Ella Enchanted (2004)


Dave’s 3-Word Review:
Silly, but cheap.

This film was selected from ‘The 250’

Do you ever mix up movie titles? It has happened to me from time to time for a few movies, two of which are Ella Enchanted and Enchanted for obvious reasons, regardless of the fact that they are two very different movies. While sure, there are some similarities here and there, they are pretty much polar opposites, and most people would just remember Enchanted…because that’s the better, more memorable film. This one is more for the kids who won’t be nitpicking, because truth be told…there are quite the number of flaws in Ella Enchanted.

This film introduces us to Ella of Frenn, a fictional fantasy world that resembles some Disney tales, but we’ll get to that later. When she was just a baby, her godmother, Lucinda, gave her the worst gift ever…regardless of her pure intentions. It was the gift of obedience, so basically Ella had no other choice than to do everything everyone else ordered from her (cue immature laughter here). This brought on strange behavior from Ella in her adulthood, and people began to figure it out, ultimately forcing her to do things and she has no choice but to comply, like tell her best friend she never wants to see her again. So throughout the movie, Ella tries to track her best friend down again and patch things up.

I said it resembled the world of Disney because there are two basic plots, one is stupid, the other one is virtually the same exact thing as Cinderella. You got your evil step mother/sisters, a ball, a Prince Charming, a fairy godmother, transformation, lalala. It’s the same movie, give or take a few Disney films like Snow White and the Seven Dwarves. The other plot of the film, the stupid one, was trying to find her best friend who she dumped. That was just…it felt off. It was there to keep the film flowing, and to give Ella a goal…but in the end, I don’t think anyone cared. It actually felt more filler and watered down the real plot of the movie…then again, the real plot felt unoriginal…so. I don’t know.

Now, there is something that the movie did right, and that was its sense of humor. It’s not overly hilarious, but it had the same sense of humor that Shrek does. It takes place in a fantasy medieval world, and yet, they sing current pop hits and make a lot of clever pop culture references that sets the movie apart from others like it. If I were to pick out the very best feature of the film – that would be it, hands down, because the rest of the movie is just okay.

If I had to point out the worst feature the film had, it would unfortunately have to be the visuals. I want to point out that this is a 2004 movie. I won’t list off a bunch of movies from this year, but just know there are some phenomenal movies with insane visuals in that same year – to name a few– Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, and The Day After Tomorrow. Insane visuals in these movies, and I know not every movie has the same budget, but what this movie did was simply sad. There are better visuals on TV, even back then. There just wasn’t a single visual in this film that looked real. I could see the backdrops, I could see the bad CGI, I could tell when there was green screen, I could even tell when people were ADRing their scenes. It just felt really cheap and amateur. Maybe that was the point? I don’t know, because if it was, then I don’t get it.

The Good:

Kids will love it, the concept is silly and it has the same type of theme and tone as a live-action version of Shrek.

The Bad:

Read my last paragraph – it basically says the visuals in this movie are subpar. Scratch that, the visuals just suck.

The Random:

Haha, the dude from the Hannibal TV show is in this. That makes me laugh.

One thought on “Ella Enchanted (2004)

  1. I’m a sucker for fairy tales and I liked this movie. I actually have it on DVD. LOLs 😀 Great review though. You raised some great points that I really have to agree with 😀


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