Fifteen years ago, Anne Hathaway, fresh off the success of Disney’s The Princess Diaries, starred in another princess-adjacent film: Ella Enchanted. Loosely based on the book by Gail Carson Levine, the movie follows Anne’s Ella, a character gifted with the trait of "obedience" as she tries to get rid of this horrible gift-that-is-actually-a-curse, bring equality to her kingdom, and save a very twee and handsome Prince Char (played by a pre-Hannibal-Cannibal Hugh Dancy). Today, on its anniversary, we decided to give it the Deja View treatment.
1. Love a good “fly into the scenery introduction.”
2. And a RHYME! How whimsical!
3. Oh … right into a very early ‘aughts Strange Magic cover. Goodness.
4. Whose voice is narrating this? Is it John Cleese? It sounds like John Cleese ... I was wrong, it’s Eric Idle, but Eric was also in Monty Python, so I’m counting it as being correct.
5. How does Minnie Driver look exactly the same in 2004 as she looks in 2019? I also love that they won’t let her be British, like, "No. You are an American fairy."
7. That baby should've punched Vivica in the face for that obedient gift, I mean dang.
8. “But her heart made her kind.” Awwwwwwwww, look at Ella stand up for that lil Indian bebe.
9. Also Ella is clearly being raised by a Human-Fairy lesbian couple, right?
10. Why is that child playing the mandolin with a bow? Isn’t it a plucking kind of string instrument?
12. LOL, who is this fake man pretending to be the dad when he hasn’t had a single line? OK, sure. Buddy just lives there for appearance’s sake.
13. ANNE HATHAWAY, I LOVE YOU.
14. What do you call a deadbeat dad who gets married to a horrible woman and then ignores you?
15. Okay, Lucy Punch, who is playing Hattie, has for sure played Cinderella’s evil stepsister in at least four separate productions and that is the kind of dedication I find to be very impressive.
16. “You know Char and his uncle are responsible for the segregation of the kingdom.”
“So? He’s dreamy.” #WhiteFeminismBeLike
17. Of course her dad’s a door-to-door watch salesman. Where is her other mom, Minnie Driver?
18. This desegregation metaphor is not super fun to watch.
19. I hate that they call him “Char” with a hard “ch” even though Charmant should be pronounced with a soft “sh” how dare.
20. LOOK ELLA HAS AN INDIAN BEST FRIEND, HEY JAS-FROM-BEND-IT-LIKE-BECKHAM.
21. Aw, baby-faced Hugh Dancy and a very clearly evil Cary Elwes. (Who knew that Cary Elwes robbed of his iconic blond locks becomes nigh unrecognizable.)
22. I like that Hugh Dancy basically has Frodo’s haircut in this movie.
24. This is kind of a horror movie when you think about what complete obedience means.
25. “Ella of Frell, you are not like other girls.” Oh, it’s my favorite kind of girl. The Not Like Other Girls Girl.
26. (Teenage girls are the reason the Beatles succeeded in America, fight me.)
27. I’m telling you, this is a horror movie.
28. THIS IS TOO MEAN AND IT IS MAKING MY HEART HURT
29. I do appreciate them making this about women and not about TWU WUV, but oh poor Ella.
30. Jimmy Mistry is in this movie, too? Dang. 2004 was all about that desi representation.
31. Between this and Ever After and Shrek, I’m all for late '90s / early ‘00s princesses kicking the butts of ruffians in the woods.
32. I’m identifying heavily with Slannen who is pushing Ella into be his friend bc I, too, make my friends be my friends.
33. This movie is really very similar to Shrek.
34. This guy wants to be a lawyer but I would like to get paid for tomfoolery.
35. Why is this step-family so obsessed with Ella?
36. LOOKS LIKE MEAT’S BACK ON THE MENU TONIGHT, BOYS.
37. Baby-faced and baby-butt-smooth shirtless Hugh Dancy
38. And smooth of tongue, too. “Your boyfriend couldn’t make it?”
39. Wait, now I just think Hugh Dancy was the lead singer of my favorite emo band.
40. We stan a girl who wants a monarch who cares.
41. “Ella Ella!” I’m sad that "Umbrella" didn’t come out until three years after this movie :(
42. I love that the giant wedding is uh … using Bollywood music and Indian beats? Okay, what Indian producer is responsible for this?
43. Omg, it’s this song:
44. Awww, look at Char learning about consent.
45. I haven’t mentioned the snake Heston yet, voiced by Steve Coogan. Mostly because I’m so disappointed that he hasn’t done a Michael Caine impression yet.
46. I can’t believe they bought the rights to "Somebody to Love" to do this in the movie.
47. ALSO THE FORESHADOWING OF “TAKE A LOOK IN THE MIRROR AND CRY.”
48. Is this movie genius?
50. I’m going to need to know what hair products Anne was using in this movie because her hair looks so silky-soft and I would like to replicate it.
51. Is that … Heidi Klum?
52. So, in the world of Ella Enchanted, the Grimm Brothers exist … meaning all the fairytale tropes we know exist … so why doesn’t Char get that his uncle is obviously evil?
54. YEAH GIRL, GET IT.
55. (That kiss was at the 55th minute and here we are and if that’s not fate, I don’t know what it is.)
56. “Stop tonguing the foyer” is a line someone got paid to say, so there’s that.
57. HOW WAS THIS NOT AN DISNEY CHANNEL ORIGINAL MOVIE OMG.
58. Omg Cary Elwes’ “Charmed but also you disgust me” face is perfection.
60. I actually think I could watch Cary Elwes chew scenery for hours.
61. I need his robe, though.
62. “Thank you!” “Yeah, whatever.” I’m telling you, Slannen and I are meant to be.
63. Dad out here lecturing his wife on being more maternal when he was the one who decided to play absentee father? I don’t think so.
64. I love that Anne Hathaway got to be a princess in a ballgown twice in her career within the span of three years.
65. Oh buddy, oh Prince Char, you are in so much trouble.
66. “I don’t understand, what is it? My politics?” Are we sure this movie wasn’t written in 2019?
67. ELLA, GIRL, SAVE YOURSELF.
68. OK, Slannen, let’s get the disenfranchised to RISE UP. (The disenfranchised who hilariously seem to feature … no people of color whatsoever. Love a well-visualized allegory.)
69. Was that uh … an OJ joke in 2004? “If gauntlet doesn’t fit, you must acquit.” Keeping their audiences in mind, I see.
70. No one flails like an early 2000s Anne Hathaway can flail.
71. My aesthetic is couples who sword-fight together and have meaningful conversations in the midst of said fighting.
72. I just love Cary Elwes so much.
73. Well, that was an ending, good for them, but why didn’t we get to see Ella’s reconciliation with Jas-from-Bend-It-Like-Beckham????
74. OH MY GOD, do you think Hugh Dancy is so embarrassed that he had to sing and dance at the end of this? Because I love a song and dance number, but I am embarrassed for him.