Cheered at the thought of happy moviegoers spending money at the boxoffice, I was glad to catch up recently with Kevin Lima to discuss the making of "Enchanted." Lima, whose career at Disney goes back to 1987, made his live action directorial debut in 2000 with "102 Dalmatians." He followed that by directing Julie Andrews in the 2003 television features "Eloise at the Plaza" and "Eloise at Christmastime" for ABC. Among his earlier animated directing credits were "Tarzan" and "A Goofy Movie." Before turning to directing, he created characters for "The Little Mermaid" and "Beauty and the Beast" and storyboarded sequences for "Aladdin."
"You know, every day was difficult, but I believed in it," he said about making "Enchanted." "I really believed in the idea of making a joyful Disney classic. From the beginning, my intention was to try to make a modern day 'Mary Poppins.' How do you make a Disney classic today for a contemporary audience? I really believed there was a place for this kind of movie in today's market. Especially when you're looking at the world and the way it is, to have there be some sense of hope in a film is rare. I think that's what kept me going and kept the crew going, too. We all knew we were embarking on something that was special."
How did he come to make the film? "I read a script in 2001 at Disney," Lima recalled. "I'd just finished '102 Dalmatians.' It just seemed perfect for me, being that it was part 2-D animated and part live action and those were two avenues I had gone down. It just seemed perfect and I begged for five years for the movie. It had been in development, I guess, for seven years before it got green lit with me. I think they were just trying to find the tone -- you know, how do you create a movie that's self-referential? How do you create a movie at Disney about Disney? I think at the moment I asked for it it was a much darker movie. Darker in tone -- nearer to darker comedy is probably what I should say.