Complete A-Z list



Stars: Amy Adams, Patrick Dempsey, James Marsden, Susan Sarandon, Timothy Spall, Julie Andrews (narrator)

Director: Kevin Lima

Disney again mixes animation with live-action - although mostly the sequences are separate - in this resolutely cute story about Giselle, a fairy-tale cartoon heroine (Adams) from Andalasia, who gets dispatched by her princely intended's wicked mother (Sarandon) down a wishing-well to present-day New York, where she (now human) is rescued from a traffic snarl-up by a dishy divorce lawyer (Dempsey).

Invoking fairy-tale lore, Giselle gets the local birds, animals and bugs to help her run up dresses from Dempsey's curtains (although one pigeon does eat a bug when it's all done) and provokes sing-alongs in Central Park.

Her true love (Marsden, commendably into the spirit of the thing) pursues her down the well, but the queen, not wanting Giselle as a daughter-in-law, sends her servant (a suitably sneaky Spall) to scotch any ideas of rescue.

Although at times hard to resist, this is one of those films that's not as much fun as it could be. The usually feisty Adams sings sweetly, but is otherwise bland, while the thanklessness of Dempsey's role is encapsulated by Sarandon, now changed into a blue dragon, clutching him in her scaly claw with a cry of 'I guess this makes you the damsel in distress, huh, handsome?' Spall and a CGI chipmunk enliven things in their too-brief appearances.

David Quinlan

USA 2007. UK Distributor: Walt Disney. Technicolor.
106 minutes. Widescreen. UK certificate: PG.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 0, Violence/Horror 0, Drugs 0, Swearing 0.

Review date: 10 Dec 2007