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Enchanted - Preview

Enchanted

Preview by Jack Foley

THERE are plenty of films for the family this Christmas, from obvious choice The Golden Compass to animated adventure Bee Movie. But Disney’s Enchanted could surprise many by being the unexpected pick of the bunch.

When IndieLondon caught a screening of it during the London Film Festival it genuinely enchanted audiences and critics alike. And we have to recommend adding it to your Christmas list.

The film combines elements of the classic Disney animated fairytales of yesteryear (Snow White et al) with a modern, live-action romantic comedy and features an all-star cast, including Oscar nominee Amy Adams, James Marsden (of X-Men and Hairspray fame), Patrick Dempsey (of Grey’s Anatomy), Susan Sarandon and Timothy Spall.

The story follows the beautiful princess Giselle (Adams) as she is banished by an evil queen (Sarandon) from her magical, musical animated land and finds herself in the gritty reality of the streets of modern-day Manhattan. Shocked by this strange new environment that doesn’t operate on a “happily ever after” basis, Giselle finds herself adrift in a chaotic world badly in need of enchantment.

But when Giselle begins to fall in love with a charmingly flawed divorce lawyer (Dempsey) who has come to her aid – even though she is already promised to a perfect fairy tale prince (Marsden) back home – she has to wonder: can a storybook view of romance survive in the real world?

Book-ended by nine minutes of new Disney 2D animation, Enchanted contains all the classic features of a Disney family film, with a captivating lead performance from Adams and a unique blend of live action and classic Disney animation.

What’s more, it’s directed by Kevin Lima (of Tarzan and A Goofy Movie fame) and features original songs from the reunited team of acclaimed composer Alan Menken (an eight-time Oscar winner) and lyricist Stephen Schwartz.

Lima has revealed that the project is a dream come true for him and credits Adams as being the film’s lucky charm – her performance perfectly capturing the innocence and wonder of her character. Marsden also has fun as the campy prince, Dempsey is a good romantic lead and Sarandon vamps it up as the evil queen.

Look out, too, for a wonderful musical sequence in New York’s Central Park, some colourful old school animation and a sharp, savvy script that effortlessly balances contemporary concerns with some cracking nods to the Disney back catalogue. Eagle-eyed Disney buffs should have plenty of fun picking out the numerous references.

Enchanted opens in UK cinemas on December 14 and IndieLondon will feature reviews, photos and interviews with the principals nearer the time! b>Watch the trailer