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Enchanted (a J!-ENT Blu-ray Disc Review)

September 27, 2009 by  



“Magical, enjoyable and highly entertaining!  Disney fans who enjoyed classics such as ‘Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs’ or ‘Sleeping Beauty’ will find ‘Enchanted’ to be delightfully fun! Featuring awesome picture and audio quality and plenty of special features, definitely a Blu-ray worth having in your collection.  Highly recommended!”

Images courtesy of © Disney. All Rights Reserved.

TITLE: Enchanted

DURATION: 107 Minutes

BLU-RAY DISC INFORMATION: 1080p High Definition (2:35:1/1:85:1 storybook beginning), English Dolby TrueHD (48 kHz/24-bit), English, French, Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital, Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish

COMPANY:  Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment

RATED: PG (For Some Scary Images and Mild Innuendo)

Release Date: March 18, 2008

Directed by Kevin Lima

Written by Bill Kelly

Executive Produced by Christopher Chase, Sunil Perkash, Ezra Swerdlow

Producer: Barry Josephson, Barry Sonnenfeld

Associate Producer: Susan Ringo, Ron Rocha, Doug Short

Music by Alan Menken

Cinematography by Don Burgess

Edited by Gregory Peter, Stephe A. Rotter

Casting by John Papsidera, Marcia Ross

Production Design by Stuart Wurtzel

Art Direction by John Kasarda

Set Decoration by George DeTitta Jr.

Costume Design by Mona May

Starring:

Amy Adams as Giselle

Patrick Dempsey as Robert Philip

James Marsden as Prince Edward

Timothy Spall as Nathaniel

Idina Menzel as nancy Tremaine

Rachel Covey as Morgan Philip

Susan Sarandon as Queen Narissa

Julie Andrews as The Narrator

Jeff Bennett as Pip in Andalasia

Kevin Lima as Pip in New York

Enchanted cleverly combines a heartfelt romance with a gentle spoof of Disney films of the past as an animated heroine from a far away kingdom finds herself transformed into a real live woman in bustling New York City. Academy Award® nominee Amy Adams (2005 nominee for Best Supporting Actress; Junebug) leads an all-star cast as the lovely Giselle, a storybook princess-to-be lost in the Big Apple. Academy Award winner Susan Sarandon (1996 winner for Best Actress in a Leading Role; Dead Man Walking) plays the evil sorceress Narissa who exiles Giselle from her fairytale kingdom and James Marsden (Hairspray) is her handsome prince, with Patrick Dempsey (“Grey’s Anatomy”) as a contemporary knight in shining armor and Tony Award® winner Idina Menzel (2004 winner for Best
Leading Actress in a Musical; “Wicked”) as his girlfriend Nancy who suspects Giselle might just be a little too good to be true.

Enchanting, hilarious and highly enjoyable, I have no doubt that “Enchanted” will become a Disney classic that will be watched for many generations.

The 2007 romantic comedy/musical/fantasy film known as “Enchanted” was a box office success when it was released in theaters during the Thanksgiving Week.  The film received critical acclaim, two Golden Globe nominations, three Academy Award nominations and made $340 million worldwide.

The film is produced by Barry Sonnenfeld (“The Tick”, “Pushing Daisies”, “Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events” and the “Men in Black” films), directed by Kevin Lima (“Tarzan”, “102 Dalmatians”, “Eloise” TV films and a character designer for “The Little Mermaid”, “Oliver & Company” and “The Rescuers Down Under”) and a screenplay by Bill Kelly (“Premonition” and “Blast from the Past”).  The film’s music is composed by Alan Menken (Pocahontas”, “Aladdin” “Beauty and the Beast” and “Little Mermaid”) and cinematography by Don Burgess (“My Super Ex-Girlfriend”, “The Polar Express”, “13 Going on 30” and “Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines”).

The film kicks of in an animated format in fairytale fashion (narrated by Julie Andrews, “The Sound of Music”, “Mary Poppins”) as the film takes place in land called Andalasia.  A woman named Giselle (voice and played by Amy Adams, “Julie & Julia”, “Doubt”, “Charlie Wilson’s War” and “Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby”), who is quite a talented seamstress who is trying to make her prince along with her animals that come to help her while she sings.  She dreams of her prince that would one day come.

Meanwhile, the Prince (voiced and played by James Marsden, “X-Men” films, “27 Dresses”, “Superman Returns”) goes to look for the princess in hopes that he can marry her but his mother, the Queen/Witch (voiced and played by Susan Sarandon, “Bull Durham”, “The Rocky Horror Picture Show”, “Shall We Dance”) does not want that to happen.  So, she has her worker named Nathaniel (voice and played by Timothy Spall, “The Street” and “Harry Potter” films) keep tabs on the Prince by keeping him preoccupied with him fighting ogres.

But the Prince and the Giselle eventually meet and the two fall in love and are now planning to get married and Giselle will become a princess.  With the Queen angered that the two are together, on the day of the wedding, the Queen disguises herself into an old hag and pushes Giselle into a magic portal.  Next thing you know, Giselle comes out of a sewer hole in New York’s Times Square in a land that she is not familiar with.  Lost and alone, Giselle tries to search for her prince.

We are then introduced to a family of two, divorce lawyer Robert Philip (Patrick Dempsey, “Grey’s Anatomy”, “Freedom Writers”, “The Practice”) and his daughter Morgan (Rachel Covey) are riding in a taxi.  The daughter who loves princesses hopes for her father bought her a princess book but with the father so busy with work, gives her a book about famous women in history.  Robert tells his daughter the big news that he will be getting married to Nancy Tremaine (played by Idina Menzel, “Private Practice”, “Rent”), but Morgan is a bit weirded out in having a stepmother.

Meanwhile while driving home, Morgan thinks she sees a princess, who happens to be Giselle who is looking for her prince.  Lost in New York, Robert and Morgan take Giselle into their home, where she crashes and falls asleep.

The next following day, Giselle gets used to her new surroundings and sings her song and gets all the animals (birds, bugs and rats) to assist her to clean the home.  Morgan wakes up to see the magic, wakes her father but the father is shocked to see all these rats in their home and both try to get the birds and rats out of their apartment.  When he goes into the bathroom, he sees Giselle taking a shower (assisted by birds) and next thing you know, Nancy comes to the apartment and is upset that a woman is in his apartment (and only wearing a towel).

As Robert tries to assist Giselle in finding her prince, he is touched by Giselle’s naivety of love and romance and her belief in magic in romance and happily ever after.  Because he is a divorced father, he tries to teach Giselle that happily ever after doesn’t exist but Giselle tries to counter him and both seem to learn from each other during their short time together.

Meanwhile, the Prince goes through the portal to find and search for Giselle along with Giselle’s chipmunk friend Pip.  Meanwhile, Nathaniel who is working with the Queen, is given three poison apples that he must get to Giselle in order to kill her before the prince can find her and get married to her.

Will Giselle survive her stay in New York?  Or will the Queen/Witch get to her first?

VIDEO & AUDIO:

“Enchanted” is a splendid film that looks absolutely great via 1080p High Definition.  It’s important to let viewers know that only during the beginning, during the storybook animation, the film is presented in 1:85:1 aspect ratio.  So, you will see black borders on all four sides (window-boxed).  When the film shifts from animated to modern New York, the film then becomes 2:35:1.

The film transfer is absolutely vibrant.  The animation is crisp and clear, colorful and just beautiful onscreen.  The film portion is detailed with colors showcasing the New York City from the grimy parts of New York City, to the beautiful shops and colorful, lush settings of the park.  You can see the detail from the threading of the clothing, to the gravel on the road.  It’s important to note that this was a film that is also devoid of grain.  As much as I’m a proponent of grain, the film is not exactly DNR’d (digital noise reduction) to the Nth degree.  There is no waxiness, the film retains its color and detail.  So, needless to say, the film does showcase awesome picture quality.

As for audio, being an older release, this was during the time that Disney was using DolbyTrue HD (the company has since moved to DTS-HD Master Audio).   Presented in 48 kHz and 24-bit) The film is dialogue and music-driven but as dialogue and music are front and center channel driven, there are a good number of special effects that can be heard through the surround channels.  The ambiance of New York can be heard, as well as the sound effects which includes the wicked Queen’s evil magic which envelops the soundscape all around you with use of the LFE.

The film definitely becomes immersive in sound and music.  Dialogue is clear and understandable and for the most part, the lossless audio is very good.  The film is also presented in English, French and Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital.

As for subtitles, the film is presented in English SDH, French and Spanish.

SPECIAL FEATURES

“Enchanted” comes with the following special features:

  • PIP’S PREDICAMENT: A POP-UP ADVENTURE – (5:32) Giselle’s chipmunk friend Pip stars in this new short—magical pop-up, storybook style. While Giselle gets used to life in New York, Pip embarks on a daring mission to rescue Prince Edward.
  • FANTASY COMES TO LIFE – Discover the cinematic wizardry that went into the making of “Enchanted” in three behind-the-scenes featurettes: “Happy Working Song” (6:24) – How animal trainers and special effects were utilized in the early memorable scene from the film, “That’s How You Know” (5:53) – How hundreds of people took part in the musical scene at Central Park, “A Blast at the Ball” (5:25) – How the finale was created, Susan Sarandon’s costume and more..
  • DELETED SCENES – (7:53) Six deleted scenes including exclusive intros by director Kevin Lima discussing why he cut the scene.
  • BLOOPERS – (2:09) Bloopers from “Enchanted”.
  • Music Video – (3:30) Carrie Underwood singing “Ever, Ever After”
  • THE D-FILES – Enchanted is loaded with witty hidden references to classic Disney films. The DFiles” rewards players who spot them with a short featurette showing the original Disney reference. High scoring players are treated to three extra special videos: “So Close,” “Making Ever Ever After” and “True Love’s Kiss.”

With the upcoming “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” coming out on Blu-ray, I’ve been wanting to watch “Enchanted” for awhile now.  And definitely to catch this film which had been praised by critics and has done quite successful in the box office.  So, having watched the film, I can’t help but say that I absolutely loved it.

From the gorgeous animation to the fairytale storyline, I absolutely enjoyed how the film paid homages to the classic Disney animated films and capturing the fantasy/musical and dramatic storyline.  Everything seems to work and for the most part, it’s a great combination of Disney magic of animation and it’s live film all in one.  Yes, we have seen this before in “Mary Poppins” and “Bedknobs and Broomsticks” but it was captured quite well in “Enchanted”.

Although the character of Giselle could have been quite annoying, Amy Adams manages to pull of the character quite well.   Patrick Dempsey comes into the film with success from his “Grey’s Anatomy” TV show (and I grew up watching Dempsey’s films during the 80’s), so it was great to see the chemistry between Adams, Dempsey and youngster Covey work quite well in this film.  Also, James Marsden, Timothy Spall and Susan Sarandon did a great job, and dare I say, Sarandon looks absolutely delightful in this film.

If anything, “Enchanted” is just a fun Disney film that captures that magic that viewers have seen since the 1930’s (starting off with “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs”) and this film is like one big homage to Disney past and present.

As for the Blu-ray, as they are today…they were back in 2008 during the release of “Enchanted” on High Definition.  Awesome picture and audio quality, plus plenty of special features.  This is a very solid Blu-ray release!

Overall, “Enchanted” is definitely an instant Disney classic.  A good combination of animation, music, CG and fantasy plus that romantic comedy vibe that all comes together quite splendidly for this film.  Definitely a film worth having in your Blu-ray collection!  Highly recommended!

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