Disenchanted turns the page on a storybook ending to what comes after.

Disenchanted switches the page from a storybook ending to what comes after.

Disenchanted,” a sequel that is exclusively available for streaming because it takes place 15 years after “Happily Ever After,” poses the philosophical question, “What follows after “Happily Ever After?”.

Disenchanted turns the page on a storybook ending to what comes after.

Amy Adams deftly transitions back into the role of an animated princess seeking to fit into the live-action world in “Enchantedepilogue, “‘s which has magical moments but falls short of living up to its promise in other ways.

In a manner reminiscent of a fairy tale, Adams’ Princess Giselle married her single father Robert (Patrick Dempsey) and had a child with him. She was, however, ill-prepared by living in magical Andalasia for the routine and tedium of married life, which led her to look for a way to shake up her mundane reality.

The situation would undoubtedly be handled differently on HBO or Hulu, but since this is Disney+, Giselle decides to relocate the entire family to Monroeville, a suburban community that seemed ideal on the billboards.

However, as a result of the choice, Robert now has a terrible commute, and Giselle’s adolescent stepdaughter Morgan (Gabriella Baldacchino), who is obliged to live with Robert, feels out of place and irritable.

Giselle grows desperate enough to attempt employing some magic that falls firmly into the “Be careful what you wish for” category because of the conflict and strain at home.

Giselle is a stepmother, a type of family member that hasn’t often done well in animated fairy tales. In its most imaginative flourish, this fact causes a significant backfire.

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With all the singing to urban flora and fauna, the first kick that gave “Enchanted” life may seem unnecessary in this setting. Everyone is in great voice for those songs, including Idina Menzel, who briefly appears to add her Broadway tenor to the song that is obviously meant to be the movie’s show-stopper.

Although the songs were written by Alan Menken and Stephen Schwartz, who were nominated for an Oscar for their work on the original, the music this time is lively but less memorable.

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The supporting ensemble, which includes Maya Rudolph as the neighborhood queen bee and James Marsden as the naive prince, also feels inconsistently underused and overworked. Rudolph does, however, get to sing an upbeat duet with Adams.

Disenchanted turns the page on a storybook ending to what comes after.
Disenchanted turns the page on a storybook ending to what comes after.

The movie, which was directed by Adam Shankman (who, coincidentally, also directed the musical “Hairspray” the same year “Enchanted” was released), once more plays skilfully with fairy-tale traditions without really demonstrating Giselle or others’ development over the following years.

If there was a chance to ingeniously develop the mythos, “Disenchanted” just opts to rehash it.

Of course, Disney+ has benefited from this approach, basing a large portion of its programming strategy on the comfortable familiarity associated with revisiting classic titles in either series or movie form, including “The Santa Clause,” “Hocus Pocus,” and, eventually, “Willow.”

Before the narrative really gets going, Giselle laments, “I never sing the proper song anymore.”
That would be an unfair assessment of “Disenchanted,” but it is true to argue that the sequel doesn’t touch nearly as many high notes as its justly loved predecessor.

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