Disenchanted is the answer to our sequel prayers for the original movie, Enchanted.
The Disney original film picks up 10 years after Giselle and Robert were married. Morgan is now a moody teenager and their family has a brand new member - little baby Sofia. The Philip family is growing and their New York City apartment is shrinking; with the baby things taking ups space and Morgan needing more space as a young woman, the family then decides to leave their apartment in the city in exchange for a humble castle of their own in the suburbs, in a little town called Monroeville.
Giselle, Robert, Morgan, and baby Sofia go on an unexpected adventure, meeting many characters and familiar *enchanted* scenarios throughout the story.
Let’s take a look at the different fairy tale references hidden in the scenes of Disenchanted.
The Princess Bride
The opening scenes of Disenchanted could be a tribute to another princess classic.
We see Pip one night in Andalasia, reading bedtime stories to his kids. It turns out, the story he was reading was all about Giselle and everything after her happily every after.
This scene is similar to the opening of The Princess Bride, where we see a grandfather reading a story to his sick grandson.
The first and most obvious fairy tale reference we will see in the movie is from Cinderella - the Fairy Godmother’s wand. The wand in Disencanted is gold, in contrast to the silver wand of the Fairy Godmother. The wand in Disenchanted appears to have more restrictions than Fairy Godmother’s, but both can grant wishes.
When Giselle makes a wish for their life to turn into a fairy tale, the entire town woke up the next day as fairy tale characters. Morgan was a maiden wearing pretty similar clothes to Cinderella was when she was cooking and cleaning for her stepfamily.
Another event referenced in the film is when Giselle, who was slowly turning into the evil stepmother, ruined the dress that Morgan was supposed to wear to the ball. After spending the day to shopping for dresses to wear to the ball, Giselle starts being possessed by the magic that came with her wish.
When they got home, started cutting Morgan’s dress to pieces and pretending she didn’t know why or how this happened. In Cinderella, it wasn’t the evil stepmother who ruined the dress but it was the evil stepsisters.
Speaking of stepsisters, Disenchanted also harked back to Cinderella, but instead of two stepsisters, we see two sidekicks, Ruby (played by Jayma Hays) and Rosaleen (played by Yvette Nicole Brown). The two evil sidekicks cater to Melvina (the villainess in the story), though they seem to share the same affinity for meaning good while managing to do worse.
Pets also make cameos in the film. Pip, Giselle’s loyal friend from Enchanted, traveled through the Wishing Well to visit her in their new home. When Giselle started turning into the Evil Stepmother, she needed a loyal pet to complete her transition - a cat.
There’s one problem though, there are no cats for Giselle in Monroelasia, so what does the magic do? Pip becomes a fat and fluffy cat to do Giselle’s bidding.
No poisonous apple was involved, but the Evil Stepmother still made her presence feel in Disenchanted.
Melvin Monroe, the mayor-turned-evil queen, is the Disenchanted equivalent of the iconic Evil Stepmother from Snow White.
Melvina and the Evil Queen share the same dark color palette and wish to control everything happening around them. In the normal world, Melvina is the mayor of Monroeville and the mother of the most popular boy in the local high school. She likes to be the best in everything she does, even in baking cookies.
When Monroeville turned into Monroelasia, Melvina had her very own magic mirror, just like the one the Evil Queen had. The mirror was Edgar in the real world, the local barista who seemed to know just what drink to make for his patrons.
Beauty and the Beast
A spell needed to be broken, but there were hardly any roses involved.
After Giselle wakes up to find her wish granted, she finds that the household items that gave her such a hard time the days before are now animated. They can sing, they can dance, they can clean, and they make their very own unburnt toast. Giselle must have felt like a special guest in her home.
Giselle then goes to the town to see everyone living a fairy tale life. Everyone breaks out into a song (because they can’t help it now, really), and they perform an entire number about their magical provincial life. We get to learn about the magic everyone is experiencing and which characters play important roles in this story.
Right in the middle of the town dance number, when everyone was singing and dancing their hearts out, Morgan gets her very own moment as a mermaid on land. Being the local fish-out-water in Monroeville and Monroelasia, the tribute to Little Mermaid seemed very apt.
We see Morgan walking up a push cart to sing over the rest of the town and walks across it. She then walks up to stacked fruit crates and sits on the top, just like Ariel did when singing over the rocks. Another villager, who appears to be oblivious to all the singing happening around, throws a bucket of water behind Morgan, creating the same effect.
Right when the family arrives in their new home, we see three ladies in the signature Fairy Godmother colors from Sleeping Beauty tending to the garden. When Monroeville turns into Monroelasia, these three ladies turn into the Three Fairy Godmothers with whom Giselle leaves baby Sofia, just like the fairies who took Princess Aurora to keep her safe from harm.
Morgan also took a swing at falling asleep from a curse. Melvina took her hostage to stop Robert and Tyson from making the spell on Monroelasia permanent. Morgan was wrapped in thick plant branches to keep her in place, and Melvina agrees to let her go only if Giselle breaks the magic wand.
We see Auror falling into a similar sleeping spell when Maleficent casts a curse upon her when her parents threw a party without inviting the powerful fairy.
Morgan’s room in their castle was the unkempt tower, just like the one Cinderella had in her story. Evil Stepmother Giselle locks Morgan up in the tower to keep her from attending the ball but this doesn’t stop her.
Morgan fashions a rope from sheets and uses that to climb donw the side of her tower.
This may be a tribute to Rapunzel, though it was her long, golden hair that was used to climb up and down the tower.
A maybe more niche reference that was shown in the series was an entire sequence that harks back to ABC’s fantasy musical series, Galavant.
Though the reference may not have been intentional, loyal fans of the television series may have surely picked up the parallels betweens the show. Alan Menken also worked and composed for Galavant, so his signature style may be hard to miss.
In Disenchanted, Melvina and Giselle have a sing-off, a showdown, trying to outdo the other to see who is the more wicked and, therefore, more deserving Evil Queen to rule over Monroelasia. The extremely entertaining duet showcases the singing range of both Amy Adams and Maya Rudolph as they bring to life Alan Menken’s masterpiece.
Once Upon a Time
Last but not least, the entire plot of the film is similar to the premise of the hit fantasy television series Once Upon A Time. The ABC series, which ran for 7 seasons, follows a big group of characters living in the real world who have adapted the personalities of iconic fairy tale characters thanks to the wish of a certain mayor.
Disenchanted also follows an entire town whose residents turned into fairy tale characters with Giselle’s wish, but though the plot is almost the same, the endings of the stories are uniquely different.