A long 15 years after Disney's hit Enchanted movie was released, we're turning the story on its head in Disenchanted (on Disney+), where the star character, Amy Adams as Giselle, channels her evil stepmother side.
When we left Giselle and Robert (Patrick Dempsey) all those years ago, they were happily married, but as Disenchanted tells us, life doesn't stop after Happily Ever After.
Giselle and Robert had a baby, Sofia, and Morgan (Gabriella Baldacchino) became a teenager. As time passed, their New York City "castle in the sky" became too small.
Then Giselle saw a sign — literally — that said: "Think of moving to Monroeville. Your fairy tale starts here!"
So the family packed up their things to move to the suburbs.
While this was supposed to be Giselle's second chance at Happily Ever After, things are off to a rough start. The suburb is home to the Queen Bee Malvina (Maya Rudolph) and her friends (more like followers) Rosaleen (Yvette Nicole Brown) and Ruby (Jayma Mays), who make Giselle feel like an outcast.
Giselle goes back to her roots, to Andalasia, to help make this Happily Ever After dream a reality, but she actually turns the whole town into a real fairy tale land, which makes her Morgan's wicked stepmother. Giselle only has a limited amount of time to try to bring things back to normal.
'Little Maya's dream of what it's like to be in a musical'
For the new cast members to the Enchanted/Disenchanted world, like Maya Rudolph and Yvette Nicole Brown, being part of this film was a dream come true.
“Knowing that I was going to get to sing this [Alan] Menken and [Stephen] Schwartz song was really, truly almost like a life fulfillment, like I was training for the marathon I'd been training for my whole life,” Rudolph said at a press conference ahead of the film's release.
“We'd go to vocal rehearsal and we'd go to dance rehearsal, and we were working towards the day where we shot the song… This was like little Maya's dream of what it's like to be in a musical. This is it. This is truly it.”
For Brown, she's wanted to be part of this story since her friend was cast in the original film.
“My friend, Marilyn Sue [Perry], played the bus driver in the original Enchanted and I remember — you know how you're like happy for somebody and just feel bad in your soul because it's not you?” Brown said. “Then 15 years later, for the call to come my way... I'm pinching myself.”
While Patrick Dempsey is a returning star, we do get to see him sing this time around.
“It was a joy,” Dempsey said.”That whole process of going through finding your voice, working with the coach on that, learning the lyrics and the dance, was an extraordinary experience and something I'd never done before.”
“It was nice to be in the fairy tale world for a while.”
The love and appreciation between the cast and crew comes through in not just their interactions, but on the screen where you can sense they had fun making this movie.
Brown also shared a sweet message to the cast and crew of Disenchanted, who supported her when her mother passed away while filming the movie.
“Everyone enveloped me in love and I felt like the toughest time of my life, there was nowhere else I would've rather been than with all of you," she said.
“I want to take a moment to just thank you again for just carrying me through that moment and I don't have any sadness about my time with you at the hardest time of my life because that was the love of this film… I know my mother would just want to thank you all, too, for taking care of her baby.”
Spotting the fairy tale tropes
The best part about Disenchanted is spotting all the reference to previous Disney films. While we won't give away too many secret messages, the film's director Adam Shankman did tease a few things to keep an eye on.
“The fundamental construct, theoretically, of Enchanted is the sending up of all of the tropes and it's one of my favourite things about the movie, and about participating in it,” Shankman said. “To my knowledge, it's the first time Disney ever winked at itself.”
“If you look around, when the town turns into a fairy tale town, every sign of every shop has something Disney winking involved in it, but it's super subtle. There is a not-so-subtle nod in [Gabriella Baldacchino's] solo song, actually there's many. Every shot in that song is something that's a nod to another ‘I want’ song.’... The magic mirror is a replica of the magic mirror from Snow White. So, it is floor-to-ceiling, everywhere you look, you could swing a cat, you're going to hit a trope.”