Enchanted

Original Soundtrack

Walt Disney, 2007

REVIEW BY: Elizabeth Crowder

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: 12/03/2007

Once upon a time when I was little, I believed that one day I would be a princess. Laugh if you will, but growing up surrounded by The Little Mermaid (which is still my favorite Disney movie) and Cinderella will set a child up for delusions of grandeur. Being a guy who knows all of these things, my boyfriend John mentioned seeing the new movie Enchanted. Naturally I was thrilled, especially since this meant I had an excuse to review the soundtrack for The Daily Vault.

Enchanted tells the story of Giselle, a princess from an animated world whose run in with a wicked stepmother (of her true love, Edward) causes her to end up in modern day Manhattan. Being a huge fan of musicals I was intrigued to see how they laced songs into a movie set in our current fast paced world. Beyond that I was intrigued at the thought of bringing something this untainted into the very real, hopelessly flawed world.

The movie and soundtrack opens with Amy Adams, the voice of Giselle, and James Marsden (yes, Cyclops) as Edward singing a song of "True Love's Kiss." Adams is the quintessential Disney Princess, with a light and articulate voice which sounds just similar to Snow White and Aurora. With a score by Alan Menken, best known for Aladdin and Beauty And The Beast, Enchanted as a soundtrack sets the pure scene of every Disney movie. This is especially true in "True Love's Kiss" as the hero and heroine fall in love at first sight, setting the stage for their happily ever after. my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

Naturally their plans go awry, and Giselle finds herself in New York with no idea why people are not kind and her surroundings are so unpleasant. Meeting new friends helps her gain a foothold, and another classic scene is revisited during "Happy Working Song." Giselle decides to clean her new home with the help of her animal friends in Manhattan. Granted, cockroaches and flies are not the chipmunks and deer she is accustomed to working alongside, but the spirit and energy Adams adds to this sweet song prove her ability to really commit to her part.

My absolute dream would be to live in a world where singing and dancing randomly occur on a daily basis. "That's How You Know" incorporates the typical Disney scene we all know, with the heroine beginning a song everyone in her presence magically knows and participates in. Menken designed this song as a bit of a parody on "Under The Sea" from The Little Mermaid and used this as the platform for a huge ensemble number in the movie. Led by Giselle, the whole of Central Park joins to sing of the ways a woman will know when a man loves her. The performance is flawless, and Adams again succeeds in being a real live Disney Princess.

Since every Disney movie has a classic ballad, Enchanted includes "So Close" by Jon McLaughlin as the "A Whole New World" type of moment within this fairy tale. It tells of how you are at the brink of a happy ending, waiting to fall and wondering if it will be safe. If you played this song to a group of middle school age girls, there would be a collective sigh at the end signaling the desire each girl has to be rescued, to be captivated.

If we were honest with ourselves I think everyone would admit they would love to live happily ever after. Because of this, Carrie Underwood's "Ever Ever After" gives some reality to the dreams in Enchanted, admitting "There is joy to be claimed in this world / You even might wind up being glad to be you." The upbeat, catchy track mimics other songs on the album and brings you that optimistic feeling that maybe it would actually be possible to have that happily ever after.

As usual, Menken's score is what brings the soundtrack and movie of Enchanted together. The symphony music is eerily similar to all the Disney movies I grew up with, while giving some variety and almost mocking itself in the process. In two of the tracks Menken features a minor version of "Beauty And The Beast," and the soundtrack ends with a version of "That's Amore" sung by Marsden.

As a whole the movie and soundtrack were delightful. I love the thought of a fairy tale coming to life, and the music is truly what made Enchanted enchanting. As in life, things are not always as they seem and though Giselle does not get all she thought she wanted, she still lives happily ever after.

Rating: A

User Rating: Not Yet Rated


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© 2007 Elizabeth Crowder and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Walt Disney, and is used for informational purposes only.