Is Disenchanted a sequel to Enchanted?

By Lori Meek
Published: November 24, 2022
Is Disenchanted a sequel to Enchanted?

We discuss the Disney+ film Disenchanted and whether or not it is a sequel to Enchanted or a reboot. 

It’s been 15 years since Disney’s Enchanted starring Amy Adams was released. Written by Bill Kelly and directed by Kevin Lima, the film featured an ensemble cast featuring names like Patrick Dempsey, James Marsden, Susan Sarandon, and Idina Menzel. Widely considered the best family movie to hit the screens in 2007, Enchanted catapulted its lead to stardom and reignited the love of fairy tales for a new generation. The film’s charming story about an animated Disney princess making her way into the real world was deemed unique and refreshing, earning it many accolades and wide critical acclaim.

In the years since the film has become a much-beloved Disney modern fairytale classic. Unsurprisingly, Disney wanted to recreate that magic with a sequel pretty much straight away. However, it wasn’t meant to be and another movie featuring characters from the kingdom of Andalasia took a great many years to finally come out. At one point, James Marsden, who plays Edward, didn’t think the sequel was even going to happen at all. “So I think at this point, a couple of years ago, we just assumed it wasn’t gonna happen. But then this script was written that we all loved and got excited about, and everyone’s schedules lined up and we did it,” he recalled.

Disenchanted, also starring Adams, landed on Disney+ in November 2022 to mixed reviews. The film has been in the works for over a decade but spent most of that time stuck in development limbo. The new film was directed by Adam Shankman (who served as executive producer for Hocus Pocus 2, another part two of an iconic classic that came out earlier this year) with Patrick Dempsey, James Marsden, and Idina Menzel also reprising their roles along with Adams. Gabriella Baldacchino was cast as now-teenaged Morgan, originally played by Rachel Covey. Maya Rudolph joined the production as the movie’s villain and was joined by Yvette Nicole Brown and Jayma Mays. Despite the rather cold critical response, Disenchanted did become the 3rd most streamed movie in the week following its release.

In the past few years, Disney made a habit of remaking and rebooting old classics. Beloved animated movies like The Lion KingThe Jungle Book, and Pinocchio all got the live-action reboot treatment. However, films like Mary Poppins Returns and Hocus Pocus 2 were sequels to original classics, despite coming out decades later. So the question begs: Is Disenchanted a sequel or a reboot of the late 2000s classic?

What is Disenchanted about?

Here is the official Synopsis, courtesy of Disney:

It has been 10 years since Giselle (Amy Adams) and Robert (Patrick Dempsey) wed, but Giselle has grown disillusioned with life in the city, so they move their growing family to the sleepy suburban community of Monroeville in search of a more fairy tale life. Unfortunately, it isn’t the quick fix she had hoped for. Suburbia has a whole new set of rules and a local queen bee, Malvina Monroe (Maya Rudolph), who makes Giselle feel more out of place than ever. Frustrated that her happily ever after hasn’t been so easy to find, she turns to the magic of Andalasia for help, accidentally transforming the entire town into a real-life fairy tale and placing her family’s future happiness in jeopardy. Now, Giselle is in a race against time to reverse the spell and determine what happily ever after truly means to her and her family.

In the fairytale kingdom of Andalasia, not much happens after the prince wins his sweetheart’s heart and they live “Happily Ever After.”

Disenchanted explores Giselle’s struggles of coping with reality. Set years after the events of Enchanted, the second part finds Giselle and Robert still married, but after they’ve just had a new baby. Not only that, but Morgan is no longer the 6-year-old fairytale lover Giselle first met, but a snarky teenager trying her best to teach her naive stepmother the notion of sarcasm.

Feeling overwhelmed with her reality, Giselle thinks that a move to the suburbs would fix everything. But sadly, it doesn’t quite work out that way. Robert is miserable commuting, while Morgan hates leaving New York City behind. To make matters worse, the local PTA members led by Queen Bee Malvina Monroe are less than welcoming.

When the now-King and Queen of Andalasia, Edward and Nancy, visit, they bring Giselle’s baby daughter a magical wishing wand. As the former princess has become more disillusioned with the real world, she wishes to bring some fairy tale magic to her family life. At first, it all seems to have worked out perfectly. Morgan is the perfect fairytale daughter, Robert is out seeking dragons to slay and Giselle can sing to her heart’s content without facing judgment from those around her. Yet, all is not well, as Giselle soon learns her wish also cursed her to become the one fairy tale trope despised by most: A wicked stepmother.

Unlike the first movie which was more of a love story, in Disenchanted the main focus is the relationship between Giselle and a teenage Morgan. When the two first met, a six-year-old Morgan was entirely fascinated with Giselle and her fairytale upbringing. But as she entered her teenage years, their relationship became more strained, which led Giselle to wish for a completely different world and ultimately turned her into a villain. When asked about the duality her iconic character gets to show in the new movie, Amy Adams noted, “It was really great to revisit Giselle, with all her optimism and joy and excitement and love for everybody, but then to have that sort of twisted by her wish. I mean, it was really fun to examine what Giselle becomes, like, what are the different aspects of her wickedness?”

Is Disenchanted a reboot or a sequel?

Disenchanted is not a reboot, but a direct sequel to the first Enchanted movie, continuing Giselle’s story after she’s been married to Robert for quite some time. Apart from Susan Saradon’s Evil Queen, all core adult characters reprised their roles. While the part of Morgan went to Gabriella Baldacchino for the sequel, Rachel Covey who played the role in Enchanted made a brief cameo appearance as a Monrolasia resident.

Additional reading:

Disney+, Features, RSC Originals, Streaming Service