Feel Free to Bow Down to These 20 Secrets About Enchanted

While Amy Adams charmed audiences as a Disney princess in Enchanted, the Oscar nominee was almost passed over for the role. Check out more secrets about the 2007 movie.

By Tierney Bricker Nov 24, 2023 3:00 PMTags
Watch: Patrick Dempsey Named 2023 Sexiest Man Alive

Who needs Prince Charming when you have the Sexiest Man Alive?

But Patrick Dempsey didn't need a royal title to swoop Amy Adams' Princess Giselle off her feet in Enchanted, the 2007 Disney movie that became an instant success after its November 2022 release, much to the iconic studio's surprise. 

Directed by Kevin Lima, the half-sincere, half-parody romance follows a princess from Andalasia who is sent away just before she gets her fairy-tale ending to New York City. That's where she falls in love with Robert, a slightly jaded lawyer played by Dempsey, who was just recently crowned People's Sexiest Man Alive. (Yet another blow for James Marsden, who played her suitor, Prince Edward.)

Made for just $85 million, Enchanted charmed its way to earn more than $340 million worldwide at the box office, becoming so beloved that Disney+ released a long-awaited sequel, Disenchanted, last year, much to fans' delight.

But while it might be hard to imagine anyone other than Adams playing Giselle, the six-time Oscar nominee wasn't the first choice to don the crown, while Dempsey admitted to having a hard time ditching his McDreamy title to take on a more curmudgeonly role. 

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Magical Facts About Your Favorite Disney Films

Here are 20 behind the scenes fun facts that you might not know about Enchanted:

 

1. The initial script of Enchanted, written by Bill Kelly, was bought by Disney's Touchstone Pictures and Sonnenfeld/Josephson Productions in 1997.

2. However, the original version of the movie was "a much darker movie," according to director Kevin Lima, who first read the script in 2001.

"It just seemed perfect and I begged for five years for the movie," Lima told The Hollywood Reporter in 2007. "It had been in development, I guess, for seven years before it got green lit with me. I think they were just trying to find the tone. How do you create a movie that's self-referential? How do you create a movie at Disney about Disney?"

3. While the studio initially struggled to strike the right balance of sincerity and satire, Lima pointed to the Shrek franchise as a way to hone the tone.

"I had the idea to do it as more of a loving homage," he told THR. "I said, 'You know, there's a different way to do this.' I spent five months trying to convince them of that until finally they realized it was an avenue they were willing to go down and explore."

4. In earlier iterations, Reese Witherspoon and Kate Hudson were considered to star.

5. Three hundred actresses auditioned for the role of Giselle, but Lima said he immediately knew Amy Adams was his princess when she walked in the room before she even read a line.

"She looked like a Disney character," the filmmaker told THR. "She's got those beautiful round eyes and fair skin. Boy, I just crossed my fingers and hoped that she understood how to play the character." Spoiler: Adams completely nailed it, Lima calling her a "revelation."

"I was looking for the whole time was someone who didn't judge the character's naivete, an actor who could disappear into the role and never wink at the role while they were playing it and ever think that what they were doing was ridiculous," he explained. "Truly, she was the only woman who came into the room with that quality. I knew in that moment that I could make this movie."

6. But Lima's early conversations with the studio "had to do with the esthetic of casting a star verses an unknown, or, in Amy's case, a relative newcomer," Lima shared in an intervew with MovieMaker, adding he was pushing to crown a less established actress. While Disney originally wanted a major star, Adams managed to enchant them.

"The discussions with the studio after that audition were quite easy," Lima revealed. "Amy's audition tape was all that was needed to convince them that Giselle had arrived."

7. To create Giselle, Lima pulled inspiration from several early Disney princesses, including "about 80% Snow White, with some traits borrowed from Cinderella and Princess Aurora from Sleeping Beauty," the director told USA Today, "although her spunkiness comes from Ariel from The Little Mermaid."

8. While Patrick Dempsey thought the movie "was a great idea and so unique" when he signed on to play Giselle's jaded human love interest Robert, the Grey's Anatomy alum admitted he "wasn't really comfortable" when they began filming.

"It was very difficult to do," Dempsey told Cinema.com. "There are all these different styles going on at once and it was extremely challenging. There were times when I wanted to put the scrubs back on and go back to Grey's, because I kept worrying that I was too serious or not funny enough. I felt profoundly insecure throughout the entire course of the film."

9. One unanticipated problem Lima ran into after casting McDreamy? The actor's admirers.

"He can't go anywhere in public without his fans just going crazy," Lima told THR. "There were a multitude of times where we had to ask them, ‘Please, please be quiet. We're trying to shoot a movie here' because they were yelling, 'We love you, Dr. McDreamy' the whole time! He was really great about it because he would go up and talk to them and give them a moment of his time and say, 'I'll come back when I get a break.' So we had to really work the crowd."

10. Lima provided the voice for Pip the Chipmunk. 

11. While he initially was brought in to audition for Robert, Giselle's human love interest, James Marsden sought the role of Prince Edward instead, with the actor telling the U.K.'s Orange the aloof character was "more fun."

12. Even before Lima signed on to direct, Susan Sarandon was "attracted" to the role of Queen Narcissa.

'There was a point in time when the movie was moving forward and she had read it and she was very interested in playing the role," Lima told Ain't It Cool. "So she had already had excitement about it and they didn't push Susan on me." All of Sarandon's scenes were filmed in a two-week period.

13. Giselle's wedding dress wore weighed a whopping 45 pounds. 

14. The Troll's clothing is made of remnants from past Disney Princesses' outfits, Lima revealed in 2007. "He's got like four dresses and then his earrings are Ariel's purple shells," he detailed. "The idea is that he has eaten all of the princesses and now he's after Giselle."

15. Several iconic figures from the Disney animated film world make cameos: Jodie Benson, who voiced Ariel in The Little Mermaid, plays a secretary, while Judy Kuhn, the singing voice of the title character in Pocahontas, is one of Robert's neighbors.

16. Broadway legend Idina Menzel was cast as Robert's girlfriend Nancy, but the actress doesn't sing in the movie, a decision Menzel was more than okay with. 

"It's a compliment really that everybody misses my singing," the Frozen star told Movies Online. "Nancy was never written with a song, honestly, so I think Kevin was a fan of mine and honestly it was a compliment to be asked to just be hired on my acting talents alone."

17. A critical casting choice was having Julie Andrews serve as the narrator, with Lima telling THR he originally tested out "a lot of male voices and it never quite felt right for some reason."

"I was looking for someone who could make you feel like you were stepping into a classic Disney film," he continued. "One day I was thinking, 'Well, maybe there's a woman out there who could narrate this.' And Julie just popped into my mind as someone who could really set the tone."

18. The big "That's How You Know" musical number in Central Park involved 150 dancers and took 17 days to film due to the changing weather.

19. Talks of an Enchanted sequel began in 2010, but the project didn't come to fruition until Disenchanted was officially announced in December 2020. The majority of the original stars, aside from Sarandon, reprised their roles, with Maya Rudolph, Yvette Nicole Brown and Jayma Mays joining the cast as new characters.

20. Gabriella Baldacchino replaced Rachel Covey as Edward's daughter Morgan, though Covey made a cameo as a different character in the sequel, which debuted in November 2022 on Disney+.

Enchanted is streaming on Disney+.