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Finding Happily Ever After in Disney's 'Disenchanted'

A surprise sequel takes place ten years after the original movie based on the title of the same name, but with a twist to the fairy tale.

Disenchanted (2022)

4 / 5
4.5 / 5

A surprise sequel takes place ten years after the original movie based on the title of the same name, but with a twist to the fairy tale.

Disney’s Disenchanted is a 2022 live-action movie that combines elements of fantasy and realism in this memorable sequel based on the first movie. This sequel is continuous; where viewers last left off with the original movie, Giselle (Amy Adams) has married Robert (Patrick Dempsey) while Prince Edward (James Marsden) marries Nancy Tremaine (Idina Menzel). The actors who play the main characters reprise their roles and face new characters introduced in this sequel.

A lot has changed since the sequel takes place 10 years after the events of the original movie. Morgan (Gabriella Bandacchino), Robert’s daughter, has changed since the first movie, as she is now a teenager. Giselle and Robert have a baby daughter named Sofia. Edward has become king of Andalasia, along with Queen Nancy.

As stated by the movie’s title, the sequel focuses on the disillusioned life in the city, the horrible feeling of being out of place in suburbia, and the frustration that her happily ever after hasn’t been so easy to find. The element of magic happens and is the main focus in this sequel, just like in the first movie. Monroeville, the name of the suburban town Giselle, Robert, and Morgan move into serves as a foreshadowing element. Viewers see a hint that there is a new ruler in the suburbia, hence the title Disenchanted.

In addition, black magic is what makes the town of Monroeville become trapped in a fairy tale of its own, a reference to the first movie where Giselle is sent from her fairy tale world into the real location of New York City, New York. Malvina Monroe, the main antagonist, shares similar personality and physical traits to Queen Narissa; she wears black clothing, has a son named Tyson Monroe (Kolton Stewart), and serves as the queen bee of Monroeville, as the suburban town is named after her. Like Queen Narissa, Malvina wants to maintain control of the throne. Tyson Monroe shares a similar role to Prince Edward from the first movie; he is Morgan’s love interest when Giselle wishes to live a life like a fairy tale. Tyson is also the nice guy at Morgan’s new school.

the actors reprise their roles cover image
James Marsden, Idina Menzel, Patrick Dempsey and Amy Adams

The theme of a real-life fairy tale shows viewers the true meaning of a happily ever after. Finding a happily ever after is not that easy, as shown in previous Disney movies that revolve around this theme. In the opening scene, Pip the chipmunk reads the story of the original movie, recapping the events that happened in the first movie, but hints to the viewers that what he finished was not a true “happily ever after”, but part of the story he was reading. Viewers become curious to see what life would be like if it was its own fairy tale story. In addition, the storybook shows the animated version of Giselle, and the page reveals the real world to the viewers.

The wish that was supposed to be a fairy tale wish has turned into a nightmare, as evidenced by the clue in the title Disenchanted. Giselle finds out she is the wicked stepmother, with Morgan as the stepdaughter and Pip the chipmunk has turned into a cat. There are real dragons and trolls in this fairy tale universe. The magic scroll comes to life in this wish. All of the magical elements are references to previous Disney Princess movies.

Morgan appears in Andalasia in her animated form, along with King Edward and Queen Nancy. The wish reflects how Andalasia and Monroeville are easily connected to each other. In her animated form, Morgan discovers that memories are the key to reversing the magic. This is foreshadowed by the memory tree that is seen in Morgan’s new room before the wish takes effect.

Many viewers will recognize Idina Menzel, the actress who plays Nancy Tremaine, in this live-action fantasy musical movie Disney’s Disenchanted, since she has a new song called “Love Power” that takes place in Andalasia and Monroeville. Also, viewers see a strong representation of women in this sequel, since many characters are played by female actors. There is also some representation of African Americans.

Overall, Disney’s Disenchanted is an amazing sequel with music and other topics related to fairy tales.