Photo by Jonathan Hession. © 2022 Disney Enterprises, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Disney+ has released, Disenchanted on their streaming service. Fans have been waiting for this sequel after the success of the 2007 film Enchanted which starred Any Adams as Giselle and Patrick Dempsey as Robert Phillip. At the of the film, we saw two couples get their, “happily ever after”. But what happens then? A film like Enchanted would certainly have a follow-up that would show the real-world feelings and interactions that happen to even the best of couples, especially as time goes by and roles change.
Fast forward now 15 years after the release and we finally get to see what some of these beloved characters are up to, individually and as a family. But what was going to be that anchor point that could cause some friction and well… “drama” to drive the film? Also, who would cause it? A question that producer Barry Josephson also had about developing this film.
“Sort of like all pivoting around what is Giselle’s new character? What is her dilemma? How do we progress from the original movie? And yet, make something that was definitively a new movie, a fresh new start for her character and the other characters that everybody loved from the first movie,” said Josephson during a press conference attended by LRM Online.
Josephson talks about how there was no one better to help with this than Amy Adams herself. Saying that she really understood what the characters in the film needed to be and what they needed to grow.
Adams had a very simple fairy tale solution for the main plot point in Disenchanted, one that she shared early on with Sean Bailey, president of Walt Disney Studios Motion Picture Production. She said, “you know Giselle’s the stepmother. She’s Morgan’s stepmother”.
The classic evil stepmother character has been characterized as a villain in many fairy tale stories. Some of these include Snow White, Cinderella, and Hansel & Gretel. This is a plot device that doesn’t work too well in modern storytelling as step-parents are more and more common with the idea of unhappy couples staying together “just for the kids” now seen as toxic and probably harmful to their growth. Not to mention the happiness of the adults involved.
But as we continue the theme of mixing fairy tales and the real world in Disenchanted, this would seem like an appropriate place to revisit it once again, especially with a beloved character like Giselle. Something that Adams agrees with as she called the idea, “the absolute jumping-off point” and “low-hanging fruit”.
With a character like Giselle, it needed to be done a little more carefully as she didn’t need to be portrayed as evil. It could be as simple as trying to connect with her stepdaughter and wishing for a specific relationship. Something that parents who have kids transitioning from kids to teens to adults know all too well. The desperation of trying to maintain positive relationships with their kids and developing their own identities could be a huge challenge. Especially when there is a big life-changing event like a move that can rip a teenager from the social life they were building. That desperation could lead someone like Giselle down a rocky path.
“This is perfect in terms of a continuation of that because she has this now-developed daughter who probably doesn’t believe in magic anymore. Then I was like, ‘Let’s go from there.’ It was just sort of a thrill ride from there.” Said Adams.
Disney’s Disenchanted is now available on Disney+.