8 Secrets From Disney’s ‘Disenchanted’, Revealed
Nov 22, 2022   •   Mikhail Lecaros
8List.ph is published by ID8, Inc.
Nov 22, 2022   •   Mikhail Lecaros
From the moment Amy Adams sang her way into audiences’ hearts in 2007’s Enchanted, fans have been waiting for news of a follow-up. Now, 15 years on, fan patience is being rewarded with Disenchanted, which arrived on Disney+ on November 18, one day after the platform’s Philippine debut.
To celebrate, 8List caught up with the cast and crew at their global press conference, including Amy Adams (Doubt, Into the Woods), Patrick Dempsey (TV’s Grey’s Anatomy), Maya Rudolph (Bridesmaids, TV’s SNL), Yvette Nicole Brown (Avengers Endgame, TV’s Community), Jayma Mays (TV’s Glee), Gabriella Baldacchino, Idina Menzel (RENT, Wicked), director Adam Shankman (A Walk to Remember, Hairspray) and composer Alan Menken (The Little Mermaid, Beauty & the Beast).
In Disenchanted, Patrick Dempsey’s Robert got a chance to play a more active role in the fairy tale fun, while flexing singing and dancing muscles we never knew he had.
“It was a joy,” said Dempsey. “That whole process of going through, finding your voice, working with the coach on that, learning the lyrics and the dance was an extraordinary experience and something I’d never done before. It’s an extraordinary feeling you get when you sing. The vibration, it’s something very intoxicating about it. So it’s nice to get a taste of that.”
While the film is set in Upstate New York, Disenchanted was actually shot in Ireland at the height of the global pandemic. In addition to the usual challenges of producing a major film, the situation provided the cast and crew with a truly unique bonding chance to bond as a team.
According to director Alan Shankman, “We were all together in such a crazy bubble. And so, we were really just a unit. And it was so beautiful to be attached to this group of people doing this thing in such really complicated times.”
“Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes,” declared legendary Disney composer Alan Menken when asked if it was important to him to let Idina Menzel perform a song this time. He then revealed that, for the first film, he’d actually written TWO songs for the Broadway icon to perform that ended up being cut. Disenchanted, he laughed, was his way to make up for that.
“I appreciate you trying!” laughed Idina, clearly grateful at the chance to belt in the new film. “It was just superfluous [at the time] ’cause you were trying too hard. And I really appreciate that. But now you made up for it in so many ways — I’m [now] singing a song I could barely sing live if I tried!”
Gabriella Baldacchino steps in for the original films as Morgan, Robert’s now-teenaged daughter. As it turns out, it was dream casting in every sense, as Enchanted was actually the young actress’s favorite movie as a child!
“I think, honestly, dream come true is the best way to put it,” shared Baldacchino. “When I was little, and even growing up, Enchanted was my favorite movie. So, being able to join all these people was surreal to me. Little Gabby would probably faint if she knew where we were now!”
Brown revealed that the set for Disenchanted was just as musical behind the camera as it was in front of it: “We had a very musical set. Not just the beautiful songs that everyone got to perform. But just in between takes, Adam played music, and Amy and Jayma and Maya would always sing. And we’d do harmony. And it was just a warm hug. And I hope that those that watch the film will feel what we felt on set.”
The Magic Mirror from Snow White plays a major role in Disenchanted, but it’s far from the only Easter Egg in the film. This continues a tradition set up in the first Enchanted, which was entirely by design.
As per Shankman, “It’s one of my favorite things about the movie and about participating in it because, to my knowledge, it was the first time Disney ever winked at itself… it was really, really fun. I think with the actors, we talked about some of them, but a lot of them, I just kind of laced in there… Jayma and Yvette’s ball dresses are literally the step sisters’ dresses from Cinderella!”
While Disenchanted was something of a passion project for star Amy Adams (who doubles as producer), she was candid about how she wasn’t as confident about the original film:
“The first time, we were taking a big leap. I knew how much I’d loved Giselle and how much I believed in her spirit. We just got into it, not really knowing what it would be, or if people would get it. So, I do remember feeling really scared the first time I watched it with an audience…it was in London and it was very quiet for the first bit of the movie.
And then I remember, after “Happy Working Song”, there was a shift in the energy where the audience sort of started to go on the journey with us, and it was a really overwhelming feeling for me. It let me know that they understood what we were doing and that they were sort of understanding Giselle’s purity. And it was a really wonderful moment, so I do remember that, and that was very special. It was a very special moment for me.”
“Things were getting really complicated out in the world when we started all of this,” said Shankman. “There was just a lot of conflict going on. And it felt like it was a good time. The stars definitely aligned. Like, the movie came out as coming out at the right time to address what happily ever after is. Obviously, happily ever after is a lot of people watching this movie.”
Disenchanted is now streaming on Disney+.
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