Disney has bumped up the release date for Disenchanted from Thanksgiving Day (November 24) to November 18 and dropped a second trailer.
After watching the trailer and reading the synopsis, I cannot help but wonder whether this sequel to the fan-favorite Enchanted was merely filmed for nostalgia bait. For one, it is usually never good when a follow-up of a previous movie that had a theatrical release is distributed directly to a streaming service (in this case, Disney+). Secondly, this plot seems to completely retcon the entire theme of the first film.
In Enchanted, Giselle learned to look past the darkness of the real world and treasured the beauty of it while maintaining her joy and even finding true love. However, now in Disenchanted, she is so unhappy with real-life to the point she selfishly turns Robert’s and Morgan’s lives upside-down – relocating them far from his job and her friends – just so that she can simply have her fairy-tale life? That does not sound like Giselle!
Is Disney seriously trying to tell us that the same fair maiden from Andalasia that brought a married couple filing for divorce back together will also willingly complicate things for her own husband and step-daughter to satisfy her own “happiness”? They can try to sell all of the nostalgia they want to their target audience, but I refuse to buy this nonsense.
Sure, I expect Giselle to be hurt by the real world here and there as everyone is, but it is not in her character to give up on her circumstance and neglect the needs of her loved ones, especially after her growth in the first film. Sounds like she is the real villain in this sequel, and I’m not talking about the evil step-mother version of herself she accidentally turns into from her wish that backfires on her.
I am also not on board with the direction of Morgan’s arc in this movie. Why turn her into the clichéd angsty teenager? Although many are, not every teen is upset at everyone and everything. Also, why is she even a teenager considering that she was 6 years old in the first one that released almost 15 years ago? She should be 21 now!
Given that Morgan loved Giselle almost immediately in Enchanted and enjoyed fairytales and princesses as a young child, it does not make sense for Morgan to have a bad attitude towards her step-mother and anything Andalasia related. It also really upsets me that she “tells Giselle that she will never be her real mother, only her stepmother.” While everyone says harsh things to their mothers, this is taking it too far. Since Giselle has been in Morgan’s life for so long now, having her say that is uncalled for.
It appears that Disney is not even hiding that they are marketing off of nostalgia hence the title of the new Disenchanted promo, “Nostalgia”, that came out this afternoon and the description on Disney+.
“A live-action musical comedy, ‘Disenchanted’ is a sequel to Disney’s box office hit ‘Enchanted’ featuring the original cast from the heart-warming story of the lovable, hopelessly-romantic maiden, Giselle from the fairy tale world of Andalasia, who finally found her Prince Charming, divorce-lawyer Robert Philip, in the kingdom of New York City.”
As a huge fan of Enchanted and someone who has seen it twice in theaters back in the day, I personally don’t think that it needs a sequel to begin with considering that it ends with a strong, satisfying conclusion. However, since a sequel is already less than 2 weeks away, why shouldn’t it take advantage of properly further developing the characters rather than constructing a lazy script featuring the protagonist relearning the same lesson learned in the previous movie?
I am really hoping that I will be proven wrong and that Disenchanted will be fantastic, but I refuse to let Disney blind me with nostalgia!
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