It’s been fifteen years since Giselle and Robert wed, but Giselle has grown disillusioned with life in the city. They decide to move their growing family to the sleepy suburban community of Monroeville in search of a more fairy tale life – unfortunately, it isn’t the quick fix she hoped for. Suburbia has a whole new set of rules and a local queen bee, Malvina Monroe, who makes Giselle feel more out of place than ever. Frustrated that her happily ever after hasn’t been easy to find, she turns to the magic of Andalasia for help, accidentally transforming the entire town into a real-life fairy tale, placing her family’s future happiness in jeopardy. Now, Giselle is in a race against time to reverse the spell and determine what happily ever after truly means to her and her family.
KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Kyla C. comments, “Disenchanted is a magical combination of part musical, part fairy tale and part adventure. The acting, singing and animated segments make the film truly shine as a worthy sequel to Disney’s beloved Enchanted.” See her full review below.
Disenchanted By Kyla C, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 13
Disenchanted is a magical combination of part musical, part fairy tale and part adventure. The acting, singing and animated segments make the film truly shine as a worthy sequel to Disney’s beloved Enchanted.
Disenchanted follows Giselle (Amy Adams) and her family as they move from New York City to suburban Monroeville to find a new “happily ever after.” However, they are met with many challenges, specifically Giselle’s daughter Morgan (Gabriella Baldacchino) has trouble fitting in at her new school. When Giselle makes a wish to try to solve all of their problems, it backfires, and they are left in a fairytale mess once again. Who knew that Malvina (Maya Rudolph) had the potential to be an evil queen? Will Andalasia disappear altogether? Or will Giselle find a way to save both worlds?
Featuring the entire original cast, Disenchanted is an excellent sequel. Although it includes all the same core pieces as Enchanted, it is more than a rewritten version. There’s more music, with plenty of songs spread throughout the entire film. These upbeat and intense songs grabbed my attention; the ballads help tell the story and the softer pieces bring out the character’s emotions. The dancing and animation help bring out the best in each song. One thing I noticed is that the songs are slightly repetitive. Sometimes, the song you’re listening to sounds very similar to one you heard just a few minutes ago, which detracts from the musical aspect a bit. However, the singers are very talented. Specifically, Idina Menzel brings a lot to the table whenever she sings. The acting is also incredible. Amy Adams, Gabriella Baldacchino and Patrick Dempsey (as Giselle’s husband, Robert) create a relatable family dynamic. The switching back and forth, between animation and live-action, is so cool. It makes the distinction clear between Andalasia and Monroeville, which could otherwise be a very confusing transition.
The message of Disenchanted is that you should be careful what you wish for. It may seem like there are so many problems that need to be fixed, but sometimes people need to solve them for themselves. Giselle wants to help Morgan fit into her new home, but her wanting to do that is unclear and causes more problems than before. Disenchanted also emphasizes the importance of family. Note that there is some very minor inappropriate language and some violence.
I give Disenchanted 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 5 to 12. You can watch Disenchanted on Disney+ now.
A modern movie musical with a bold take on the classic fairy tale. Our ambitious heroine has big dreams and with the help of her fab Godmother, she perseveres to make them come true.
Cinderella By Eshaan M., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 15
A modern, musical take on the evergreen fairy tale, Cinderella’s impeccable sets and wardrobe, as well as its talented cast make this production a one-of-a-kind watch.
Cinderella follows the story of Ella (Camilla Cabello), a poor orphan who lives with her abusive, restrictive stepmother Vivian (Idina Menzel) and her mean, obnoxious and spoiled stepsisters (Maddie Baillio, Charlotte Spencer). She loves to design dresses and even has her own workplace in her basement, where a crew of merry mice (James Corden, Romesh Ranganathan, James Acaster) watch over her. It is her dream is to open up a dress shop in the town marketplace; however, in her kingdom, women cannot run businesses. When Prince Robert (Nicholas Galitzine), the unassuming heir apparent, lays eyes on Ella, he falls head over heels in love with her, as does she for him. However, as Cinderella and Prince Robert find themselves and their paths in life, a series of decisions they must take puts their love story in jeopardy. There are lots of subplots and side stories in the film, but that’s the main plotline.
Cinderella maintains a steady and engaging pace with just enough action, comedy, romance and drama throughout the nearly two-hour duration. As it’s told through a combination of songs and dialogue, it’s only logical that the cast is comprised of a mixture of singers, actors, and comedians. Camila Cabello, Billy Porter and Idina Menzel “slay” in the film, as Porter’s character (Ella’s fairy godparent) would say. Their delivery is clear and, in the case of Cabello and Menzel, though a lot of the film’s soundtrack is comprised of remakes (like Janet Jackson’s Rhythm Nation); it’s refreshing to hear their take on the songs. Pierce Brosnan plays the stately, confident, yet flawed and patriarchal King Rowan and Minnie Driver acts as his strong, regal Queen Beatrice. I love the portrayal of strong women in the film. Beatrice, Ella and even Vivian have one thing in common – they are restricted by their society. Vivian had to give up on her passion; Beatrice must sit silently next to her husband for life; and Ella is at risk of losing her dreams. It’s certainly unique to see this struggle in a fairy tale film. Shot at Pinewood Studios in the UK, the film’s sets are impeccable, and I truly felt I was in a medieval kingdom with the characters.
Cinderella promotes advocating for yourself, pushing against restrictive gender roles, following your dreams, choosing your own destiny and so many more positive messages! There are only one or two uses of mild profanity in this film.
I give Cinderella 5 out of 5 stars and recommend this for ages 11 to 18, plus adults. Cinderella releases on Amazon Prime Video September 3, 2021.
Cinderella By Heather Suarez, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 15
Cinderella is the feel-good flick for fans of all ages! Its wonderful soundtrack will have both parents and children singing and dancing. The jokes are spectacular; the casts’ diversity is amazing; and the romance will have everyone tearing up.
Cinderella takes the classic beloved fairytale and gives it a modern twist. Cinderella (Camila Cabello) dreams of opening her own fashion boutique, but that dream is frequently criticized by her stepmother Vivian (Indina Menzel). Prince Robert (Nicholas Galitzine) is a royal rebel, refusing to marry, if not for love. He proposes to host a ball, to which all maidens are invited. Cinderella never stops dreaming of opening her own store and, when presented with an opportunity to go to a royal ball to find a job for designing, she accepts the invitation.
This movie is comedy, romance, girl power and music at its finest. We usually are served Cinderella films that take place in present day; however, Cinderella gives audiences a tale presented in medieval times, only modernized. The film manages to fit in multiple jokes and as many comedic one-liners as possible. Never missing a beat, every character gives audiences multiple laughs. The girl power in the movie is so inspiring. Cinderella faces hardships over her dreams, just like her step mother, sisters and Queen Breatrice, who wants to be independent. Then there is Princess Gwen, who has innovative ideas about how to run the country, but can’t because she’s a woman. The women stand strong, follow their hearts and, if romance rolls around, then that’s great too. The romance in the movie is absolutely beautiful; two people want to love each other, but struggle against the status quo; Cinderella, who fiercely wants to open up her own store; Robert, who doesn’t quite fit in with the royal court. The best scene in the whole film is the dance scene at the ball. The entire party has amazing choreography and rock songs, including a beautiful duet by the Prince and soon-to-be Princess. The soundtrack is filled with classic songs from Ed Sheeran, Queen, Janet Jackson and more, along with original songs. It’s so fun to see these iconic characters singing and dancing to such iconic songs.
The lesson Cinderella learns and teaches audiences globally, is to always believe in yourself. She goes the distance, proving her worth to herself and those around her, that women can do amazing things just like men, such as opening a business.
I give Cinderella 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 10 to 16. It is available on Amazon Prime beginning September 3, 2021.
Cinderella By Abigail Liu, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 17
Cinderella may be a commonly told story, but this filmed musical is anything but common. This live action film takes a classic fairy tale and rewrites it as an amusing, witty and modern retelling of a fiery young woman setting out to achieve her dreams. Out of the countless variations of the “Cinderella” story, the 2021 release of Cinderella by Kay Cannon is by far the most unique and empowering that I have seen.
In this version, Cinderella (Camila Cabello) still has her eyes set on freedom and a life away from her dreadful stepmother (Idina Menzel). However, in modern fashion, she also dreams of becoming a business woman and owning her own dress shop. Following her ambitions, she stumbles across Prince Robert (Nicholas Galitzine). While the two quickly fall in love, Cinderella is unwilling to sacrifice her own dreams to live a life just as stuck as she was under the control of her stepmother. Despite living in a land with outdated beliefs against women, with the help of her fairy Godmother, or Fab G (Billy Porter), Cinderella is determined to make a name for herself and create a successful business.
In her acting debut, singer Camila Cabello is impressively charming and nails the wit of her Cinderella, making her a perfect candidate for the rebooted character. Menzel and Porter, both Tony award-winners, wonderfully add a unique and interesting take on their characters. Menzel is magnificent, creating a new backstory for Vivian the stepmother, a once idealistic mother who learned from her mistakes. Porter brings a completely different, yet inspiring angle to the fairy godmother, sporting a striking orange gown and a spirited attitude in this role. The music is just as great as the actors, featuring both original and covered songs. The soundtrack is full of varying styles from rap, to powerful musical ballads, to Queen’s “Somebody to Love.” My favorite part of this movie is the diversity of the storyline. Not only do audiences get to see Cinderella follow her dreams, but also we see the growth of characters such as the stepmother, Prince Robert, the little sister of the Prince, Gwen (Tallulah Greive) and even the King (Pierce Brosnan) and Queen (Minnie Driver).
This rendition of Cinderella offers a bold message to audiences about feminism and the idea that women do not need to fall in love to find fulfillment as they can be whatever they set their mind to. Parents should be aware that this film contains some adult humor.
I rate Cinderella 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 9 to 18, plus adults. This film opens in theaters September 3, 2021.
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