Ella Enchanted

Ella Enchanted

3.5 65
Director: Tommy O'Haver

Cast: Anne Hathaway, Hugh Dancy, Cary Elwes


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Adapted from author Gail Carson Levine's award-winning children's book of the same name, the Miramax-financed modern fantasy Ella Enchanted is directed by Tommy O'Haver and stars The Princess Diaries alumna Anne Hathaway. Ella (Hathaway) lives in a magical world in which each child, at the moment of their birth, is given a virtuous "gift" from a fairySee more details below


Adapted from author Gail Carson Levine's award-winning children's book of the same name, the Miramax-financed modern fantasy Ella Enchanted is directed by Tommy O'Haver and stars The Princess Diaries alumna Anne Hathaway. Ella (Hathaway) lives in a magical world in which each child, at the moment of their birth, is given a virtuous "gift" from a fairy godmother. Ella's so-called gift, however, is obedience. This birthright proves itself to be quite the curse once Ella finds herself in the hands of several unscrupulous characters whom she quite literally cannot disobey. Determined to gain control of her life and decisions, Ella sets off on a journey she hopes will end with the lifting of the curse in question. The path, however, isn't easy -- Ella must outwit a slew of unpleasant magical creatures ranging from ogres to talking books with evil plots. Though perilous, Ella's adventures turn out to be necessary obstacles in the path toward finding herself, and maybe even true love along the way. Ella Enchanted also features Cary Elwes, who has starred in a fantasy feature himself (the widely acclaimed The Princess Bride), Hugh Dancy, and Patrick Bergin, among others. ~ Tracie Cooper

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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Donald Liebenson
Viewers will be forgiven if they get a sense of déjà Shrek with this otherwise enchanting comedy based on Gail Carson Levine's popular young-adult novel. Aggressively hip, this fairy-tale romance is set to contemporary music with anachronistic dialogue and featuring Anne Hathaway (The Princess Diaries) as Ella from Frell. At birth, Ella is given the gift/curse of obedience by a self-absorbed Fairy Godmother (Vivica A. Fox) -- which compels her to literally obey every command like Hymie the robot from Get Smart (she obliges when a mean classmate says, "Bite me"). Ella possesses a good heart and a strong mind, which she will need when she finds herself at the mercy of her wicked stepsisters and embroiled in royal intrigue against medieval teen dream and true love, Prince Charmont (Hugh Dancy). Ella could have benefited with a little help from her costars, including underused Minnie Driver as a bumbling household fairy and Carey Elwes (The Princess Bride) as the good prince's evil uncle. But former Python Eric Idle is always welcome as the film's narrator and muse, and the assorted ogres, giants, elves, talking books, and scheming hench-snakes help the film to cast a whimsical spell. Be sure to check out the deleted scenes included on the DVD, where a satisfying extended ending gives some of the nastier characters their just deserts.
All Movie Guide
Ella Enchanted is a surprisingly effective realization of its simple fairy-tale concept. A medieval teenager (Anne Hathaway) must do whatever anyone tells her, a curse that ranges from mildly annoying to incredibly problematic. Humorously, it also highlights our conversational use of command words, especially their literal interpretation. One such example comes when a castle guard tells a fleeing Ella to freeze, and she's forced to pause mid-leap, legs akimbo. The filmmakers are so true to their premise, even when the prince uses a common argument technique to focus her attention -- "Look, Ella" -- the girl gives a glance back over her shoulder, in deference to the gimmick. The same high level of care applies to the film's terrific-looking storybook world, which employs modern sensibilities (such as a medieval mall opening) in a charming way. Production designer Norman Garwood brings his Princess Bride pedigree to the project, joining the CG artists to conjure majestic "helicopter shots" of the kingdom's countryside, as well as inventive creatures and other details that go beyond what's usually required of a teen romantic fantasy. But despite its attempts to be more than that, Ella Enchanted's inescapable teen focus may prevent it from fully appealing to other demographics. Prince Char (Hugh Dancy) is a little too much of an olden-times Backstreet Boy, and Hathaway may be too identified with the Princess Diaries movies for older audiences. Plot-wise, there's also a potentially frustrating, unexploited loophole to Ella's curse -- namely, that Ella's goofy aunt (Minnie Driver) should be able to save Ella by ordering her to do the opposite of what her various adversaries tell her. But then, as they say, there would be no movie. Ultimately, only a real ogre could stay grumpy at Ella Enchanted for very long.

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Product Details

Release Date:
Original Release:
Miramax Lionsgate
Region Code:
[Full Frame]
[Dolby AC-3 Surround Sound]
Sales rank:

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Anne Hathaway Ella of Frell
Hugh Dancy Prince Charmont
Cary Elwes Prince Regent Edgar
Patrick Bergin Sir Peter
Vivica A. Fox Lucinda Perriweather
Steve Coogan Heston
Jennifer Higham Olive
Eric Idle Narrator
Minnie Driver Mandy
Joanna Lumley Dame Olga
Aidan McArdle Slannen the Elf
Jimi Mistry Benny
Parminder Nagra Areida
Lucy Punch Hattie

Technical Credits
Tommy O'Haver Director
Su Armstrong Executive Producer
Angus Bickerton Special Effects Supervisor
Laurie Craig Screenwriter
David Daniels [countertenor] Asst. Director
Shaun Davey Score Composer
John DeBorman Cinematographer
Susie Figgis Casting
Norman Garwood Production Designer
Nick Glennie-Smith Score Composer
Julie Goldstein Executive Producer
Jennifer Heath Screenwriter
Masahiro Hirakubo Editor
Kieran Horgan Sound/Sound Designer
Susan Miller Lazar Co-producer
Karen McCullah Lutz Screenwriter
Ruth Myers Costumes/Costume Designer
Anna Rackard Art Director
Kirsten Smith Screenwriter
Jane Startz Producer
Bruno Tonioli Choreography
Bob Weinstein Executive Producer
Harvey Weinstein Executive Producer
Michele J. Wolff Screenwriter

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Scene Index

Side #1 --
1. "The Perfect Child" [5:10]
2. Mother's Gift [2:21]
3. Ella's New Family [3:22]
4. "Hold Your Tongue" [1:55]
5. "Image Is Everything" [3:02]
6. "Call Me Char" [4:11]
7. Under Arrest [4:34]
8. Off to Find Lucinda [3:17]
9. An Origami Master [2:18]
10. Dancing for the Man [4:41]
11. "How Do You Like to Be Eaten?" [5:08]
12. Making a Good Argument [3:24]
13. A Giant Wedding Party [4:22]
14. Somebody to Love [7:16]
15. At the Castle [4:28]
16. Edgar's Evil Plans [6:15]
17. The Hardest Thing... [2:18]
18. The Coronation Ball [4:56]
19. Deadly Obedience [4:49]
20. "We Got a Coronation to Crash" [2:06]
21. "It's Payback Time" [:32]
22. Don't Go Breakin' My Heart [6:18]
23. End Credits [3:21]

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