Essay on Enchanted and Giselle

Submitted By seza_xo
Words: 963
Pages: 4

Iconic figure Walt Disney once stated, ‘Reality and fantasy often overlap’. Disney’s ‘Enchanted’ explores this intriguingly through the development of characters, incorporating Disney references in both worlds and comparing the contrast between the different views of love from all the characters. The film begins with a lovely opening sequence in hand-drawn animation set in the fairytale land of Andalasia. It’s a perfect summary of the classic Disney fairy-tale motif, capturing everything great of the old approach. The audience is first introduced to the fairytale stereotypical characters: joyful princess-to-be Giselle, lunkheaded Prince Edward, comical Nathaniel, malicious Queen Narissa and feisty Pip the chipmunk. Giselle serenades her fellow woodland creatures yearning for the arrival of a handsome prince to deliver her ‘true love’s kiss’, a reference to the only way Snow White and Aurora could be awakened from the curses that were put upon them. Prince Edward is your typical charming knight in shining armour and declares his love for Giselle instantly after hearing her sing. His stepmother, Queen Narissa, is the antagonist and does not want to step down from the throne so she banishes Giselle from the idyllic kingdom and into the not magical, unforgiving live-action world of New York city. What better purgatory than the place where, as the stepmother puts it, “There are no happily ever afters”.

The characters of the reality world are: cynical, non-nonsense Robert, fairytale believer Morgan and romantic hopeful Nancy. When Giselle winds up lost in the wilds of New York, she begins to realise that old, kind-looking men steal from you and nobody can tell you how to get to the castle. The cruelty of the city begins to wear down the carefree exterior of the princess but soon she is befriended by sceptical divorce lawyer Robert, whose compassion helps her to survive the foreign new world, despite sensing correctly that she’s well away with the fairies. Through conversations with Robert, Giselle struggles to maintain her fairytale virtues as Robert is very cynical in the ways of love. By the time Prince Edward finds Giselle, she no longer finishes his duets but thinks. She no longer wants to get married but wants to go on dates. In contrast, Nancy becomes more romantic through her excitement about the flowers, the invitation to the ball and Prince Edward. By the time the ball arrives, Giselle is dressed in a sleek modern dress while Nancy dons a voluminous dress. Giselle isn’t keen on returning to Andalasia so the stepmother seizes the moment to poison her one last time, telling her that taking a bite of the apple will erase her memory of reality so she can live in blissful ignorance with Edward. It is Robert who suggests that ‘a true love’s kiss’ will break the poison apple’s spell. After Edward's kiss fails to wake Giselle up due to her falling in love with Robert, he and Nancy suggest for Robert to kiss her. After a montage of the protagonist's new lives; Edward and Nancy run away back to Andalasia to get married, Giselle takes over Nancy’ fashion business but instead designs princess inspired dresses (a perfect compromise between fantasy and reality) and has a happy family with Robert and Morgan, Nathaniel becomes a best-selling author on Earth and so does Pip in Andalasia), the end narration states, "...and so they all lived happily ever after."

The Disney empire celebrates the classic princess genre it virtually invented while simultaneously sending up its more saccharine clichés. All the conventions of Disney fairy tales are there to start off- singing princesses, talking animals, monsters, evil queens, etc. There are thousands of references from other Disney films- some that are none too subtle, and others hidden away for more hard core