Ella Enchanted
Ella Enchanted

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Certificate: PG | Released: 2004 | Duration: 1 hr 32 mins | Director: Tommy O'Haver | Studio: Elevation Sales | Genres: Children - Sci-Fi/Fantasy

Ella is under a spell to be constantly obedient, a fact she must hide from her new step-family in order to protect the prince of the land, her friend for whom she's falling.

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Full Plot Details

On the day of her birth, Ella (Anne Hathaway) is given a gift by her Fairy Godmother the gift of obedience, which is also a curse. Under no circumstances can Ella refuse anything she is asked to do, no matter how wicked it may be. Tired of being taken advantage of, Ella, with a talking book as her companion, leaves home to find her Fairy Godmother and return her unwanted gift. This simple errand soon turns into an amazing journey filled with ogres, giants, wicked stepsisters, elves, and the plotting of Prince Charmont's evil uncle who wants to take over the Crown and rule the kingdom.

Once upon a time in a magical world, full of ogres, elves and giants Ella is given the gift of unquestioning obedience by the impish fairy Lucinda. When her mother dies, her father re-marries and Ella's cruel step-family begin to take advantage of her special ‘gift'. When Ella's step-sisters instigate a falling out with her best friend, Ella leaves her home in an effort to find Lucinda and get her to remove the gift. Aided on her journey by her fairy godmother Mandy and her friends Benny and Stellen, Ella also comes to the attention of Prince Charmont, soon to be crowned King of Frell. When Ella's secret is uncovered by Prince Charmont's wicked Uncle Edgar he embroils Ella into his plot to murder the young Prince and seize the crown for himself.

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Movie Reviews

Entertainment Weekly - 8.3/10 by Lisa Schwarzbaum The hoot and giggle of a girl-power fairy tale blended from potions of ''Monty Python,'' ''Queer Eye for the Straight Guy,'' and ''Shrek.''
Chicago Tribune - 6.3/10 by Robert K. Elder The movie's computer-generated castles, magic visuals and sloppy effects echo a low-budget fantasy movie on cable. It's glossy, shiny candy that tastes oddly familiar yet lacks sugary punch.
San Francisco Chronicle - 7.5/10 by Ruthe Stein The movie doesn't aspire to be art, merely to entertain adolescent girls, which is practically guaranteed by the luminous presence of Anne Hathaway.
Chicago Sun-Times - 8.8/10 by Roger Ebert A high-spirited charmer, a fantasy that sparkles with delights.
Washington Post - 7.0/10 by Michael O'Sullivan In the end, it may leave its audience, young and old alike, just as charmed as its bewitched young heroine.
New York Daily News - 7.5/10 by Elizabeth Weitzman As an alternative to the slick, instantly forgettable fare usually made for kids and preteens, Ella Enchanted brings a little bit of magic to the multiplex.
The A.V. Club - 7.0/10 by Scott Tobias None of it would work without Hathaway, whose self-possession and lack of irony represents a throwback to old-fashioned Hollywood wholesomeness and glamour.
Seattle Post-Intelligencer - 6.7/10 by Sean Axmaker Tries to both spoof the fairy tale and retell it from a fresh angle. Curiously enough, its strength lies in the clever approach, and not the goofy comedy around the edges.

Movie Trivia

  • There are several references to Cinderella in this film. Ella has a step-mother and two nasty step-sisters and the stroke of midnight is significant in both stories.
  • During the fight scene with the ogres, a horse fell on stunt man Rob Inch, shattering his pelvis in 30 places.
  • Anne Hathaway sang all of her own songs in this movie.
  • This film was shot in Ireland where the skies were overcast for most of the time. So in post-production the sky was digitally altered to a brilliant blue to create more of a fairy tale atmosphere.
  • Director Tommy O'Haver was determined to have a cast member from Monty Python in this film. He managed to get Eric Idle to play the role of the narrator.

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