5 Things We Learned From Disney’s ‘Disenchanted’ Press Conference

On Friday, November 11th, the cast and crew of Disney’s Disenchanted – director Adam Shankman, composer Alan Menken, producer Barry Josephson, Amy Adams, Patrick Dempsey, Idina Menzel, Maya Rudolph, Gabriella Baldacchino, Yvette Nicole Brown, Jayma Mays, and Oscar Nunez – sat down for a virtual press conference with People Magazine‘s Kara Warner to answer questions about the long-awaited legacy sequel and why they decided to make this movie after all those years.

Amy Adams in Disney's Disenchanted

1. Showing Giselle as “The Stepmother” was the Starting Point for the Sequel

Producer Barry Josephson said that the creative process began by “pivoting around what is Giselle’s new character” – what would her “dilemma” be this time around, and how would they “progress from the original movie”? Director Adam Shankman then added that it was his discussion with Sean Bailey, the president of Disney, that opened the story up, as they realized that Giselle was now “the stepmother” with a “now-developed daughter who probably doesn’t believe in magic anymore.” And from there, everything else followed.

Amy Adams in Disenchanted

2. Amy Adams Added More Realism to Giselle Without Sacrificing her Purity

Though it’s been ten years since the first Enchanted when Disenchanted starts, it was important for Amy Adams to not lose “that joy and that naiveté and innocence and purity that makes Giselle so special” as she evolved her character emotionally and grappled with some of the sequel’s more serious and starkly honest subject matter. Throughout it all, Adams aimed to keep Giselle “grounded in the truth of her feelings.”

Patrick Dempsey in Disenchanted

3. Patrick Dempsey Finally Got to Sing This Time

This time around, Patrick Dempsey’s Robert got to take part in the movie’s musical sequences, which he called “a joy,” stating, “That whole process of going through [and] finding your voice, working with the coach on that, learning the lyrics and the dance was an extraordinary experience and something I’d never done before.” He also expressed how exciting it was to finally sing alongside Adams and Menzel and Rudolph, noting that there’s “something very intoxicating” about “the vibration” of that shared sonic experience.

Amy Adams, Gabriella Baldacchino, and Patrick Dempsey in Disenchanted

4. Newcomer Gabriella Baldacchino Grew Up Singing Menken and Schwartz and Now Originated New Songs

Gabriella Baldacchino, playing the grown up version of Robert’s daughter Morgan, grew up performing and taking part in musical theater, which often – naturally – involved singing songs written by Alan Menken and Stephen Schwarz. And now, as a part of this film, she was able to originate new music that Menken wrote, which she described as “an honor. “Little Gabby would probably faint if she knew where we were now,” she added.

5. Yvette Nicole Brown Lost Her Mother During Filming, and the Movie Helped Her Grieve

Actress Yvette Nicole Brown, who stars as a supporting character in Disenchanted, sadly lost her mother during filming, but emotionally expressed gratitude for the way the whole cast and crew helped her through this unbearably tough time, stating that Maya Rudolph even “swooped [her] up and took [her] to her house and kept [her] for a weekend,” while others gave her personal calls and “enveloped [her] in love.” Later, she said, “I don’t have any sadness about my time with you at the hardest time of my life because that was the love of this film.”

Disenchanted is Now Available on Disney+

Disney's Disenchanted

Written by
Though Zoë Rose Bryant has only worked in film criticism for a little under three years - turning a collegiate passion into a full-time career by writing for outlets such as Next Best Picture and Awards Watch - her captivation with cinema has been a lifelong fascination, appreciating film in all its varying forms, from horror movies to heartfelt romantic comedies and everything in between. Born and raised in Omaha, Nebraska, she made the move to Los Angeles in 2021 after graduating college and now spends her days keeping tabs on all things pop culture and attempting to attend every screening under the sun. As a trans critic, she also seeks to champion underrepresented voices in the LGBTQ+ community in film criticism and offer original insight on how gender and sexuality are explored in modern entertainment. You can find Zoë on Twitter, Instagram, and Letterboxd at @ZoeRoseBryant.

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