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'Enchanted,' a Spellbinding Self-Parody from Disney

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'Enchanted,' a Spellbinding Self-Parody from Disney

Arts & Life

'Enchanted,' a Spellbinding Self-Parody from Disney

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RENEE MONTAGNE, host:

We're staying in New York, but moving on now to a very different landscape. "Enchanted," the new Disney movie, opens in the world of fairytales.

With a review, here's Los Angeles Times and MORNING EDITION film critic Kenneth Turan.

KENNETH TURAN: "Enchanted" is as good as its name. Its combination of wised-up and happily-ever-after shows what happens when an animation princess gets thrust into New York City's gritty reality. Perhaps because even mild self-mockery has never been the Disney way, "Enchanted" spent a decade locked away in development hell.

But that delay meant that the wonderful Amy Adams could play Giselle. She's a princess in the animated kingdom of Andalasia who gets the rudest of awakenings when she finds herself pushed out of a Times Square manhole cover and into Manhattan street life.

(Soundbite of movie, "Enchanted")

Ms. AMY ADAMS (Actress): (As Giselle) Now, if I could only find a place to rest my head for the night.

Mr. PATRICK DEMPSEY (Actor): (As Robert Philip) What kind of place?

Ms. ADAMS: (As Giselle) Oh, I don't know, maybe a nearby meadow or a hollow tree.

Mr. DEMPSEY: (As Robert Philip) A hollow tree?

Ms. ADAMS: (As Giselle) Or a house full of dwarves. I hear they're very hospitable.

TURAN: Adams is splendid as the ultimate Disney princess - the direct descendant of Snow White, Sleeping Beauty and Cinderella. The actress never overdoes the earnestness or even hints at condescending to the role. Naturally, this creature of total goodness runs into an unemotional divorce lawyer played by Patrick Dempsey of "Grey's Anatomy." He doesn't know what to make of her. It's like you escaped from a Hallmark card or something, he says. And she replies, confused: Is that a bad thing?

Giselle, however, is not the only Andalasian in town. While she spends her time breaking into song, he earnest boyfriend, Prince Edward, arrives in search of her.

(Soundbite of movie, "Enchanted")

Mr. JAMES MARSDEN (Actor): (As Prince Edward) Arty, are you in leagued with the wicked old hag who sent my poor Giselle to this foul place? Arty? What say you, sir? Don't try my patience.

Mr. MATT SERVITTO (Actor): (As Arty) I don't know what you're talking about.

Mr. MARSDEN: (As Prince Edward) I seek a beautiful girl - my other half, my one coquette, the answer to my love's duet.

Mr. SERVITTO: (As Arty) I'd like to find one of them too, you know?

TURAN: Despite these mildly mocking situations, everything resolves in typical Disney fashion, which is what we all wanted in the first place. Disney animation has always had the ability to create alternate universes that ban nasty reality from the premises, so it's great fun to see the tables turned, even if only for a little while.

MONTAGNE: The movie is "Enchanted."

Kenneth Turan reviews movies for the Los Angeles Times and MORNING EDITION.

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