The only funny moment for “Disenchanted,” the totally unnecessary Disney+ sequel to 2007’s “Enchanted” infinitely better NYC set, comes right at the beginning.
“It turns out that New York wasn’t Giselle’s fairy tale after all,” says the narrator. Thousands of new Floridians will fall laughing.
Show duration: 121 minutes. Rated PG (Light Hazard & Language.) on Disney+.
Giselle (Amy Adams) hasn’t bothered Manhattan due to crime, the high cost of living, and rapidly deteriorating conditions. The cartoon princess, who found herself moved from the magical kingdom of Andalusia to the big city during the first movie 15 years ago, now has a baby with her lawyer husband Robert (Patrick Dempsey) and their apartment along Central Park is just too small for them. the growing family, which also includes teenage daughter Morgan.
Therefore, the clan moved to a house in a fictitious suburb called Monroeville which is likely to be located in Westchester.
And just like that, the whole point of this fish-out-of-water franchise is casually thrown in at Hudson. No more gags with an innocent Disney Princess who radiates goodness and clashes with grumpy, always grouchy, black-clad New Yorkers. Instead, we room a familiar family home that has Mama Giselle heads with spitfire Morgan (Gabriella Baldacchino), who misses her old home.
Not sure what to do, an angry Giselle takes the wand of wishing that her old flame Edward (James Marsden) and his wife Nancy (Idina Menzel) gifted her baby, singing “I wish we had a fairy tale”. This spell turns Monroeville into something like a “Beauty and the Beast” storybook village overnight. Townspeople in silly hats and aprons dance in the square.
But things get messy. Giselle gradually turns into an evil stepmother and competes with another villain, Malvina (Maya Rudolph), an obnoxious mom from high school. Rudolph’s watered-down material doesn’t quite measure up to her massive talents, and once again it’s wasted on yet another movie.
To make up for the characterless suburban setting, director Adam Shankman, composer Alan Menken, and lyricist Stephen Schwartz made a “frustrated” full-length musical.
The first had only three songs, “True Love’s Kiss”, “Happy Work Song” and the smashing Central Park mob-style number “That’s How You Know”. This time around, here are 10 powerful tunes that do nothing more than imitate the best Disney songs and last far too long. The big hit single “Love Power” sung by the character Menzel who doesn’t need her own song, even has the “Frozen” actress belting out “Let It Glow!”
One fun sequence: a number called “Imaginary Life (After Magic)” in which panini grills and espresso machines sing as if they live at Pee-wee’s Playhouse. You struggle to take care of the rest.
Is it pure nostalgic grace seeing Adams return to her star-making royal role? Not right. She, Dempsey, Marsden, and Menzel all feel a little long in the tooth for this story. After all, these are sparkling princesses and princesses — not the 300-year-old witches in “Hocus Pocus.”
Most of all, we miss the true main character of this series: New York City.
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