Making the leap from "once upon a time" to "happily ever after" is hardly a waltz in the park for the average Disney fairy-tale heroine.
Snow White, Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty had to endure jealous crones, clingy animal sidekicks and gnarled little men in their quest for everlasting love.
's Giselle has a few more pressing matters to overcome — including homelessness — as the strawberry-blond princess is rudely shoved out of her animated Eden and into the live-action chaos of modern-day Manhattan.
Cinderella never had to fret about tripping on her ballgown. The artists took care of that. But Amy Adams, the supporting-Oscar nominee from 2005's Junebug
who brings Giselle to life in the romantic comedy opening Wednesday, wasn't as lucky. She wrestled with a wedding dress that enveloped her like a silk-and-organza nuclear explosion while negotiating the hustle and bustle of Times Square.
"It's definitely heavier than you think," says Adams, 33, who took more than a few tumbles in her 45-pound costume, causing her to half-jokingly refer to director Kevin Lima as "the Marquis de Sade." Giselle also has to bear the weight of both sending up and celebrating Disney's 2-D animation, a tradition that has been on the brink of extinction until recently.
The masterminds behind the PG-rated Enchanted
have set out to invent a new studio classic, one that not only recalls the cartoon wonders of Uncle Walt's golden age but also such later landmarks as 1964's Mary Poppins
(that's Julie Andrews narrating at the start and finish) and 1988's Who Framed Roger Rabbit
(a similar groundbreaker).
Says Lima, who has done animation (1999's Tarzan
) as well as live action (2000's 102 Dalmatians
) for the studio: "Shrek
tends to beat up on Disney, but this is just the opposite. The ideas behind the fairy-tale movies might be somewhat antiquated, but put into the real world, they don't have to be cynical. They can still have that same joy."
What follows is the story of the key talents behind the birth of a postmodern princess, one who might help the Magic Kingdom rediscover its old-fashioned knack for enchanting audiences.