Date Reviewed:
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14th December 2007

Summary:

An animated fairy tale meets modern, live-action comedy. The beautiful princess Giselle is banished by an evil queen from her magical, musical animated land and finds herself in the gritty reality of the streets of modern-day Manhattan. Shocked by this strange new environment that doesn't operate on a "happily ever after" basis, Giselle is now adrift in a chaotic world badly in need of enchantment. But when Giselle begins to fall in love with a charmingly flawed divorce lawyer who has come to her aid - even though she is already promised to a perfect fairy tale prince back home - she has to wonder: Can a storybook view of romance survive in the real world?

Review:

The movie is quite simply, the best Family movie in the past few years. From the beginning, the movie sucks you in with narration from a Disney Legend. You fall in love with the characters right away and it's quite simply a return to the greatness that Disney can deliver. The cast led by Amy Adams, Patrick Dempsey, James Marsden and Timothy Spall (Wormtail from the Harry Potter movies who gives an inspired Oscar-worthy performance) is impeccable. Rounding out the cast is Susan Sarandon who is part Evil Queen, part Maleficent and pure EVIL and the adorable Rachel Covey who is the perfect "mini-princess" for Giselle to play off of. The music by Stephen Schwartz and Alan Menken (in a return to brilliance) is terrific. The original songs are the best to come out of Disney since The Hunchback of Notre Dame. The story, quite simply is part fish-out-of-water, part romantic comedy, part animated and all fun. The live-action portion of the movie feels like your watching animation. The way that Giselle infects those around her with her innocent "Princess-esque" demeanor is really at the heart of what makes the movie so great. Of course, it wouldn't be Disney without a few scene-stealing animals who don't take over the movie and really are what they are meant to be, supporting characters. There are a few nods to the past as well. I won't share them here, but let's just say they are subtle enough not to be distracting, but still there enough to bring a smile to your face. The violence in the movie is nothing more than what you would see in any other PG family movie, and really aside from being live-action, isn't anything you wouldn't see in movies such as Sleeping Beauty or Snow White.