Is Giselle Disney's Most Slept On Princess?

    When talking about Disney it's hard not to look to their most marketable and endearing aspect. Their Princess line up.
3 of you aren't actually princesses but I'mma let it slide
        It's amazing to think that little old Snow White started this all off. Look at all the stories we've experienced over the last seventy-nine years because of her! So clearly our girl Snow is an ICON. Same as Cinderella and Belle who just had their live-action remakes (which were very successful no matter what your opinion on them was). In the height of discussing remakes and sequels I recently watched one of my personal childhood favorites;
Oh the whimsy! Oh the magic!


     Coincidentally I learned that a sequel to one of my most adored childhood movies was in the works and it got me thinking about my past. I remember when Enchanted came out my friend, Mom, and I cherished this film to pieces. It was so magical and whimsical that my nine-year-old mind soared with every kind of possibility there was in fantasy. The animated portions were adorable, Amy Adams being a Fish Out of Water in New York City was charming, the story was ahead of its time (well Disney's time), and the music's been stuck in my head ever since!
       So how come, until recently, we hardly ever talked about this 2007 movie despite its commercial success (earning a whopping $340 million worldwide), two nominations for the 65th Golden Globe Awards, three nominations for the 80th Academy Awards, and winning three Saturn Awards? How come Giselle isn't a household name you instantly think of when talking about Disney princesses? Will this change come the sequel? Let's answer these questions by driving into what makes Enchanted simply enchanting!

The Animation       

       Throughout the film, we're treated with one of Disney's last 2D hand-drawn/classic-ish style of animation. (The last being in 2009 with The Princess and the Frog.) This, in my opinion, has to be in favor of Enchanted as a whole. They interact and intertwine live-action with animation to tell a whimsical story. We get the best of Disney in one movie. We've seen this type of style and storytelling be done before in Mary Poppins and Who Framed Roger Rabbit and Cool World (though, thankfully, this one wasn't butchered like that movie).
        In five minutes we get our classic Disney Princess story told in their classic hand-drawn animation. We get our evil queen, we get our charming prince, we get gross monsters, we get dumb sidekicks, we get our love song, we get our cute animal sidekicks, we get our soon-to-be princess, and most importantly, we get TRUE LOVE! At this point, you might be puking at the whirlwind you've stepped into when Giselle, voiced and played by the lovely Amy Adams, steps out of her carriage to get married to her ONE TRUE LOVE Prince Edward, played by James Marsden. Then we get even more of our classic Disney when a disguised Evil Queen Narissa, played by Susan Sarandon, stops Giselle by luring her over to a wishing well and shoving her inside.
~Record Scratch~
This is probably one of the prettiest moments in the film.
         Ugh! This scene is so stunningly animated. I love the whole concept as well but just seeing her dive into what looks like a galaxy then getting 'attacked' by stars is just beautiful. I'm glad they only showed this portion of it happening to Giselle instead of every character that went into the well. It just really captures the wonderment of this movie without going too overboard and cheesy. Trust me, this movie has lots of cheese to it but none so much that you wouldn't get in any other Disney movie.
        The rest of the film is mostly spent in live-action with the occasional dip back into animated Andalasia and the two sometimes crossing over. So, in this respect, Enchanted took about 10ish minutes to tell your classic Disney animation story while still having a full movie ahead to look forward to. 10 attacking stars to Enchanted!

The Fish Out of Water

       This trope is so common in any fantasy genre it's almost essential. From Thor to The Boondocks we've seen how this trope plays out. Even in more classical Disney films, we have almost all of the princesses falling into this trope. Enchanted does this a bit differently by the switch of scenery. We go from fantasy animated Andalasia to real-life and terrifying-yet-somehow-enchanting New York City. This is where we're introduced to Giselle for a second time as we see her adjust to these new rules and conditions of real life. We're also introduced to McDreamy Robert Philip played by Patrick Dempsey who is a divorce lawyer about to propose to his fashion designer girlfriend Nancy Tremaine, played by the ice queen herself Idina Menzel.
My Mom and I still quote this
       The rest of the movie is spent with Giselle figuring out this world and trying to find her Prince, True Love, and Andalasia. Like all Fish Out of Water stories this, of course, gets our heroes into a series of hijinks that lead into some fantastic musical numbers in a world that doesn't follow the logic of musicals.
         This is hilariously pointed out by Robert in the ICONIC Central Park number choreographed by John O'Connell. (If you have the DVD or somehow can watch the behind the scenes for that particular number it's incredible! Everyone put so much work and time to make that five-minute scene it deserves more appreciation). Back on point though, is that because of the number, "That's How You Know" we get to see Robert be uncomfortable and out of place which is quite refreshing to see in a Fish Out of Water story, where the Fishes in the Water are thrown out of their element for a moment.

Ahead of Its Time

          At the moment, it's hard to go to any Disney movie and not be hit with some type of anti-Disney trash talk BY the Disney characters. We have it in Frozen with Kristoff scoffing at Anna for wanting to get married to a man she's only known for an hour. (Though he's got a point). We have it in Moana when Maui mocks Moana for being a princess, which she quickly rebuts that she's the daughter of chief which DOES NOT EQUAL to being a princess. But I digress.
I'm Angry!😃👏
         It may come as a surprise to you but this entire movie was made to be a big old satirical commentary on typical Disney movies. It's everywhere! Even when the first 10 minutes give us the ultimate Disney experience the next 97 minutes is dedicated to breaking down the reality and fiction of Happily Ever After and True Love.
         Like in every writing advice column you'll ever find it's always better to SHOW than to TELL and Enchanted does just this. And not only does it do so but it does it so much better! This is a phenomenal message for little kids (having been a little girl when this movie came out I can attest) than a snarky comment from your main character. Show why the instantaneous love isn't for everyone. Show that relationships of all kinds not just romantic take a lot of hard work if you want them to work. I think Kevin Lima put it perfectly when he was talking about why Giselle and Prince Edward simply couldn't end up together:

Because [Enchanted] is about a woman who grows past the small world where she came from and becomes a more fully formed person. So she can’t stay where she was, she can’t get married to the person she met that she decided to marry in a single day. 1
         I hope in the future if Disney really wants to break from their past that they learn the #1 rule of writing that this movie executed perfectly while also being a pretty solid Disney movie.

The Music

         If you don't know which song I'm about to talk about then you don't know me at all. Which is understandable. This might be the first post you've read of mine in which case, Welcome! Feel free to check out the rest of the site 😘
        First off, all the songs in this are great. They fit the moment, the moods, and the overall movie perfectly. The original scores and numbers all pay homage to earlier Disney movies which just adds a weird new-age nostalgia to the whole film.
I'm just gonna go cry now
        My favorite musical number has to be, "That's How You Know". I swear that song was made just to be stuck in your head 11 years after you watch the movie for the first time. My Mom especially loves this song but I think more for the choreography. She was raised in upstate New York and visited the city when she was older. So being able to see all those places having been there herself just added on top of the fun and craziness of that entire scene.
         That being said my absolute favorite song isn't even one of the musical ones per say. It's "So Close". The scene itself is a gigantic nod to Beauty and the Beast as well as Cinderella but this song sends it to another level. For some reason, ever since I first viewed the movie, this is the scene that got me. The lighting, the dancing, and the music sell this scene. Then add Robert I-Don't-Sing-And-I-Don't-Dance dancing and singing softly along with Jon McLaughlin, it's a recipe for me to start crying. I don't mean my 'oh this is so sad' but I mean my 'actual tears are streaming from my eyes' crying. There's a difference, thank you very much.
        What more do I say other than thank God "So Close" was nominated for an Academy Award.

So Why Is Giselle So Slept On

         Taking all of the above into consideration why is Enchanted not talked about more often? It's been five years since Frozen came out and the hype around that seems to be getting higher every day. Not that Enchanted isn't beloved. At least not according to Rotten Tomatoes and IMBD. I mean in comparison to the other princess movies (I'm including Moana because it's freaking Moana) Enchanted is in the Top 10 highest rated animated-ish 'princess' movies (going on Rotten Tomatoes scores).

Rotten Tomatoes
Snow White and the Seven Dwarves
Beauty and the Beast
Little Mermaid
Sleeping Beauty
The Princess and the Frog

(Btw how dare y'all put my QUEEN Mulan at 86% she is a full 100%, this is absolute BLASPHAMY!)       

          Not that IMBD and Rotten Tomatoes scores are the end-all-be-all deciders of if a movie is good or not but it's still an indicator. So why is Giselle then seemingly so forgettable(ish)? Why is she not part of the line-up? I mean she scores higher than Frozen! Frozen! Guys, "Let It Go" has been stuck in my head going on five years now and I only watched the movie twice! Twice!
This movie would've been so different
          Like I said Enchanted is one of my favorites from childhood (though it's no Mulan or Aladdin) but it was the one that started the trend of making fun of Disney princesses movies while being one of the better Disney Princess's! So why isn't she Marketable™️ like the others? Is it because she was live-action for the majority of the movie. Most likely.
          I know Disney is trying their hardest to catch up to the times and make up for their past by showing the value of family love versus romantic/idealistic love but honestly, the lessons learned in Enchanted are far superior to some of the other stories they've produced. Giselle learns that life isn't a fairytale, that you have to work and compromise with your partner even if it does make you angry. In the beginning, she's seamlessly alone living in a tree house. (Where is her family btw?) But throughout the movie, she becomes friends with Morgan played by Rachel Covey and grows attached to her. They form a bond outside of romance or family obligations.
        I haven't seen any other Disney movie that focuses on unrelated women working together to solely just become friends! (If I'm wrong please point me in the right direction!) I mean I know the instantaneous and most often forced romances get a lot of attention, but what about the no friendships? Particularly the no female friendships? One of the reasons I adore The Princess and the Frog is the relationship between Tiana and Charlotte. But even in that scenario, the two end up in a weird love-triangle with Naveen. Not that it's a bad thing it's just another overdone and overused trope that we've seen a thousand times before. Women in film and TV can't ever be purely friends for friendship sake there's always has to be underlining snarky catty moments or a man coming between them, even if it is just for a moment.
These moments were so precious
        I can't express enough what it meant as a young girl to see another little girl and a grown woman just bonding! It seems so simple but in a lot of movies, mother/daughter type relationships are not really depicted as good or loving or there or even fun things to be celebrated. There always has to be Drama™️.
         The point of this ramble is that Morgan, Giselle, and Robert all get to have a family in the end. And they're happy about it as well! We get to see that everyone in this movie gets their just rewards and they get to be happy. I also love that Nancy gets to have her fairytale runaway with a man you just met a moment ago because- hey! Not everyone's life is going to be the same and nor should it have to be. The only thing that matters is that you get to decide what your happy-ever-after is. And if it's finding love, becoming a family, getting to the top of your career, just living life, or all of it and more that's beyond radical and go for it! This is your life, keep it enchanted.
       With an awesome message like that, it really makes you scratch your head as to why this movie and its princess are so slept on?
        Is it because Giselle never became a princess and in fact, her 'rival' Nancy becomes one through marriage instead? Well as I pointed out in the first picture, three of the Disney princesses aren't actually princesses at all. The closets Mulan gets to becoming royalty is hugging the Emperor, Pocahontas and Moana are both daughters of chiefs, and Elsa is a ruling Queen thank you very much. So probably not that either.

Will This Change With Disenchanted

        Only time can tell. So let's hope we don't go falling into a Wishing Well and get attacked by stars in the meantime.
Let's hope it will be
        Instead of a tiresome Frozen 2 can Idina rectify her character in Disenchanted and the movie involves Nancy and Prince (or king at this point) Edward and how she's adjusting to becoming a freaking ANIMATED CHARACTER? I mean I feel like the plot just writes itself! 

       This video drove me mad, so maybe show it a bit of love?


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