Ella Enchanted (Fullscreen Edition)
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Anne Hathaway, the delightful star of THE PRINCESS DIARIES, is Ella in the charming fairy tale adventure ELLA ENCHANTED. On the day of her birth, Ella is given a gift by her Fairy Godmother -- the gift of obedience, which is also a curse. Under no circumstances can Ella refuse anything she is asked to do, no matter how wicked it may be. Tired of being taken advantage of, Ella, with a talking book as her companion, leaves home to find her Fairy Godmother and return her unwanted gift. This simple errand soon turns into an amazing journey filled with ogres, giants, wicked stepsisters, elves, and the plotting of Prince Charmont's evil uncle who wants to take over the Crown and rule the kingdom. Bursting with colorful characters, music, wit, and whimsy, ELLA ENCHANTED is a truly enchanting and heartwarming tale that will captivate the entire family.
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Adults may be a little skeptical about the special effects, as they are, well, not particularly expensive-looking. But if you can lose yourself in the story it's worth it.
Ella Enchanted is a modernized Fantasy mash-up with plenty of fun, song, and some interesting re-imaginings of classic fantasy tropes, characters, and relationships. Think Princess Diaries set in a Fantastic setting. This movie has a lot of fun with modern themes by realizing them in the fantasy setting, such as an open air mall with working wooden escalators. It also uses the fantasy setting as a lens to provide some minor social and political commentary, but more for fun than to preach. It's a quirky story with lots of unexpected twists on character types that when combined yield unusual and unexpected resolutions to classic problems. It's a fun and different fantasy tale well worth checking out.
Everyone will love Anne Hathaway's Ella character, who is not your typical fairytale woman. She's strong, knows what she wants, and knows how to get it. You immediately want to root for her, and long for her horrible stepmother and two stepsisters to have a taste of their own medicine.
I wasn't sure if I'd like this movie or not, but I found it great fun to follow along as Ella searches for the fairy who gave her a gift that Ella desperately wants the fairy to take back.
The good things about this movie:
-A small child might like it.
-The actors did their jobs.
-It's an excellent sleep aid for adults or younger readers who have read the book.
The bad things (***may contain spoilers!***):
-The movie only loosely followed the book.
-They attempted to "modernize" the story with malls, teen girl fanclubs, crazy dancing, horrible clothing for some of the characters, ninjas, exc.
-It might make you bang your head against a wall.
This is not a movie for the fans of the book. In fact, if you have read the book, save yourself the headache and SKIP THIS MOVIE.
It really is almost offending to the story -- characters lose depth, the plot is super predictable, the modernization is insane, I could go on forever. I hate that they made Mandy a ditzy character, and she most certainly does not have a book for a boyfriend! Lucinda was turned into a drunk Britney Spears sort of character, the ogres' butt cracks were hanging out (I assume for comical reasons), Char saves Ella more than Ella saves Char -- not like the book at all -- and while Dame Olga, Hattie, and Olive were unpleasant in the book, they were made into complete morons for the film. I especially feel bad for poor Olive, who wasn't the brightest crayon in the book, she was, however, was a lot sharper than she was portrayed in the movie. She, unlike Hattie, actually ended up getting married even at the end of the book! ...Yes it was for coins and cake, but still, the Olive in the movie didn't seem how to know how to clean her own bottom after a dump, let alone haggle a marriage for two of the things she loved the most.
In the book, Ella's father was not a peach. He gladly left her, without remorse, to Madam Olga's wrath so he could go make money -- his one true love (despite the spell placed on him eventually). In the movie, he seemed to care for his daughter, and was sad to leave her to become a traveling salesman -- not a trader of fine things like portrayed in the book.
The book-characters were portrayed with respect, unlike the movie where they seemed to be as dull-brained and weird looking as possible apparently to get a laugh from the audience.
The ninja's at Char's coronation were both hilarious and horrible -- funny in the point that by then in the movie, you kind of expected something ridiculous like that, horrible in the fact that there wouldn't be red power ranger-like ninjas to descend on ropes at a push of a button to fight Ella and Char as they have a heart-to-heart chat would never have happened in the book.
It just seems like all the magic and heartache and true adventure were stolen from the book, replaced for cheap imitations of the characters and plot in favor of laughs. I hope the actors didn't read the book before they agreed to play their rolls -- and if they did, I am highly disappointed in them.
If you haven't read the book, you *might* enjoy the movie. Small children *might* enjoy the movie. The real-life movie-Olive-like people *might* enjoy the movie.
I was horrified. By the end, I had a migraine that would not go away.
My advise to those considering this movie: APROACH WITH EXTREME CAUTION.
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