MPAA Rating: PG

Entertainment: +2

Content: +1/2

Amy Adams, Patrick Dempsey, James Marsden, Timothy Spall, Susan Sarandon. Comedy/musical. Original songs from Alan Menken and Stephen Schwartz (Pocahontas, Hunchback of Notre Dame). Written by Bill Kelly (Blast from the Past). Directed by Kevin Lima (Tarzan, Eloise At Christmastime).

FILM SYNOPSIS: The film follows Princess Giselle (Amy Adams) as she is banished by the evil queen (Susan Sarandon) from her magical, musical, animated land and finds herself in the gritty reality of the streets of modern-day Manhattan. Shocked by this strange new environment that doesnt operate on a happily ever after basis, Giselle is now adrift in a chaotic world badly in need of enchantment. But when Giselle begins to fall in love with a charmingly flawed divorce lawyer who has come to her aid, she begins to wonder if a storybook view of romance can survive in the real world.

PREVIEW REVIEW: Theres nothing really wrong with this production other than sometimes it struggles to be charming. Everyone does his or her job with a robust effort to bring family-friendly storytelling to the holiday season. Somehow, though, the Disney magic is missing. Ill see The Little Mermaid again. And Beauty and the Beast. Maybe even The Hunchback of Notre Dame. But I have no desire to re-see this one. Mermaid had me with the witty and memorable Under the Sea, as did Hunchback with the spiritually enlightening God Help the Outcasts and the whimsical Be Our Guest in Beauty and the Beast. With the exception of the theme-revealing, mood-setting number True Loves Kiss, the music here is like cotton candy: bright and fluffy, but with no lasting substance.

My personal disenchantment shouldnt be misconstrued as a denouncement of the picture, and despite my picayune letdown, I grant that it is one where both kids and their older companions can find engaging themes or laugh-out-loud antics. And if you consider yourself a Disney trivia buff, youll find yourself amid a treasure trove, as the film is loaded with Wheres Waldo-isms (pardon, Hidden Mickey-iconics), including a glass slipper and poisoned apples and recognizable names that pop up with amusing frequency. Disneys past glories are constantly being saluted with cameos and tips-of-the-hat, such as the appearances of Jodi Benson, the voice of The Little Mermaid, appearing as Roberts assistant, Sam, Paige OHara Belle of Beauty and the Beast portraying an actress on a soap opera, and clever moments such as the scene where Giselle encounters a very short, very angry business man, whom she mistakenly calls Grumpy.

It just made me long for the days of Mary Poppins, 101 Dalmations (the original) and Beauty and the Beast. In fact, I may borrow my nieces and nephews just so I can watch those Disney treasures again!

Preview Reviewer: Phil Boatwright

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: Though the producers handle most everything with discretion, there is some suggestive humor that seems unsuitable for a film parents are taking their little ones to see. Fellow Christian critics made no mention of this at the press junket I attended for the film. Are we all becoming so desensitized that we dont recognize inappropriate content when we see it? Are we no longer concerned with sexual innuendos that infiltrate innocent little minds?

Obscene Language: None

Profanity: None

Violence: Some slapstick humor, and then the Queen shows up and tries to kill the heroine with poisoned apples, and then by turning herself into a dragon and causing havoc before being conquered; there are a couple of scary visuals; most kids will be able to handle them, but a parent should be there in order to reassure.

Sex: A couple of misunderstandings get the male leads girlfriend to think hes fooling around with another girl; it is stated that the male lead is not living with his girlfriend because of his little girl no biblical reasoning is given.

Nudity: None, though theres a lot of cleavage for a movie aimed at kids as well as adults.

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: Several suggestive misunderstandings about characters being gay; this is played for laughs, but seemed inappropriate.

Drugs: Some social drinking.

Other: None

Running Time: 90 minutes
Intended Audience: Family

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