How ‘Disenchanted’ Threads Disney Easter Eggs Throughout Original Fairytale
Disenchanted is one big mashup of Disney Easter eggs. The long-awaited Enchanted sequel debuted Friday, November 18, on Disney+, with the original cast returning to tell an all-new story in a familiar world. And there are simply too many references to Disney animated classics to count, but we’ll take our best shot at detailing the big ones.
In Disenchanted, Giselle (Amy Adams) and Robert (Patrick Dempsey) move with daughters Morgan (Gabriella Baldacchino) and baby Sofia from Manhattan to Monroeville, a suburban town that resembles Andalasia enough to make Giselle a little less homesick. But when the move gets off to a rough start, Giselle makes a wish upon a magic wishing wand gifted to Sofia by Edward (James Marsden) and Nancy (Idina Menzel, whose lot in life is to sing that hardest song in anything she’s in).
The King and Queen of Andalasia built a portal in the well of Giselle and Robert’s new fixer-upper castle (naturally), allowing transport between worlds. This becomes their saving grace when Giselle’s wish inadvertently turns her into an evil stepmother to Morgan and Maya Rudolph‘s Malvina Monroe into an evil queen. This town ain’t big enough for two villains, as the high camp dueling number “Badder” lays out plain (this will be performed at drag shows for the rest of time). Snapping briefly back into her true self, Giselle pushes Morgan through the magical well so she can get help from the Andalasian monarchs. Can Morgan break the spell over Monrolasia before the clock strikes midnight?
Below, learn how the music, animation, new characters, set design, and costumes of Disenchanted harken back to Disney classics.
Alan Menken and Stephen Schwartz’s Disenchanted Music
Disenchanted has all the hallmarks of a classic Disney animated movie, and it reunites Alan Menken and Stephen Schwartz for the new original music (the pair previously scored three Oscar nominations for Enchanted‘s music and also worked together on The Hunchback of Notre Dame and Pocahontas). They pulled out all the stops for Disenchanted‘s music, where many Disney Easter eggs reside if you have the ears to clock them.
Disney fans will recognize similar musical themes flowing through songs, some subtle and others more obvious. There’s a Beauty and the Beast “Be Our Guest” melody and lyric in “Fairytale Life (After the Spell)” (the ensemble sings the line “be our guest” as they do a kick line with Adams), and in “Badder,” Maleficent and Cruella de Vil are name-dropped. (Oh, how good it feels to have a new Disney villain song again.)
When Morgan (who basically becomes Cinderella opposite Giselle’s evil persona) sings “Perfect” in the town square with her crush, Tyson (Kolton Stewart as Malvina’s son), the image rings back to the town square number in the Brandy and Whitney Houston Cinderella (some of the tunes sound vaguely similar too). And, of course, there’s the fact that they have Frozen‘s Elsa herself in Nancy.
Disenchanted Animated Scenes
Disenchanted begins with a sweeping shot through Andalasia as Pip the chipmunk (Griffin Newman) tells his kids the story we’re about to learn. The shot through the fantasy world looks like the small provincial town from Beauty and the Beast, and the animated animals look like they could be pulled from any animated Disney flick. But there’s one firefly who looks just like Ray from The Princess and the Frog, and Pip’s chipmunk children even slightly resemble Jacques and Gus from Cinderella. Later on in Monrolasia, Pip transforms into a cat that’s just like Lucifer from Cinderella, because wicked stepmothers only have cats for pets (duh).
When Nancy sings the climactic song “Love Power” (truly, Disney and Schwartz really just want Elsa/Elphaba singing the hardest songs they can muster for the rest of her life), the animated Morgan’s tattered dress gets the Cinderella dress transformation — and her gown is even blue to boot.
New Disenchanted Characters
Yvette Nicole Brown and Jayma Mays‘ Rosaleen and Ruby are Malvina’s right-hand ladies, and they’ll remind you of the Cinderella stepsisters Anastasia and Drizella throughout the whole film. There’s also a trio of gardeners played by Stephanie Karam, Fiona Browne, and Camille Lucy Ross, who become Flora, Fauna, and Merryweather from Sleeping Beauty when Monroeville turns into Monrolasia.
As for the princes of this tale, Dempsey’s Robert turns into a dashing knight who’s more similar to Edward in Enchanted than anyone else. And for the ball near the end of the film, Tyson dons dress clothes that look just like Prince Charming and Prince Eric’s white ensembles in Cinderella and The Little Mermaid.
In Monroeville, Oscar Nuñez‘s Edgar, a barista, becomes the magic mirror on the wall doing Malvina’s bidding, making her similar to Snow White‘s evil queen. And for the Broadway fans, James Monroe Iglehart plays a small role as a weary businessman/baker. Iglehart won a Tony Award for playing Genie in Disney’s Aladdin Broadway musical.
Disenchanted Set and Costumes
This is where Disenchanted is chock full of blink-and-you’ll-miss-them Disney Easter eggs. One of the magical brooms from The Sorcerer’s Apprentice helps Morgan do chores after the wish changes everything. The “Drink Me” potion from Alice in Wonderland, the rose from Beauty and the Beast, and more direct Disney callbacks reside in Queen Malvina’s wardrobe. And versions of Snow White and Belle’s dresses — both their casual dresses and gowns — are in the Monrolasia dress shop. These are just some of the many visual references found in the film — a deeper dive would no doubt uncover more!
All of these combined make for what feels like a love letter to Disney animated classics.
Disenchanted, Streaming Now, Disney+