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6 Degrees Entertainment

(Amy Adams, Patrick Dempsey, et al / DVD / PG / (2007) 2008 / Disney)

Overview: Life is idyllic in the fairytale world where conflict is minimal and breaking into song solves every problem, but what happens when a princess from the fairy world gets magically transported into the real world? Enchanted begins in the animated fairytale world of Andalasia where Princess Giselle (Amy Adams) is destined to marry Prince Edward (James Marsden) and live happily ever after. Problem is, Edward's step-mother Queen Narissa (Susan Sarandon) doesn't want to give up the throne and will do anything to get Giselle out of Edward's life. Queen Narissa's solution is to push Giselle into a well that magically lands Giselle smack in the middle of the real world--the center of Time Square in New York City, to be exact!

DVD Verdict: In `Enchanted' two worlds collide: The real world and the animated world. This has been done before. We've seen Tom and Jerry tap dance along with Gene Kelly, and we certainly experienced this fusion in `Who Framed Roger Rabbit' Who Framed Roger Rabbit and later with `Space Jam' Space Jam . This time the two worlds are separate, but they meet into one another. As if pop-up books spring characters from children's fantasy stories and brought them live to the modern day world. How would we react? Just the way they do in the movie. People in New York City would wince at Shakespearean actors on the loose and in their way during a busy work day. Much like they did in the movie `Elf' Elf (Infinifilm Edition) with Will Ferrell and James Caan, only better. And as it is with that recent Christmas classic, the meeting is meant to make the world we know a better place. That's why the enchantment works so well.

If you want to bring wide-eyed innocence to the screen, I know of few better ways than to have Amy Adams (`Junebug') play Giselle, a Snow White or Cinderella figure who escapes the evil witch, Narissa (here wonderfully performed by Susan Sarandon in a role we're used to seeing Glen Close or Tilda Swinton play) from the magic kingdom, Andalasia. She's betrothed to Prince Edward (bka "Charming" or James Marsden of `Hairspray` fame) and on the run through a starry expanse that reminded me very closely of a portal used in one of the later `Myst` games. ("Destiny" is his horse, which is to say there isn't too much subtlety here.) And, as each character goes through the symbolically significant portal, a man-hole cover, one easily forgets that this trajectory is a close reading of the focal point of 'Being John Malkovich'. Nevermind all this, however, for no matter how familiar certain elements may feel, the thrust of this film is certainly fresh and inviting.

The witch wants to dissolve their nuptials and has the portly Nathaniel to chase her down. On the allies' side is a chipmunk messenger who has good intentions, but a poor success rate with only charades as his communication method. Running into Giselle is Robert (Patrick Dempsey) a jaded single father who is a prosperous, but floundering attorney. She needs him to shelter her from the rude awakening of a rainstorm on a bad side of town, and he needs her to give him a new outlook in life. He's about to give his hand to Nancy, much to the chagrin of daughter, Morgan.

One of the great merits of this movie is how they suspend our disbelief to the events that occur. Marsden, Adams, and Sarandon bring the otherworld with them in ways that preclude any notions that over acting prima donnas are spilling their way into Central Park and beyond. Particularly Adams' wide-eyed innocence sets up that her displacement can bring real joy and revitalization from the past without seeming facile or saccharine. (Or when it is shown to be wildly unreal, there's plenty of good humor to poke fun of it all when they break into song.)

Once Narissa catches up with them, we begin to see that there really is decency we can draw upon in our own world and a menace that exists in their world that is worse than our own. Innoculated with chivalry and romance, all the dirt and grime of city life are given a face lift along with our spirits. Just like 'Across the Universe' Across the Universe before it, 'Enchanted' is an experience of love and music transcending the dingy mean-spiritedness that is all too often identified as reality. This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.85:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the Special Features:

Pip's Predicament: A Pop-up Adventure: Giselle's chipmunk friend Pip stars in this new short—magical pop-up, storybook style. While Giselle gets used to life in New York, Pip embarks on a daring mission to rescue Prince Edward. Fantasy Comes to Life - 3 Behind The Scenes Featurettes: "Happy Working Song," "That's How You Know," "A Blast at the Ball"
Deleted Scenes: Including exclusive introductions by director Kevin Lima