In 2007, I was just a teenager when… fascinated It was released, and like a lot of people who were introduced to Amy Adams’ Giselle and the Magical Kingdom of Andalusia, she walked off that stage with her new favorite Disney movie. It’s been a long wait for a sequel, and now then Frustrating Finally here, I feel relieved to report that it was well worth the wait. Although nothing could capture the originality and charm of the first film, the sequel provided the perfect answer to this burning fantasy question: What happens after Happily Ever After?
While 15 years have passed since then fascinated released, and less time passes between films. We last saw Gisele fall in love with Patrick Dempsey’s Robert Phillipe and choose to stay in New York to start a new life with him and his six-year-old daughter, Morgan (originally played by Rachel Covey). Now, Morgan is a teenager (played by Gabriela Baldachino) and Gisele and Robert have a new baby. Like many growing families, they decide to leave the city and go to the suburbs where Giselle hopes life will be closer to her days in Andalusia. However, their new home isn’t exactly what Giselle imagined, so she uses a wishing wand to make things a little more satisfying. In true fairy tale fashion, the wish backfires, which is bad for Giselle but a gift to the audience.
Amy Adams’ lovable performance fascinated It earned her a Golden Globe nomination again in 2008, and she reprized the role with delightful ease. Not only is it fans seeing more of the playful princess-like Gisele, but the desire gone wrong gives Adams the space to play a whole new side of the character. Unsurprisingly, the six-time Academy Award nominee highlights duality and offers a fresh perspective on the role we all know and love. Her biggest opponent in the movie is Malvina (Maya Rudolph) and while no one can live up to the demonic demeanor of Susan Sarandon’s Queen Narissa of… fascinatedRudolph brought her famous comedic timing to the role and made the evil queen stereotype her own.
Another bright spot in the film is newcomer Gabriella Baldacchino. Not only does she have tremendous vocal talent, but she also brings a subtle nuance to Morgan. The character isn’t happy about moving to the suburbs and has that classic teenage angst, but it’s not as consumed by it as some of the teens you see in these kinds of stories. She still has empathy and cares for her family even as she brushes off the cynicism that Gisele hilariously struggles to figure out. The casting department also deserves a big shout out for finding someone who looks so much like the original Morgan. Kofi supposedly didn’t return to the role because she’s too old to play a teen, but the original star is making a bit of a splash in the new movie. For a split second, I thought Morgan doubled down until I remembered Kofi had a cameo.
Biggest annoyance Frustrating is the lack of James Marsden as Prince Edward. His performance in the first film rivals Adams when it comes to scene stealing and every moment he has in the sequel earned me the biggest laughs. While we should be grateful we got Marsden at all, there are several scenes that could have been improved due to Edward’s goofy ignorance. During certain moments in the film, Dempsey is clearly trying to channel that Edward energy, but it’s impossible to counteract Marsden’s likable magnetism. That’s not to say Dempsey’s role wasn’t fun. In fact, he had his own little side missions that worked a lot better than if they tried to squeeze him into all of the main plot.
Frustrating It also fixed the first movie’s only bug by letting Idina Menzel (Nancy) sing, as she’s best known for her original roles in some of Broadway’s most popular musicals, including Leasing And the evil. Not only did she have a cute little duet with Marsden, but she sang the movie’s big song, “Love Power,” which has similar sentiments with one of her most iconic songs, “Let It Go” from frozen. In fact, most of the song takes place in an animated sequence, which will definitely make fans crave a Nancy/Elsa crossover. Just like the first movie, Andalusia’s scenes are done in 2D animation, and it doesn’t disappoint.
While “Love Power” is probably the song you’ll hear on the radio FrustratingUpon its release, yet another musical number that stands out as an instant Disney classic. Adams and Rudolph sing a duet titled “Badder” that rivals some of Disney’s most famous villains such as the little Mermaid“Poor Unfortunate Souls” and tangledMother knows best. “Badder” also has the possibility to join Aladdinis a “whole new world” as a Disney karaoke duet. Some of the other songs are a bit repetitive and there’s no guarantee that any of them will stick in your head as quickly as the first “That’s How You Know,” but the return of composer Alan Menken and lyricist Stephen Schwartz will be a huge relief for music fans.
many fascinated Understandably, fans are upset that the movie is going straight to Disney+, however it may have been the right call to skip the theatrical release. If you liked the first one, but you’re not a fan of Disney or musicals, Frustrating Certainly not for you. The first movie was an inventive and original ride while the second one was just plain fun and beautiful. However, if you are one fascinated A fan or general lover of all things Disney, the new movie won’t disappoint. Even while at home, watching Adams’ Giselle again instantly brought me back to that theater in 2007, and I couldn’t help but feel the same exhilaration I had as a teenager. Frustrating It is pure magic and a must see for Disney fans.
Rating: 4 out of 5
Frustrating Streaming now on Disney+.