Disenchanted: A maybe not so magical experience

Betty Desta, Opinion Editor

Patrick Dempsey’s career was highlighted in the drama series “Grey’s Anatomy”, which has been running since 2005. While Dempsey’s character, McDreamy, was certainly a man of many talents, his character slowly became overbearing and annoying, but luckily this time around he was not burdened with such a personality in the new “Enchanted” sequel, “Disenchanted.”

disenchanted movie poster
From left to right: James Marsden, Idina Menzel, Amay Adams, Gabriella Baldacchino and Patrick Dempsey posing for the Disenchanted movie cover. (Disney)

Enchanted is inspired by a multitude of princess movies including Cinderella and Snow White, however, if you have ever seen the movie, it is still able to put a unique spin on these classic cartoon love stories and make it something that’s almost realistic.

The movie is quite a magical experience that delves outside the typical cartoon fairytale, letting us believe anything like that is basically impossible, the original movie allows viewers to imagine the possibility of such a fairytale for themselves by bringing to life a ditzy, cartoon girl named Giselle. After landing in Manhattan because of an evil queen, she eventually falls in love with a native New Yorker named Robert, and marries him, becoming the step-mother to his daughter, Morgan.

Despite sequels never being better then the original and Disenchanted not being able to summon that same giddyness and magic, it still managed to be a watchable story, reflecting a more modern fairytale as well as a realness between families but also the absolutely boring trope of the naive woman.

The movie starts out with the three and their newborn, moving away from busy Manhattan to suburban Monroeville. While the move was exciting for Giselle and Robert, their daughter Morgan was heavily against it, consistently making snarky comments about it and any of her mom’s moves to try and make her feel better about the move. With their daughter hating their move and everything in the house breaking, proving that Morgan might have been right about just staying in Manhattan, the family found themselves unhappy with the life they were trying to make joyful with moving to begin with. So Giselle takes a magic wand she found and wishes her family was living a fairytale.

Although she has spent years now in the modern world outside of her princess one, Giselle still seems to not understand that there are rough patches in everything, including families, resulting in a jumbled mess as she has to clean up because of what was caused from the “fairytale” she had wished for, that landed her between an evil queen and becoming a evil stepmother to Morgan.

Giselle says, “See, in Andalasia the hardest part in life is finding your happily-ever-after. Everything else seems easy.” 

It feels like Giselle’s whole character surrounds this naive, innocent woman, and while that may have been okay for the first movie considering she was literally from a different world, it becomes tiresome to see that she hasn’t really learned anything about the real world, as long as she’s been there. It’s a type of trope that always surrounds women in film, sometimes subtlety, and sometimes dramatically like in this case. It isn’t bad to be naive sometimes, but as a woman, it gets boring and tiresome to see, especially when it is the only quality of many female characters. 

Giselle plays a resilient woman, and instead of highlighting her strength and willpower, Disney focuses on her motherhood and beauty; both are beautiful aspects of Giselle, however they aren’t what make her solely, yet in film women and their characters are still minimized like such.