with Mark Moulton
Disney’s Enchanted is a movie about Giselle, a princess wannabe from a fairy tale land. When a wicked witch pushes her into a well, Giselle suddenly finds herself instead in present-day New York city.
Following a hilarious scene, Robert Philip and his daughter Morgan discover this lost princess, realize she is out of place (to say the least) and invite her to stay with them at their apartment. Things get complicated as Morgan begins to care more for Giselle and divorcee Robert is trying to help her (in the midst of being distracted by her) to get back to her magical land where she won’t be so out of place (Spontaneously breaking into song during normal conversations is out of the ordinary…even in New York. This is hilarious). Meanwhile, Giselle simply believes that a hero will soon arrive to rescue her.
That hero comes in the form of Prince Edward who jumps into the well to find Giselle, return to the fairy tale land, and get married. But close behind Edward comes the wicked witch who has plans of her own…involving an apple…a deep sleep…well, you get the idea.
The movie continue to strew along its path elements from the plotlines of several older Disney fairy tale classics. It is like a trail of bread crumbs that let us retrace familiar steps through the magical world where anything can happen.
This cute, light-hearted film readily tickles the funny bone as the “flat” realities of fairy tales rub up against the more ragged, unpredictable edges of 3-D existence. As a family movie, this will please children, teenagers and adults- and not just females! Unfortunately, in seeking older viewership, the movie has a mix of innuendo and coarse humor…thus the movie has a PG rating. In addition, some scenes could frighten the very young.
Some Ideas for Family Interaction:
Despite the dizzying details that complicate the story line, see if you can discuss together some of these questions about Enchanted to gain some life insights related to this movie. (Don’t object too loudly that this was only mindless diversion and indulgent play…I once read a serious book about psychology and life organized entirely around the children’s tale, “The Velveteen Rabbit”!):
(1) Since Giselle and Robert Phillip started out with very different points of view about life, do what you can to explain how each of them looked at things differently. (Also: Did either one – or did both – think themself to be totally honest about the world “as it really is”?)
(2) Giselle, on her way to becoming a “real” somebody even though she didn’t realize it, gradually began to bump against not only new physical barriers but also, every time she turned around, obstacles to doing things the ways she was used to doing them. Over time she became willing to accept more that she was interacting with a very different reality. How did working with Robert towards a mutual relationship help her get better at accepting disappointment? (And: When life in the 3-D world of human beings next throws Giselle some curve balls – now that she has left Andalasia for Robert – what will you advise her to do to handle the disappointment she will feel?
(3) In your view, is the blind belief in romantic love that some people in our world have (as in, “it’s enough to keep us together that we share this feeling of attachment”) enough to bind lovers together through life’s trials and disappointments? (Or are there better things on which a couple can rely to keep them united when times get bad?)
[(4) What way(s) of looking at things do fairy tales share in common with how we find ourselves adapting to life in our reality? Is there anything from the fairy tale world you could incorporate more of, as you go about your life (assuming yours isn’t like a fairy tale already!)?]