Recently, on one of those small trips I tend to write incredibly long e-mails about, I had the pleasure of having at my fingertips the funky new Air New Zealand entertainment system, the one that allows one to select the movie one wants to view and also allowing one to pause, rewind and fast-forward as required.
I had experienced this system once before and was most impressed by its flexibility. This time around, the system gave me the chance to see the film Enchanted (edited for a family audience of course), a film I had considered seeing as it had advertised itself as a Disney film that mocked Disney films, and looked entertaining to boot.
Well, the Disney company is nothing if not a master of spin. There may have been some mockery of the family movie conventions of huge song and dance numbers, “montage songs”, cutesy animal companions, and an outrageous villain, but more often than not the film revelled in these clichés, dragging out the songs to torturous length and showing the naïve characters from the realm of fantasy as people who could successfully integrate into modern society within a matter of hours rather than days. Perhaps the fact the animated, non-bestial characters were all white assisted with their assimilation…
Perhaps I am being overly cynical, especially considering I knew I was letting myself in for a Disney film, and the films released under the Disney banner are never really known for their dry wit (Pixar and Robin Williams collaborations excluded of course). But the film was slow, dull, filled with annoying characters (even the great Susan Sarandon began to grate my cheese), and a painful ending only saved by an animated wedding sequence (the Prince’s bride magically losing height relative to the Prince in the transition from the real to fantasy worlds) that showed sparkles of what the rest of the film could – and probably should – have been.
Oh, and the reason why I started this entry with the “scene setting” of watching this in a plane? The fast forward command was put to great use during the film, so much so that I hope the controller worked properly for its next user.
Verdict: Enchanted left me very dis. One painful, moralistic song and dance routine featuring random strangers and anthropomorphic animals out of ten. Ugh.