Enchanted delivered a standout performance from an up-and-coming star named Amy Adams, and it ended up on endless repeat in many families’ living rooms. The young actress proved she had a knack for carrying entire films on her shoulders and her pluckiness as Gisele, a cartoon princess who gets pulled into the real world made Enchanted a cult classic. For years, fans have demanded a sequel, and thanks to the need of non-stop streaming content, Disney finally delivered in the form of Disenchanted.
Unfortunately, the end product is not looking so great. While the first batch of reviews praise Adams for slipping back into the role of Gisele (and there’s lots of love for Maya Rudolph) the sequel just can’t hold a candle to the original. Also, it doesn’t help that it has way too many songs. The endless parade of musical numbers is not going over well.
You can see what the critics are saying about Disenchanted below:
Lovia Gyarkye, THR:
Enchanted’s success came from an alchemic combination of strong performances (especially from Adams), a chaotic location and a commitment to basic moral lessons (the magic of true love) even while slyly upending fairy-tale tropes. Disenchanted … aims for the deft mix of slapstick comedy and poignant messaging of the original, but struggles to find its footing, resulting in a film as vanilla as its setting.
Amelia Emberwing, IGN:
Ultimately, Disenchanted plays out as a different but still pretty wonderful continuation to Enchanted. However, some fans might feel a little robbed that instead of growing with its original audience it chose to trill a cheery tune for a new one. Still, those who remember the magic will still see a lot of it in this new iteration, even if the new soundtrack does leave you wanting.
Benjamin Lee, The Guardian:
The songs are all aggressively, at times embarrassingly, mediocre. There’s a brassy attempt to get a returning Idina Menzel to deliver a Frozen-esque number about the power of love but as with most of the songs, lyrics are so slapdash that one wonders if it was improvised. The only song that draws our attention is a dueling duet between Adams and Rudolph, bringing a much needed sharpness to some of the heavily ladeled sentiment and like many of the film’s best moments, relies heavily on Rudolph’s ability to turn a brief expression into a joke in itself. She’s the film’s ace.
Owen Gleiberman, Variety:
Obvious in its comedy, at once overblown and undernourished in its fantasy, “Disenchanted,” at times, is like a kiddified “Don’t Worry Darling” crossed with “Cinderella Strikes Back.” At others, it’s a light show in search of a movie. The visual effects are all swirling sparkles and sprouting vines, but the real problem is that the film has a pandering impersonality, along with the busy skewed logic of a metaverse.
Courtney Howard, The A.V. Club:
Disenchanted serves as a reminder to “be careful what you wish for” — on many different levels. Shot and assembled more like a Disney Channel Original rather than a spectacle-driven sequel to an Oscar-nominated blockbuster, Shankman’s film leaves audiences wanting more—and not in a good way. Its lack of legitimate wit, cleverness, and focus makes a promising concept feel like a wasted wish, conjuring little of the magic that made its predecessor feel so memorable.
Marya E. Gates, RogerEbert.com:
While the script is heavy on action, it’s incredibly light on any kind of real characterization. Malvina is a stock suburban queen bee, with Rudolph responding by playing her less as a wholly realized character than as Evil Maya Rudolph. Adams has fun with Giselle’s descent, altering her sweet lilt to a deep poison tongue. The two get a few showdowns, and one zippy duet entitled “Badder,” but the tension is nowhere near as delicious as what Adams crafted with Susan Sarandon’s big bad in the first film.
Ross Bonaime, Collider:
Disenchanted ends up feeling like those direct-to-video sequels of the 90s and 2000s, films that featured characters you enjoyed in better films going through the motions in a film that lacks any of the wonder of the original. Disney knows that audiences will gladly turn on Disney+ in the comfort of their own homes to watch these characters again, regardless of the quality of the project, and once again, the nostalgia merry-go-round keeps going with no signs of stopping.
Johnny Olenksinski, New York Post:
Is it pure nostalgic bliss seeing Adams back in her star-making royal role? Not really. Her, Dempsey, Marsden and Menzel all feel a tad long in the tooth for this story. After all, these are glittering princesses and princesses — not the 300-year-old witches of “Hocus Pocus.”
Disenchanted is now available for streaming on Disney+.