Review: ‘Disenchanted’ Can’t Capture The Same Magic As ‘Enchanted’

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Amy Adams shines and Maya Rudolph hilariously takes a villainous turn in Disenchanted, a fine yet less-magical follow-up to the hit musical Enchanted.

When Giselle (Adams) and Robert (Patrick Dempsey) move their family to a suburban town, a but of magic transforms their new home to a real-life fairy tale complete with new threats to both the family and Andalasia. Enchanted was such a surprising success that any attempt at a follow-up was doomed to experience heavy scrutiny and high expectations. Disenchanted is a valiant attempt, the story feeling like a natural progression from the first film, but aside from solid performances, there isn’t much to sing about. Adams, as mentioned, is ever so charming as Giselle, but deliciously wicked as she fights an evil alter ego that is slowly taking over. Her ability to switch from one demeanor to the next in a split second is so, so good. Dempsey has more to do in this entry, but is still brushed to the side while Gabriella Baldacchino brings the couple’s now-teenage daughter to life with an angsty, spot-on performance. It’s Rudolph, however, who is laugh-out-loud funny in every scene and a nice breath of fresh air to the cast.

Enchanted featured some memorable songs that still are in rotation for many Disney fanatics, but Disenchanted doesn’t quite deliver the same. One exception may be the Adams/Rudolph “Badder,” a fun dueling duet. Aside from the acting and perhaps this one song, as well as crisp visual effects, Disenchanted feels like it has arrived a little too late. Some hits are best left untouched and Enchanted would fall into that category. It’s not for lack of trying from Adams and crew; there is a lot of passion in the performances that you would expect from a top-rate cast like this. There also are some fun Disney references throughout that are pleasing. But in the end, I just wanted more.

Disenchanted is now streaming on Disney+.

Rating: 3/5

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