Disenchanted is one big mashup of Disney Easter eggs. The long-awaited Enchanted sequel debuted Friday, November 18, on Disney+, with the original cast returning to tell an all-new story in a familiar world.
Below, learn how the music, animation, new characters, set design, and costumes of Disenchanted harken back to Disney classics.
Alan Menken and Stephen Schwartz’s Disenchanted Music
Disenchanted has all the hallmarks of a classic Disney animated movie, and it reunites Alan Menken and Stephen Schwartz for the new original music (the pair previously scored three Oscar nominations for Enchanted‘s music and also worked together on The Hunchback of Notre Dame and Pocahontas). They pulled out all the stops for Disenchanted‘s music, where many Disney Easter eggs reside if you have the ears to clock them.
Disney fans will recognize similar musical themes flowing through songs, some subtle and others more obvious. There’s a Beauty and the Beast “Be Our Guest” melody and lyric in “Fairytale Life (After the Spell)”. In “Badder,” Maleficent and Cruella de Vil are name-dropped. And, of course, there’s the fact that they have Frozen‘s Elsa herself in Nancy.
Disenchanted Animated Scenes
Disenchanted begins with a sweeping shot through Andalasia as Pip the chipmunk (Griffin Newman) tells his kids the story we’re about to learn. The shot through the fantasy world looks like the small provincial town from Beauty and the Beast, and the animated animals look like they could be pulled from any animated Disney flick. But there’s one firefly who looks just like Ray from The Princess and the Frog, and Pip’s chipmunk children even slightly resemble Jacques and Gus from Cinderella. Later on in Monrolasia, Pip transforms into a cat that’s just like Lucifer from Cinderella, because wicked stepmothers only have cats for pets (duh).
New Disenchanted Characters
Yvette Nicole Brown and Jayma Mays‘ Rosaleen and Ruby are Malvina’s right-hand ladies, and they’ll remind you of the Cinderella stepsisters Anastasia and Drizella throughout the whole film. There’s also a trio of gardeners who become Flora, Fauna, and Merryweather from Sleeping Beauty when Monroeville turns into Monrolasia.
And for the ball near the end of the film, Tyson dons dress clothes that look just like Prince Charming and Prince Eric’s white ensembles in Cinderella and The Little Mermaid.
Disenchanted Set and Costumes
This is where Disenchanted is chock full of blink-and-you’ll-miss-them Disney Easter eggs. One of the magical brooms from The Sorcerer’s Apprentice helps Morgan do chores after the wish changes everything. The “Drink Me” potion from Alice in Wonderland, the rose from Beauty and the Beast, and more direct Disney callbacks reside in Queen Malvina’s wardrobe. And versions of Snow White and Belle’s dresses — both their casual dresses and gowns — are in the Monrolasia dress shop. These are just some of the many visual references found in the film — a deeper dive would no doubt uncover more!
Director Adam Shankman on the Easter eggs and the difficult times while filming in a pandemic
“We’re not shy about our Easter eggs in the movie,” he laughs. However, shooting during a global pandemic proved more complicated than imagined. “The hardest part for me was that I, to this day, don’t know what 98 percent of my crew looks like — I never saw their faces,” he says, remembering the fully masked seven-month shoot, much of it done virtually or remotely. “I don’t even know how to properly thank them for everything that they did.”
The intensity of the time period can be felt during one of Amy Adams’ more powerful ballads in the film, “Fairytale Life”
Shankman says that Adams recorded the ballad from a “teeny tiny closet” in her home during a very chaotic moment, which added to how Giselle felt. “What’s in the movie now was her original recording of that in the closet.”
Shankman recalls the recording session vividly. “She was so emotional, and I knew — I think we all knew — we were never going to get that performance again,” he says. “We were all literally trapped, and there was so much that felt wrong with the world. So the idea of hankering for a simpler time was so big for her, and all of us really. And so, I’m sitting there on a Zoom as we’re recording her in this dark — it’s not just a closet, it was a teeny tiny coat closet. And she’s surrounded by coats with a light bulb above her head for four hours trying to sing about this expansive, beautiful world that she was imagining. I mean, it was really intense. But it’s an incredible performance.”
Did you catch all the Disney Easter eggs in Disenchanted?
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