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Enchanted (Blu-ray)

review by Zach B.

 

 

MPAA Rating: PG (For Some Scary Images and Mild Innuendo)

Running Time: 107 Minutes

Starring: Amy Adams, Patrick Dempsey, James Marsden, Timothy Spall, Idina Menzel and Susan Sarandon

Written by: Bill Kelly

Directed by: Kevin Lima

 

Studio: Disney

Retail Price: $29.99

Features: The D-Files Fantasy Comes To Life, Carrie Underwood Music Video, Deleted Scenes, Bloopers, Pip's Predicament: A Pop-Up Adventure

Specs: 2.35:1 Widescreen (1080p), English Dolby TrueHD, English Dolby Digital 5.1, French Dolby Digital 5.1, Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1, English Subtitles, French Subtitles, Spanish Subtitles, Scene Selection (20 Scenes)

Released: March 18th, 2008

 

 

What a difference high-def makes! "Enchanted" is presented in 2.35:1 widescreen (though the animated opening is 1.85:1, before stretching and filling the frame when Giselle enters the real world), in wondrous 1080 progressive-scan. I had some issues with the transfer on the regular DVD, but everything here is practically top-notch and consistent. In the live-action realm, the amount of detail was astonishing - be it the New York streets, or just all the colors flowing in the "That's How You Know" musical number. The transfer wasn't soft at all, but razor-sharp. Black levels are strong, as are the accounted fleshtones and color saturation (really, just gorgeous). Meanwhile, the animated sequences are quite the eyesore - I don't know if I can justify just how much these scenes pop right out at you and how glorious they look. This is near-reference quality for Blu-ray, and it's a great movie to show off your player as you get the best of both worlds: not only how excellent live-action looks in high-definition, but animation too. (With that noted, we really need more animated films in high-def.) If you have a Blu-ray player, this is a must see.

 

"Enchanted" on Blu-ray features a Dolby TrueHD track. To compare with the regular DVD version once again (which had excellent standard Dolby Digital and DTS tracks), it is like night and day. With this mix, you're really pushed into the movie and all its sonic flair. The dialogue sounds pitch-perfect, and the Stephen Schwartz and Alan Menken tunes feel so alive and have such great depth through the channels. And the scenes with a lot of action going on have a juicy, dense quality to them. You may feel as if your living room is somehow in Times Square, or you're next to Giselle as she does battle against the dragon in the finale. This is a powerful, outstanding track that does complete justice to the film's abundance of sounds.

Standard Dolby Digital 5.1 tracks are included in English, French and Spanish, and there are subtitles in English, French and Spanish. 
 



Exclusive to this Blu-ray release is The D-Files, which Disney fans will certainly get the most out of. As you watch the movie, you can try and spot the direct references "Enchanted" features. As you go along and find a valid one, you're treated to a small featurette showing off the original reference. And if you play through to the very end and get a high score, you'll be able to see a few more featurettes: one on the making of the "Ever Ever After" music video, and for the songs "So Close" and "True Love's Kiss."

Fantasy Comes To Life, which is a series of three featurettes: "Happy Working Song," "That's How You Know" and "A Blast At The Ball." These are nice, little pieces that last a few minutes each where we see all the elements that went into making these sequences - such as storyboards,  the perspectives of songwriters Alan Menken and Stephen Schwartz, thoughts from the actors, director Kevin Lima, producer Barry Josepheson, executive producer Chris Chase and some of the visual effects crew. These are all solid and entertaining, showcasing the film's most memorable sequences. In all, this series runs 17 minutes or so. And if you click the note on the sign, you'll be treated to the Carrie Underwood music video.

Also on the disc are six Deleted Scenes, each with introductions by director Kevin Lima. Some of the scenes are actually alternate versions to what's shown in the film (or in the last "scene," it's more like a couple of deleted shots). In any case, there isn't much to be missed here - and Lima justifys his cuts well. The scenes are in anamorphic widescreen, and do look a bit grainy. In total, this material barely lasts eight minutes. There are also two minutes worth of Bloopers, some of which are cute.

Pip's Predicament: A Pop-Up Adventure features the animated sidekick in his own magical adventure that the kids should enjoy, as it fills in some story details in the world of Andalasia while Giselle is in New York. Somewhat ironically, the animation is pretty stiff. (Then again, I guess it's supposed to be a pop-up book.)


I feel "Enchanted" is a bit on the flawed side, that doesn't always live up to its imaginative premise. Still, it's definitely one of the better family-oriented films to come along in quite along time that doesn't have the Pixar name on it, and Disney fanatics are sure to love the various homages.

If you have a Blu-ray player, this version is the way to go. The added D-Files game is enjoyable, but as with most Blu-ray releases, the presentation justifies a purchase. When it comes to the sparkling audio and its outstanding transfer, "Enchanted" is near-reference quality. Even if you're not big on the film or do not have much of an interest, it's still worth a rental just so you can be wowed for 107 minutes.