Ella Enchanted

Ella Enchanted

3.5 65
Director: Tommy O'Haver, Anne Hathaway, Hugh Dancy, Cary Elwes

Cast: Tommy O'Haver, 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 fairy

Overview

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.

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.

Product Details

Release Date:
08/24/2004
UPC:
0786936244892
Original Release:
2004
Rating:
PG
Source:
Miramax
Region Code:
1
Presentation:
[Wide Screen]
Time:
1:36:00
Sales rank:
71,113

Special Features

Closed Caption; Music video "It's Not Just Make-Believe" performed by Kari Kimmel; Deleted and extended scenes; Feature commentary with director Tommy O'Haver, Anne Hathaway and Hugh Dancy; "Prince Charmont's Fan Club" set-top game; "Ella Enchanted Red Carpet Premiere Special"; "The Magical World of Ella Enchanted"; "Happily Ever After" DVD-ROM feature; Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound; Widescreen (1.85:1) enhanced for 16x9 televisions; French language track; Spanish subtitles

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

Scene Index

Side #1 --
1. "The Perfect Child" [5:10]
2. Mother's Gift [2:22]
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 Obediance [4:49]
20. "We Got a Coronation to Crash" [2:38]
21. "It's Payback Time" [6:18]
22. Don't Go Breakin' My Heart [3:21]
23. End Credits [5:48]

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3.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 65 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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goodgirl2 More than 1 year ago
it was actually cute i like Anne Hathaway this was a nice movie i never read the book though
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Guest More than 1 year ago
i really enjoyed this movie, when i saw it i was like omg its awsome, i haven't read the book, but the movie was awsome, we musn't get carried away with "IT was nothing like the book". For Movies based on books i tend to look at them as if they were seperate stories rather than the same. Then you should have no problem enjoying it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
c this movie now whoever said that this is yuck is CRAZY
Guest More than 1 year ago
I thought 'Ella Enchanted' was a wonderful book just the way it was. I do NOT know why the movie production decided that the plot almost totally had to be altered. And all this singing and dancing and hope-you-laugh-comedy? I don't think so. I felt as I was watching this that the movie whished it could be like Shrek. The good aspects of the movie was that all most all the charcters were well cast, especially Char, Dame Olga, Hattie, and Olive. I also thought the chemsitry between Anne Hathaway (Ella) and Hugh Dancy (Char) was there. It was a cute movie for little kids, but a dissapiontment for fans of the book.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I hate this movie! The plot was weak compared to the book, and the storyline has completely changed. If they relese this film, it should NOT be under the name Ella Enchanted. I don't reccomend this, especially if you have not read the book-you will think that the book is pathetic too!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Now please, don't take me wrong. I love this movie soooooooooooo much, and I love the book just as much too. But, the only thing that disappointed me was that this movie was nothing like the book. EVERYTHING (I mean, literally, EVERYTHING) changed, all except for the fact that most of the characters names and personalities are the same, and that Ella has the gift of obedience. Yes, it's very disappointing, but it has a good plot line as well. Like in the book, Ella recieves the gift of obedience when she is just a few hours old, and through out the movie she tries to fight the curse. When she is in college, her mother dies (in the book, she was only 15) and her father re-marries Dame Olga and her highly annoying daughters, Hattie and Olive. Okay, that's the stuff faithful to the book. Now here's the changed stuff: Obnoxious Hattie soon discovers that Ella will do everything she is told to do, so she "commands" Ella to steal a pair of glass slippers at the new mall. When Ella reluctanly does and gets caught by the guards, her stepmother is outraged and demands to know who told her to do this. Hattie makes her say that Areida (Ella's best friend) told her to steal, and who Olga finds out... yikes!! She orders Ella to stop being friends with Areida!!!! Tearfully, Ella decides once and for all to find Lucinda and to get her to take back the dreadful gift. This story was very suspenseful, adventurous, and surprising, and it's one of my favorite movies. But I seriously would have given this movie a 5 star rating if it was more faithful to the book. I mean, the book was so good and it was an instant classic! Why change it for crying out loud? But don't get me wrong, everything about the movie (other than that little fact that it's not true to the book) is wonderful: I love the acting in it. Anne Hathaway ("Ella") is extremely good in her role, and I love her solo "Somebody To Love". Hugh Dancy ("Prince Charmont") is also very good and he looks just the way I pictured the prince did in the book. He also had the same personality too (dashing, kind, slightly serious, etc.). Now Lucy Punch ("Hattie") and Jennifer Higham ("Olive") did an excellent job playing the dim-witted and annoying stepsisters. And I also thought Cary Elwes, Aidan McArdle, Joanna Lumley, Steve Coogan, and Vivica A. Fox did a great job as well!! :-) I just hope 10 years from now they make a re-make that is more faithful to the original work by Gail Carson Levine. She must have felt terrible to have the book she worked so hard on to be changed so drastically!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I read the book and for years wanted it to be a movie when it finally did become a movie i was excited. The first time i saw it i was very pleased that even though it didn't follow the book at all barely but the plot was so good and different that it didn't matter.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Omg!! I literally just finished watching this movie and I love it!! It is a lot different from the book but I love all of the music and Char!!! Both the movie and book are awsome!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I love Anne Hathaway. She's a great actress! Only 1 problem: this movie rivals Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, The Wizard of Oz, and Hamlet. Also, I HATED the stepfamily, especially Hattie. How could she make Ella give up her late mom's necklace, steal glass slippers, and dump her best friend?! It's so mean! ARGH! Even so, the movie was good.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This movie was such a major disappointment. Ella Enchanted was such a fantastic book by Gail Carson Levine, and this movie showed nothing but arrogance. The book is tasteful, bewitching, romantic, humourous, and just plain all-around enjoyable. The movie, however was nothing like the book. I would compare and contrast, but I feel I need some sleep this week. The only things similar was the title (which just brings shame to the book) and the fact that Ella is cursed. However, I think kids aged 5-11 would enjoy this. Anne Hathaway does fantastic with what role is left of Ella and the song and dance numbers are sure to get kids moving. But, please, if you must watch this movie, watch it, but don't let it shape your opinion on the book. If you want something your children can enjoy, Ella Enchanted, the book, is so much more enchanting.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I HATE THIS MOVIE! It was so LAME! I wait for a year for my favorite book to become a movie and then I'm at the theatre. The movie begins. And then I want to tear the screen apart at the end. So I went home and made a list. The differences between the book and the movie. You want to know how many differences there were (and only the ones I could find)? THERE WERE 106 DIFFERENCES!!!! I HATE THIS MOVIE! NONE of the casting was right, the script was UNWORTHY compared to the novel, I DIDN'T fall in love with Char the way I did when I read the book, Char was the BIGGEST JERK in the movie and yet still Ella DOESN'T see his stupidity, I HATED the political statement it was making, I HATE EVERYTHING ABOUT THIS STUPID MOVIE! Read the book. Ditch the movie
Guest More than 1 year ago
This was a great family movie for me and my family to watch. It's not like those other violent movies, and inapropriate. But even my 4 year old sister loved it! I would definetly recomend this movie to any famiy that has kids! ;-) If I had to give an age group for the movie it would probably be 4 and up. Even for children younger than 4 would still love it. ~
Guest More than 1 year ago
Hollywood can do sooooo much better then this! It was incrediably stupid! The only way it coincided with the book was due to the characters names! there was nothing from the book in it except their names! the shoes, the whole entire thing was wack!
Guest More than 1 year ago
a book is a book. a movie is a movie. the movie is only BASED on the book. had you not read the book, i am sure you would have loved the movie. SEPERATE the two. sit back and enjoy. very seldom do the movies match the book. sometimes it stinks, sometimes better. but just because it does not duplicate the other does not men it was bad. open your mind, expand horizons. i loved both.
Guest More than 1 year ago
It was a well preformed movie in which all of the scenes complimented each other beautifully. I was caught in suspense!
mslewis305 More than 1 year ago
The movie was very entertaining. It was a funny movie, with a "fairy tale" ending.. I recommend the movie if you're into funny movies with plots that show that even in bad situations, good still prevails.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I loved this movie. Anne Hathaway is a great actress and Hugh Dancy is a great actor. Anne Hathaway can also SING! (really good) You should totally see the movie, it is great!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Ella Enchanted was the best Cinderella Story I've ever read and the movie was the worst portrayal of that story I could have ever imagined. My advice: Don't watch this movie! And even if you do, read the book as well. It's a brilliant story.
Guest More than 1 year ago
this movie was great. i read the book and it is completly different but i really liked it. it has great actors in it and i recommend this movie to everyone
Guest More than 1 year ago
I saw this movie after reading the book and i have to say i was disappointed that they had changed so much. Why?! I do think though that you'd like the movie if you HAVENT read the book, but if you HAVE its a big let down.