic effect disappears. Pip could have been a piece of the narrative that tied this story together, but he ended up being turned into an evil cat. 

In total, too many characters played major roles in this movie, while others disappeared and reappeared without transition. A lot of the character development was not done to our satisfaction and left many questions behind about specific characters and their actions, beliefs and character traits in general. 

Plot points and critiques

Continuing the trend from “Enchanted,” Pip, the returning chipmunk, is reading the storybook to his kids, and he explains that the end of “Enchanted” was not the “happily ever after” of Robert and Giselle’s story. Fast-forwarding 10 years from the finale of “Enchanted,” the couple welcomed a baby, Sofia, and is planning to move to Monroeville, a suburban town outside New York City. Forcing them into suburbia is an interesting take on the fairytale-reality mashup; it could have been the start of a very family-centered movie that develops all of the relationships between Giselle, Robert, Morgan and Sofia. This was a good concept, just one that was not executed very well due to rushed plotlines and changing character roles. 

The family moves into a charming two-story house with a turret that models a mini castle. We are quickly introduced to the town “queen,” Malvina Monroe, who is just Maya Rudolph playing a glorified soccer mom. Morgan has a media-stereotypical first day of a new school, which is about as corny as they can make it. We’ve seen this teenager plotline in about 30 other Disney movies, so we were wholly unimpressed with this carbon-copy routine.

As Giselle realizes their life is not as perfect as she imagined it would be, she uses an “Andalasian Wishing Wand” — a poorly introduced tool in the movie — to turn their life into a fairytale. She wakes up to birds chirping and her family singing, and after some musical numbers, we learn that the town has transformed into “Monrolasia,” a combination of Monroeville and Andalasia. Each character falls into a certain role: Robert, a brave prince, Malvina, an evil queen and Morgan, a Cinderella copycat. 

But despite already having a villainous character in the film, Giselle finds herself becoming a cloned evil stepmother, finding pleasure in talking down to her daughter. However, we found it hard to believe that Giselle’s excessive optimism could be taken from her so quickly. This evil stepmother act is uncharacteristic of Giselle and more a characteristic of Lady Tremaine from “Cinderella” or the evil queen from “Snow White.” Although we did enjoy several Disney fairytale references along the way, the “taking advice from a magic scroll” and “trying to find the stolen magic wand” plot points left us lost mid-movie. 

Towards the end of the movie, returning characters Prince Edward and Nancy — now King and Queen of Andalasia — who have had very small roles so far suddenly become much more relevant in the climax. It becomes apparent that the magic being used to transform Monroeville has been draining the life out of Andalasia. Nancy and Morgan team up to become the story’s heroes as evil Giselle and Malvina face off in their poorly explained villain rivalry. There is no given exposition as to why Malvina is the main villain in this movie, and she has no change or character development after she is defeated, making her an extremely weak and boring villain. 

At this point, the movie’s ending felt rushed through, and many plotlines — like Robert’s prince-like heroism and Morgan’s on-and-off love interest — were left unresolved. While we liked that Morgan saved the day and mended her relationship with Giselle, this felt unrealistic. There didn’t seem to be any sort of solution to the problem. It just dissolved in the chaos of the plot. Robert and Giselle’s relationship also gets completely lost in the behemoth of this plot, leaving us feeling like we had lost the entire point of the original movie. Ultimately, we are forced to believe these problems went away on their own. 

“Disenchanted” had too many plotlines to fit into two hours. This movie would have been much more enjoyable if it focused on fewer plotlines and revisited the simplicity of “Enchanted” rather than cramming everything in and hoping for a mediocre turnout, which is how it ultimately turned out.


This soundtrack brings so many new songs to the table as a Disney musical; however, the quality of these songs are underwhelming, and the quantity is overwhelming, which assembles a forgettable soundtrack. 

Even More Enchanted” — an encouraging song that attempts to persuade Morgan that life will be better in the suburbs — sounds a lot like the song “That’s How You Know” in “Enchanted,” causing the song to feel overdone and monotonous. In both songs, Giselle teaches someone about hopes and dreams for the future, ending in a jarring moment that interrupts the song. It was a nice callback to the first movie, but in the end, the lyrics did not stand out enough to be memorable. 

A song that we have been looking forward to hearing since “Disenchanted’s” announcement was “Love Power” because we knew Idina Menzel sang it. Originally worried about the song sounding too much like Elsa, played by Menzel, from “Frozen,” we were pleasantly surprised that this song sounded like its own independent production. 

With random breaks in the songs to incorporate a speaking scene, someone always seemed to be in the middle of a song. Compared to “Enchanted,” this soundtrack is longer but less replayable. The songs in “Enchanted” are better executed and play a more significant role in the story’s development than the songs in “Disenchanted” do. We expected more from this soundtrack and were disappointed to receive these bland and unvaried songs. 

Pathfinder’s Ranking: 4.5/10

As little kids, we loved the original movie and wanted to like this sequel, but in the end, this was another Disney sequel that no one needed. The first movie’s ending flawlessly brought the plot to a close, and we were left needing nothing more from the plot. There are a lot of great ideas in this movie that were not executed to our liking. It was hard to follow, yet the cliches follow every other Disney classic like clockwork. The villain felt weak, and we wish it had focused on some of the recurring characters rather than introducing so many new roles. The characters — at least, those that returned enough to show a bit of personality — seemed so far off from the first movie. After eight years of production, this movie should have been better. But for nostalgia, we enjoyed watching this movie, which is why we cannot wholly pan it.

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