Disney takes a pop at its own back catalogue in Enchanted, a sprightly spoof on fairy-tale lore that both embraces and subverts its cartoon clichés. Amy Adams is Giselle, the animated princess given human form when she is spirited away to New York by Susan Sarandon's evil queen Narissa. It's not long, though, before the Big Apple has succumbed to her wholesome appeal in a lively family caper that should be a decent Christmas earner for the House of Mouse.
Tarzan director Kevin Lima's strongest card is to take classic tropes from yesteryear and give them a post-modern makeover. ("Where will I find a fairy godmother at this late hour?" moans Adams at one point.) Given shelter by Patrick Dempsey's cynical divorce lawyer, Giselle repays the favour by calling on a grotesque menagerie of CG vermin (pigeons and roaches and rats, oh my!) to help her clean house. An amble in Central Park suddenly morphs into a full-scale production number á la Beauty And The Beast, while the eagle-eyed audience member will spot sneaky nods to Mary Poppins, Lady And The Tramp and a host of other favourites.
"A PERKY DELIGHT"
True, there are missteps. Why cast Broadway star Idina Menzel as Dempsey's naggy girlfriend, then deny her a chance to sing? And why does it take so long for Sarandon to make the journey from mythical Andalasia to modern-day Manhattan? For the most part, however, this is a perky delight that takes a cheeky glee in biting the gloved hand that feeds.
Enchanted is out in the UK on 14th December 2007.