Archive for March, 2008

DVD Review – “Enchanted”

March 22, 2008

Image © Disney.

The movie itself still blows me away and its first ever DVD presentation delivers bloopers, deleted scenes, making-of featurettes, and a new animated segment, but still leaves viewers thirsty for more.

By Blake

Originally posted March 22, 2008.

Every time I enter a local theater to view a new Disney movie, I expect to at least be entertained by the film I’m attending. Do I usually expect to have my socks knocked off? Of course not. I’m just there to have a good time, no matter if the movie isn’t the next cinematic masterpiece. However, each time I do see a new movie in theaters, I can’t help but feeling the tiniest inkling of hope that it will be the next classic. Sure, this is usually not realized, and that’s OK. But every once in a while, a film rolls along that has Pixie Dust sprinkled all over it and has that amazing “WOW” Disney experience and I know that the film is something special. Enchanted gave me one of those occurrences.

In the film, Disney pokes fun at itself when a clueless, animal-befriended princess-to-be, Giselle (Amy Adams), is thrusted from her safe animated world into the place “where happily-ever-afters don’t exist,” New York City, by the evil queen Narissa (Susan Sarandon). As Giselle’s fiancé, the even-more-clueless and goofy Prince Edward, searches for her, Giselle befriends a divorce attorney named Robert (Patrick Dempsey) and takes the city by storm as she enchants it with her touch of the fairy tale world.

Giselle (played by Amy Adams) and Robert (Patrick Dempsey) in the “That’s How You Know” sequence of Enchanted. Image © Disney.

The first ten or so minutes of the film herald back to the golden age of Disney animation with hand-drawn sequences reminiscent of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs and Cinderella. Once Giselle enters New York, the film changes gears and switches to live-action for the duration of the movie, at which point it’s just scattered with all sorts of references to Disney films. Everything from “name-recycling” of Mr. and Mrs. Banks from Mary Poppins to cameo appearances by the voices of Ariel, Belle, and Pocahontas make the film a pleasure to hunt around to find references like these. Additionally, Amy Adams’s Golden Globe-nominated lead role performance is many references in itself, seeing as Giselle is a combination of Ariel’s red hair with a dash of Belle and Snow White in her personality. And I must say the opening scene is probably the cleverest transition between a company logo and the beginning of a movie that I’ve ever seen.

Additionally, the music of the film is phenomenal. The songs follow the cutout of most past Disney animated features, complete with an “I Want” song, a cleaning song, a showstopper, a love ballad, and a contemporary final song, this time performed by Carrie Underwood. Written by the legendary Alan Menken and Stephen Schwartz, the film’s songs even received three Academy-Award nominations for Best Song, the first Disney feature to reach that number in that category since 1994’s The Lion King.

Bonus Features

Unfortunately, the single-disc compilation is the only option as Enchanted rolls along to DVD. It’s definitely more thorough and enjoyable than most single-disc Disney DVDs, but still has room for improvement.

“Fantasy Comes To Life” is a set of three brief featurettes displaying the creation of some of the most memorable pieces in the film. They include the processes of each scene’s conception, on-the-set filming, and post-production tweaking and feature interviews with several of the film’s key players.

The “Happy Working Song” portion (about six minutes) deals mainly with the technical aspects of creating the quirky cleaning tune. It shows how a rig was built as a substitute for birds twirling Giselle’s dress, the creation of the CGI street animals that helped Giselle clean, plus how several of the animals were actual live creatures that were trained to perform in the song.

The next featurette (about six minutes) deals with the shoot of “That’s How You Know,” the massive production number that includes dancers, gymnasts, and even stilt walkers performing in New York’s Central Park. Interviewed here are several choreographers who give us their insight on what it was like to create such an immense number as this.

Amy Adams as Giselle in “That’s How You Know” from Enchanted. Image © Disney.

The third and final featurette, “A Blast At the Ball” (about five minutes), mainly takes us through the special effects that were used to create the climax of the movie. While fascinating, I can’t help but think these three featurettes are leaving something out. While we do get plenty of technological and choreography-related secrets of several of the film’s songs, we just hear a little bit from Alan Menken and Stephen Schwartz concerning how or why they were written. In any case, the three featurettes collectively provide about seventeen minutes of entertainment.

The deleted scenes (about eight minutes) include six portions that were cut from the film. Included is an extended opening in Andalasia, a different introduction to Robert, a scene at Nancy’s design studio, a scene where Giselle orders a hot dog, a section where Nathaniel confides in Pip, and an extended version of the climax in which two older women commentate on the action. Interesting though brief, the most fascinating piece we come away from these deleted scenes with is a little bit of trivia: the last name of Nancy (Robert’s girlfriend) is “Tremaine,” the last name of Cinderella’s stepmother!

Bloopers are always a welcome addition to any DVD set, and the outtakes presented here (about two minutes) are certainly fun to watch.

“Pip’s Predicament: A Pop-Up Adventure” (about six minutes) is a questionable spinoff of the original film that borrows elements from Jack-Jack Attack and The Lion King 1 ½ to create a story-within-the-story. Narrated by a woman who has an uncanny similarity to Maleficent, it tells of how the chipmunk Pip saved Prince Edward when he was under an evil spell and told him that Giselle was missing. What really bothers me about this was the animation. It isn’t hand-drawn like the animated portion in the film, but rather a collection of still images of a book (hence the “Pop-Up” in the title). At least there’s a cameo appearance by Pumbaa.

The bonus features’ DVD menu is somewhat difficult to navigate. The menu is set in Times Square, meaning the screen very busy and you often can’t tell what feature you’re highlighting on the screen. Aside from that, your selection onscreen appears as a colored highlight of the selections, which is already difficult to distinguish even without a busy menu.

Easter Eggs

Although fairly obvious, there are two DVD “Easter Eggs” on the disc, both on the bonus features menu. An “Easter Egg” is the term used to describe a DVD bonus feature that’s not flat-out labeled, and often requires some searching for (such as pressing certain buttons on certain menus) to find. On Enchanted, however, both of the Easter Eggs can be accessed by merely moving along the selection of supplements on the bonus features menu. If you click on the highlighted music note, you’ll see the full music video of “Ever Ever After” performed by Carrie Underwood. I think the video is a bit cheesy, but was still glad to find it here, since it was advertised as being exclusive to the Blu-Ray edition of the film.

The other Easter Egg can be viewed if you click the Mickey ears on the bonus features menu. It’s a small peek of what’s to be found on “The D-Files,” a special feature on the Blu-Ray version of the movie that points out references to Disney films throughout the entire movie. It’s intriguing, but I’m still holding off on a Blu-ray for now.

Wrapping It Up

By now, I think it’s definitely safe to say that Enchanted has secured a deserving spot along the line of wonderful Disney classics and is bound for Disney theme park or Broadway presence sometime in the future. It captures the true essence of what it means to be a Disney masterpiece, while at the same time playfully poking fun at its own genre. With a hilarious story, charming hand-drawn animation, and sensational songs, there’s hardly anything to criticize about the film itself. The supplemental features that are included on this set certainly provide a marvelous look into how the film was made and add on to the original story, but I just feel like a film that’s been this successful would have pulled out all the stops on a lavish, more in-depth set. For now, the one disc is a nice compilation of bonuses, but later on down the road it might be pleasant to see a more thorough release of the movie.

James Marsden as Prince Edward in Enchanted. Image © Disney.

So, to be brief, Enchanted is a truly marvelous, magical, Disney masterpiece that’s a more than welcome addition to any DVD collection.

How do I rank Enchanted DVD? (Bolded) is my choice:
Brilliant movie + good bonus features =

  • Aaah!
  • Blech
  • Not good
  • Good
  • Very good
  • Brilliant

Enchanted DVD will most likely please: Disney Fans – Preschoolers (ages 3-4) – Kids (ages 5-7) – Older Kids (ages 8-10) – Young Adults – Adults

Related BlakeOnline articles:

By Blake; posted March 22, 2008. All images © Disney.


DVD Review – “101 Dalmatians” Platinum Edition

March 17, 2008
Image © Disney.

For the first time this decade, the Disney classic with the most outrageous villain of all time arrives of DVD with a plethora of supplemental materials, some of which definitely deliver fans a fantastic, worth-the-wait look at this 1961 Disney animated masterpiece.

By Blake

Originally posted March 17, 2008.

Since I had never seen 101 Dalmatians, the 1961 Disney animated film that was recently released on DVD, I was quite excited as I popped the new Platinum Edition into my player. I wasn’t expecting anything too extravagant, but my hopes were a little high . . . after all, this was considered a Disney classic and I hadn’t even seen it yet! Luckily, my expectations were pretty accurate, as 101 Dalmatians, although not extravagant, is certainly a film worthy of the Platinum Edition label.

Disc One
Total Disc Running Time: about 250 minutes (about 4 hours and 10 minutes)
Highlight of Disc: Feature Film
Highlight Runner-Up: 101 Pop-Up Trivia Facts “For the Fan”

The film itself (about 79 minutes) tells the story of Pongo and Perdita, two Dalmatians who marry and settle down in a quaint house with their “pet” humans and nanny. Life is good until Perdita gives birth to 15 adorable Dalmatian puppies (the other 86 are introduced later) that are quickly snatched away by the evil Cruella De Vil and her henchmen Jasper and Horace. It’s up to Pongo and Perdita, along with a crew of other canine (and feline) critters to save the puppies from being skinned and turned into coats.

Three of the 101 Dalmatian puppies. Image © Disney.

The movie seems a bit more contemporary than other classic Disney films, lacking the majestic prestige of some of the other masterpieces but establishing a more modern feel that fits in well with today’s audiences. For one, some of my family that gag and complain when we watch other older Disney movies didn’t do any groaning at this one, and actually laughed at some parts. That being said, 101 Dalmatians seems to have a naturally more mature feel to it, possibly meaning that it might not appeal to the younger audience that draws in the likes of Cinderella or Peter Pan. That’s not to say that 101 Dalmatians isn’t a good movie. If I’m being honest, it’s quite fantastic. It’s just a little more “grown up” than other Disney animated films.

Additionally, I believe 101 Dalmatians is one of the first Disney animated films to slip in references to popular culture. Throughout the movie, you’ll spot six cameo appearances by characters from Lady and the Tramp (Lady, Tramp, Jock, Peg, Bull, and Trusty), as well as a parody of the 1960’s TV show What’s My Line?. Plus, when the puppies are watching TV in the De Vil Mansion, take a look at what’s on screen: the 1929 Disney Silly Symphony cartoon Springtime.

101 Dalmatians is probably most remembered in the Disney canon for its outrageous antagonist, Cruella De Vil. With a dash of Lady Tremaine and a hint of Yzma, she’ll stop at nothing to make sure she gets her precious fur coat! Spoiled and overreacting at almost every situation, she goes to drastic measures to get what she wants. Her sidekicks, Jasper and Horace, play the “Marv and Harry” role of the two henchmen who get constantly beaten upon, making for plenty of scenes with physical comedy.

Unfortunately, like nearly all films, 101 Dalmatians certainly sports a few flaws. The beginning feels somewhat rushed, while the rest seems like it drags on just to get us to a specific plot point in the film.

As for the film’s restoration for its Platinum Edition release, for the most part the picture looks pristine and the sound is great. The only problem I could spot was that at times the restoration of the humans’ faces gives them that look of cheap computer animation, which I know it isn’t. The film is completely hand-drawn, but the way the humans’ faces are restored just looks a bit odd to me. Other than that, the restoration seems dandy.

Disc One Bonus Features

101 Pop-Up Trivia Facts For the Family (about 79 minutes) – In this first of two extra versions of the film, pop-up trivia facts appear on the screen throughout the movie. This version, “For the Family,” is mostly so-so. It mainly deals with the differences between the film and the book on which it was based. There are a few generic facts thrown in about animation, but it primarily deals with the film/book comparisons.

101 Pop-Up Trivia Facts For the Fan (about 79 minutes) – Providing an equivalent, if not more, amount of information to the kind we’d find on an audio commentary, this version of the film has notable fascinating facts that appear on screen dealing with topics that Disney fans or fans of just the movie are sure to find a real treat. The tidbits of info tell us the names and composers of each piece of music that is played, which of the three directors led each sequence, which animators worked on certain characters, and who voiced each of the characters (as well as what other Disney characters that that same actor lent their voice to). There are also several other fascinating bits of trivia throughout.

Sergeant Tibbs (left) and Colonel help search for the puppies. Image © Disney.

“Cruella De Vil” Music Video (about 3 minutes) – Performed by Selena Gomez from Disney Channel’s Wizards of Waverly Place, this is another “Disney Mania”-ish, version of a Disney favorite. Aimed to get the tween crowd interested in the DVD set, I’m sure it succeeded in that aspect, but overall is an OK rendition.

Sneak Peeks (about 10 minutes) – The standard pack of Disney previews, this round features commercials of Sleeping Beauty Platinum Edition, Wall*E, The Little Mermaid: Ariel’s Beginning, Tinker Bell, Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, The Jungle Book 2 Special Edition (a re-issue of the 2003 sequel), Mickey’s Wonderland, and Disney Movie Rewards.

Disc Two
Total Disc Running Time: about 104 minutes (about 1 hour and 44 minutes) + games and art gallery
Highlight of Disc: “Sincerely Yours, Walt Disney”
Highlight Runner-Up: “Drawn To Be Bad”

Games and Activities

Disney Virtual Dalmatians (running time varies) – Almost identical to the Virtual Kitten game on last month’s DVD of The Aristocats, only this time the poorly-animated pet you’re adopting is a Dalmatian. Unfortunately, this version of the game is even more pointless than the kitten version. All you do is press five buttons that will make your dog do five separate tricks, and then the game is over. Whoopee. However, it says that if you pop the disc into your computer, several DVD-ROM features can be accessed.

Puppy Profiler (running time varies) – Something I haven’t seen on a Disney DVD in a loooong time, this is a questionnaire asking you several questions about your likes and dislikes to match you up with what dog species you’re most like and what owners you’d most likely enjoy. I was matched as a Dalmatian, and the owners I’d most likely be pleased with were Roger and Anita from the movie.

Pongo and Perdita. Image © Disney.

101 Dalmatians Fun with Language Games (running time varies) – After doing so on the DVDs of The Jungle Book and The Aristocats, Disney again includes a game that deals with identifying words on screen. Obviously this is aimed at the Kindergarten/first grade set, but I really don’t think many people purchase a Disney animated movie to be grammatically educated.

Music & More

“March of the One Hundred and One” Deleted Song Sequence (about 1 minute) – This is a set of storyboard drawings and demo recordings for a song that was eventually scratched in the final cut of the film, but apparently got very close to being green-lit. When seeing the sequence in the place that it would have been in the film, it’s clear to see why the happy mood of the song didn’t blend in well with the tense moods of the scenes before and after it.

“Cheerio, Good-Bye, Toodle-oo, Hip Hip!” Abandoned Song (about 3 minutes) – Another song that was dropped from the film, this would have taken place in the exact same part of the film as the song described above, in-between chase sequences. I suppose the filmmakers were stuck between which of the two songs to choose . . . and ended up dropping them both! Instead of being put into storyboard format, though, the audio is accentuated by random drawings from other scenes in the film.

“Don’t Buy a Parrot From a Sailor” Abandoned Song (about 3 minutes) – Another dropped song with random drawings thrown in, this is a song that was to be sung by Jasper and Horace, Cruella’s two henchmen.

“Dalmatian Plantation” (about 3 minutes) – This feature displays two different versions of a song that was used in the final version of the film. The first is a slower-temped version of the song that was changed in favor of the more upbeat, faster-paced version, which is also showcased here in a piano instrumental.

Pongo and Perdita with their many puppies. Image © Disney.

“Cruella De Vil” (about 20 minutes) – This is an entire third of an hour featuring alternate and demo versions of the song “Cruella De Vil,” which after a while seems to be quite repetitive. The different versions range from a spooky version, a blues version, a “honky-tonk” piano version, different takes for the finished song in the film as sung by Roger, and alternate renditions of the “hit” version of the song as heard towards the end of the film on the radio.

“Kanine Krunchies Jingle” (about 5 minutes) – This feature is really gets annoying after a while. It’s 9 different ways that the filmmakers recorded the “Kanine Krunchies Jingle” song, which is cute the first time you hear it but is not as enjoyable after hearing it 9 times in a row. The ways the song is played is based on how different age groups would sing it (like “young boy,” “young girl,” “boy,” “girl,” or “older”). Also included are several outtakes where either the singer or musician messes up.

Backstage Disney

Redefining the Line: The Making of 101 Dalmatians (about 34 minutes) – Here, we get some insights from some of today’s top filmmakers like Brad Bird, Peter Docter, Don Hahn, Andreas Deja, and others, and additionally we’re shown how the movie was made. The feature goes into detail about the music of the film (and several explanations as to exactly what we were watching in the “Music & More” section of the disc), as well as some looks at the storyboarding process, and the (at the time) new Xerox process (which allowed the animators to see their actual drawings on the screen instead of hand-done inked copies). We also hear what critics, and Walt Disney, thought of the film.

Nanny and Cruella. Image © Disney.

Cruella De Vil: Drawn To Be Bad (about 7 minutes) – A follow-up to the making-of, this feature deals with several interviewees talking about the villainess Cruella De Vil. Included are talks about Cruella’s supervising animator, Marc Davis, and his genius he brought to the character as his last ever animation role. Additionally, the feature goes on to talk about both the voice actress and live-action model for Cruella.

“Sincerely Yours, Walt Disney” (about 12 minutes) – Definitely one of the most fascinating features on the disc, this includes reenacting primary source documents that served as correspondence between Dodie Smith (author of the book on which 101 Dalmatians was based) and Walt Disney. The reenactment is narrated by Disney historian Brian Sibley and features actors portraying Smith and Disney. It features actual excerpts from letters written between the two, beginning from when the Disney Studio was originally conceiving of the idea of making the film, and all the way up to the movie’s release. This truly is one of the most treasured and intriguing features on the entire DVD set, and is definitely worth repeat viewings.

Publicity (about 16 minutes) – This is a handful of thorough, if not a bit repetitive, promotional devices including trailers, TV spots, and radio ads from the film’s original 1961 release, as well as its re-releases in 1969, 1979, and 1985.

Pongo and a pup. Image © Disney.

Art Galleries (running time varies) – A plethora of sketches, paintings, backgrounds, and more art pieces from the film that deal with visual development, character design, layouts, overlays, storyboard art, live-action reference, animation art, and production photos. Well, while that’s all just fine and dandy, it (like most DVD art galleries) severely suffers as a result of its navigational structure. The art is amazing, but viewing all of it at once becomes a hassle of going back-and-forth among several menus to view the next round of art.

Wrapping It Up

Since it hasn’t been available for sale yet this decade, many Disney fans probably don’t already own the 1961 classic 101 Dalmatians, and the new Platinum Edition will surely be a very welcome set to their DVD collection. Taking on a more contemporary and modern feel than other Disney animated features, the film has a tone that can still be enjoyed by today’s audiences in the same context it did 47 years ago when it was initially released. That being said, the DVD certainly supplies a bountiful amount of bonus material, but the main problem is that most of it is discardable. The music video is so-so, the deleted songs and publicity items seem a bit repetitive, the games are seemingly pointless, and the art gallery is somewhat difficult to navigate. However, there are of course some items that definitely make the set a more satisfying buy. The restoration is beautiful and some of the bonus features that especially stand out as exceptional include the making-of featurette, the Cruella De Vil retrospect, the pop-up trivia fun facts, and the reenacted correspondence between Walt Disney and the author of the original book The Hundred and One Dalmatians, Dodie Smith.

101 Dalmatians is a contemporary Disney tale that I’m sincerely sorry I hadn’t seen before two weeks ago. The DVD, with several easily overlooked bonus features, still delivers plenty of goodies to keep fans of the film busy for at least a few hours. And – with October 2008 and March 2009 on the horizon – this set will definitely hold Disney fans’ interest until the next two Platinum releases, Sleeping Beauty and Pinocchio, come rolling along.

How do I rank 101 Dalmatians Platinum Edition DVD? (Bolded is my choice.)
Very good movie + very good bonus features =

  • Aaah!
  • Blech
  • Not good
  • Good
  • Very good
  • Brilliant

101 Dalmatians Platinum Edition DVD will most likely please: Disney Fans – Pet Owners – Kids (ages 5-7) – Older Kids (ages 8-10)

Related BlakeOnline articles:

By Blake; posted March 17, 2008. All images © Disney.

Silver Screen Review – “College Road Trip”

March 16, 2008

Image © Disney.

Disney’s latest comedy is a fun, amusing family detour but doesn’t quite hit it home.

By Blake

Originally posted March 16, 2008.

College Road Trip, Disney’s newest movie in theaters, combines shades of Are We There Yet?, RV, and even A Goofy Movie to tell the story of an overprotective father (Martin Lawrence) who escorts his daughter (Raven-Symone of That’s So Raven) on a tour of colleges in preparation for her first year out of high school. Naturally, not everything goes as planned and much goes haywire as the father-daughter team struggles to reach their destinations on time.

Raven-Symone (left) and Martin Lawrence in College Road Trip. Image © Disney.

The film’s first half is mostly filled with dialogue and didn’t really connect with me. Thankfully, once the family really gets going on their expedition and the plot picks up speed, the film also strengthens to deliver several amusing scenes.

Detour after detour arises and mayhem occurs when everything from Donny Osmond singing Christmas carols and “It’s a Small World” to a caffeinated pig falling from a ceiling to the father and daughter having a rampage on a golf cart through a college campus. So obviously, the film can be quite comical at times. However, to me there wasn’t anything too hilarious about it. Amusing? Absolutely. Laugh-out-loud hilarious? Not really. A few “heh, heh”’s occasionally but not “my-belly-hurts-from-laughing-so-hard” experiences like I’ve had at other similar movies.

I have to say the last scene really took me by surprise. Taking on a much calmer, real-life tone than the rest of the movie, I wasn’t really expecting it. I won’t tell you what it is because it would certainly ruin the entire movie, but I’ll just say it was just a small dash of Disney magic that will have parents in tears.

From left: Raven-Symone, Martin Lawrence, Donny Osmond, and Molly Ephraim in College Road Trip. Image © Disney.

So, to sum it all up, College Road Trip is overall a humorous film. Kids will be able to spot several familiar faces from Disney Channel and laugh at all the physical comedy while adults will relate to some of the experiences the father goes through in the process of realizing his daughter is growing up.

How do I rank College Road Trip? (Bolded is my choice.)

  • Aaah!
  • Blech
  • Not good
  • Good
  • Very good
  • Brilliant

College Road Trip will most likely please: Kids (ages 5-7) – Older Kids (ages 8-10) – Tweens (ages 11-13) – Parents with kids not yet out of the house.

By Blake; posted March 16, 2008. All images © Disney.

Disney Talk – Oscar Recap 2008

March 2, 2008

Image © Disney.

This year’s Academy-Awards have come and gone with ten Disney nominations and one win.

By Blake

Originally posted March 2, 2008.

2007 certainly was a prosperous year for Disney movies, particularly three of them which garnered special success. Ratatouille proved that some Disney films could have a surprisingly large adult fan base. Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End capped off its very popular trilogy proving that Disney could have a solid franchise that stood up among the ranks of Harry Potter. Lastly, Enchanted cranked out some of the best new Disney music in years. All three of these spectacular films came to the attention of the Academy, collectively receiving ten nominations for the 80th Annual Academy-Awards, which were held last Sunday, February 24, 2008.

First, let’s talk about Ratatouille. It was nominated for Best Animated Film, Best Original Score, Achievement in Sound Editing, Achievement in Sound Mixing, and Best Original Screenplay. Thankfully, it did win Best Animated Film. Unfortunately, Ratatouille lost its other four nominations. Juno won Original Screenplay, Atonement won Original Score, and I still don’t know the difference between Achievement in Sound Mixing and Achievement in Sound Editing. However, the same film, The Bourne Ultimatum, won both awards.

Ratatouille won Best Animated Film and was nominated for Best Original Score, Achievement in Sound Editing, Achievement in Sound Mixing, and Best Original Screenplay. Image © Disney/Pixar.

Next up is Pirates. It was nominated for Achievement in Makeup and Achievement in Visual Effects. Well, it lost Makeup to La Vie En Rose. However, I was 99.9% sure Pirates would win for Visual Effects . . . but it didn’t. Instead, The Golden Compass took home the award. Although I haven’t seen The Golden Compass, it must have had some pretty nifty effects to beat out Pirates’ maelstrom sequence.

Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End was nominated for Achievement in Makeup and Achievement in Visual Effects. Image © Disney.

Lastly, we come to Enchanted. Three of its songs (“Happy Working Song,” “That’s How You Know,” and “So Close”), written by acclaimed Alan Menken and Stephen Schwartz, were all nominated for Best Song. All five songs in the Best Song category were performed throughout the show, and all three of Enchanted’s songs had excellent performances. “Happy Working Song” was sung by Amy Adams, who plays Giselle in the film, and was spot-on and in character 100%.

Three songs from Enchanted were nominated for Best Song. Image © Disney.

“That’s How You Know” (which was introduced by Miley Cyrus) was performed by Kristin Chenoweth, which kind of confused me because Chenoweth isn’t even in the film. As it turns out, Amy Adams apparently only wanted to perform one song, so a substitute was used for “That’s How You Know.” Chenoweth did the song justice and the performance (featuring a packed stage full of brides, grooms, construction workers, and senior citizens) was quite spectacular. (Although, if there had to be a switch of performers, I’m glad it was in “That’s How You Know” . . . anybody other than Amy Adams singing “Happy Working Song” might have sounded out of character.)

The last of Enchanted’s nominated songs, “So Close,” was introduced by Patrick Dempsey, who plays Robert in the film, and was sung by Jon McLaughlin, who sings the song in the film. The performance was done in true Disney fashion, reenacting the ballroom scene from the film quite nicely, complete with a “Hidden Mickey” and performers portraying the film’s four main characters (proof that Enchanted characters COULD work out for appearances in the parks!).

The moment soon arrived to reveal the winner for Best Song. Who won? “Falling Slowly” from Once, which was performed on an acoustic guitar and a piano. The song’s writers, Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova, did seem very deserving in their acceptance speech, telling that they only had had $100,000 to make the movie and had come through a long journey to get where they were. So, yes, I felt happy for the winners but still disappointed that Enchanted didn’t win.

However, even though Enchanted didn’t win, its nominations prove several very important points. First, Disney music is alive and well again. I mean, think about it. The music featured in Enchanted could go on to become signature Disney classics. (If this keeps up, we can possibly hope to see a few performances from High School Musical 3 at next year’s Oscars.) Second, the performances prove that Enchanted is definitely fit for the stage. Whether it be on Broadway or somewhere in the Disney parks, the film would work out wonderfully in a lavish stage production. (Hey, isn’t old theatre in DHS’s Streets of America being refurbished as you read this?)

So, although only one out of its ten nominations won, this year’s Oscars certainly had Disney representation all throughout its ceremony. I admit I am a bit surprised at Pirates’ losses, though I’m glad Ratatouille won Best Animated Film. And then there’s Enchanted. Even though the film didn’t bring home any wins, if the Disney execs had their heads screwed on right as they viewed last week’s Oscars, they’ll realize that Enchanted would definitely work in a stage production someway.

Related BlakeOnline articles:

By Blake; posted March 2, 2008. All images © Disney. Ratatouille image © Disney/Pixar.