Enchanted is one of those films that I saw the trailer for, thought "that might be fun", and was then largely blown away by the final result. On rewatch, there are definitely some elements which don't hold up, but the heart of the film is solid and it's still enjoyable as anything. A huge part of that is Amy Adams, who excels here, but on rewatch James Marsden also knocks it out of the park. All of the "animated" characters work well in the real world, largely because they get the movement right. Alison pointed out how well Marsden runs up the stairs in the apartment block; he pauses dramatically at all the right moments and turns corners like a cartoon, which really sells the central conceit.
I also remain really impressed by how willing Disney was to let the crew behind Enchanted just f*** with their animated legacy. There really isn't any other way to put it! The film is jam-packed with references, homages, parodies, easter eggs, and fan service, so it's surprisingly rewarding to watch it again after having gone on a mini Disney classic binge recently. Chief amongst those achievements are the songs. They may be few and far between, but each one is golden. The vermin working song is great (even if the CGI animals are starting to show their age) and How Do You Know in Central Park... *chef's kiss* 👨🍳😘
(Though, weirdly, I have a distinct memory of the end of that sequence including a gag where one of the assorted extras "snaps out of it" and is just like "the hell are we all doing?". The whole way through I was waiting for the big payoff but it isn't in the film?!?! Mandela effect much? 🤔)
That said, the big finalé does now feel quite dated. I think the ball sequence is fantastic and the moment where you realise that everyone thinks this is some kind of live theatre experiment is genius. I'm even on board when the excellent Susan Sarandon turns into a dragon; it's a great Maleficent moment, even if the CGI (again) is a bit painful these days. But the ensuing King Kong rooftop battle just feels weirdly unjustified. You're a flame-breathing dragon in a world which doesn't have magic. Why are you heading onto the roof? Why not just eat them? What's the purpose here? I like the whole "I'll tell them a dragon did it" thought process, but why go outside? Just throw him out the window 🤦♂️ It leaves the closing moments feeling a little forced, which is a shame because the rest of the film somehow manages to feel perfectly believable despite the patent absurdity of everything going on.
That said, I'm more than happy for Disney to deliberately invert the whole "true love" motif whilst somehow reinforcing it, flip the damsel into the heroine, and give teach that your personal happily ever after is an evolving journey with a non-linear path. These are all positive things! That we get all of that in a film which is expertly choreographed, packed with excellent humour and genuine heart, alongside stand out performances from an amazing cast, and I think Enchanted will be a film I'm happy to return to time-and-time again.