Before she was Catwoman, Anne Hathaway was America’s sweetheart, every girl wanted to be her and every boy had a crush on her thanks to kid friendly fare like The Princess Diaries. She followed that up with other kind of fairytale Ella Enchanted. Much like the Diaries, Hathaway charm is on full display. After watching the film I am reminded how good Hathaway is at comedy and it is a shame she does not do more films that show off her humorous side (really the only comedies that she has appeared in the flesh since was the best part of the otherwise forgettable Valentine's Day).
Hathaway plays the titular character that was given the “gift” of obedience at birth. Every time someone tells her to do something, she has to do it. The spell is so powerful that she even has to do it even if it is a sarcastic demand like the time a classmate learns the hard way it may not be wise to tell Ella to “Bite me.” Somehow she makes adolescences unscathed without anyone realizing her curse. That is until her father remarries and her new step-sister, Lucy Punch (in one of her first American films before going on to steal scenes in movies like Dinner for Schmucks), realizes Ella does everything she asks and decides to use it to her advantage.
In true fairy tale tradition, Ella head out on a quest, this time to find the fairy who gave her the give of obedience (a tipsy Vivica A Fox, Independence Day) and collects a rag tag group of fairy tale outcasts (elves, giants, and ogres, oh my) on her trip as well as a handsome prince (Hugh Dancy, who really has not taken off here in the states but will fill the shoes of Will Graham in the upcoming televised version of Hannibal) that Ella just writes off as a pretty face. But the infatuation grows the ire of his evil uncle (Cary Elwes who knows a thing or two about princesses) that wants the crown for himself.
With the resurgence of fairy tales on Once Upon a Time and Grimm, it may be time to give Ella Enchanted another look (or a first one in you missed the 2004 the first time around and perfect for any girl that has been born since then) and the film is more family friendly that the two show. And for those wondering about Hathaway’s singing voice with her upcoming role as Fantine in the movie version of Les Miserables, she actually sings two songs in Ella Enchanted including Queen’s Somebody to Love. It is also a plus that the film has Monty Python’s Eric Idle as the narrator.
This is the first time Ella Enchanted has been available on Blu-Ray and it is actually a combo pack that includes a DVD copy too. Both disks include the same features (except the DVD features some DVD-ROM features) including deleted and extended scenes. There is also an audio commentary with Hathaway, Dancy, and director Tommy O’Haver. There is a half an hour featurette The Magical World of Ella Enchanted as well as Ella Enchanted Red Carpet Premiere Special hosted by Jesse McCartney and Kari Kimmel although both features share a lot of the same video. Kimmel’s music video for It’s Not Just Make Believe is also included.
Full Disclosure Notice: this Blu-Ray was given to me by Lionsgate for review.