Enchanted took America by storm when it opened on Thanksgiving weekend in 2007. Disney knew it had something special on its hands, as evidenced by the cushy holiday release date. Even so, the Mouse House might not have anticipated just how popular it would be, or how much audiences would still be in love with it years later.
The movie was designed to imagine what would happen if a Disney-esque animated princess was somehow transported into the real world. Along the way, a little bit of fun would be had at the studio's expense, in the form of a thorough spoofing of its animated movie conventions.
Amy Adams plays the princess, Giselle, who turns from a cartoon into a flesh-and-blood human. Patrick Dempsey is Robert, a lawyer who takes her in, and James Marsden is Prince Edward, the man she met and fell in love with right before being warped into New York City. There's even a wicked queen, in the form of Susan Sarandon's Narissa.
Directed by Kevin Lima, Enchanted opened in first place at the box office and promptly made Adams an A-list star. By the end of its run, the movie earned $127 million in North America and an additional $212 million globally. Later, it became a top-selling DVD title.
As with many blockbusters, there are some fascinating behind-the-scenes stories that shed light on how the magic was created. What follows is a look at some of the choices and anecdotes that shaped this beloved family film.
Here are 20 Crazy Details Behind the Making of Enchanted.
20 The script was originally a lot more adult
We all know Enchanted as a family-friendly story that spoofs the classic Disney Princess formula, while simultaneously executing it as well as it's ever been done. That was not the initial intention, though. In fact, the original version of the script was a lot more adult-oriented.
Writer Bill Kelly sold his screenplay to Disney back in 1997 -- an era when raunchy comedies like American Pie and There's Something About Mary were all the rage. His version of Enchanted was closer in tone to those movies. According to Entertainment Weekly, there was even a scene where Giselle ends up at a bachelor party and is mistaken for an adult dancer.
The studio had Kelly's draft re-written, eventually leading to the PG movie audiences are familiar with.
19 Kate Hudson and Reese Witherspoon almost played Giselle
Once Disney gave Enchanted the green light, the search was on for an actress to play Giselle, the animated princess who becomes human and enters the real world.
A number of major stars were considered by the studio. Kate Hudson was one possibility they toyed with back in 2003. Her career was on fire after an Oscar-nominated turn in Cameron Crowe's Almost Famous.
Reese Witherspoon, a leading big-screen romantic-comedy star at that time, was another A-lister who was mentioned for the role.
In the end, Disney held casting sessions where more than 200 actresses auditioned.
Up-and-comer Amy Adams, best known for an indie called Junebug for which she received an Oscar nomination as Best Supporting Actress, was one of them. The rest is history.
18 Amy Adams made the director forget he was sick
As you can imagine, a director seeing more than 200 potential performers can start to feel overwhelmed by all the choices. Kevin Lima told the Hollywood Reporter that he knew Amy Adams was the one when he saw her, thanks to her "beautiful round eyes and fair skin."
More than that, Adams had such a good audition that she made him forget how sick he was. The director had a 103 degree fever that day and was feeling extremely unwell. She temporarily made him feel better.
"She walked in and for 45 minutes I forgot that I was ill," he said. "And then [I] crashed after she left!"
17 Disney didn't do the animation
The opening minutes of Enchanted feature that classic Disney animation. It's richly detailed, bright, and colorful, and full of personality. There's just one thing -- Disney didn't do any of it.
After 1995's Toy Story, traditional hand-drawn animation slowly started to fade away as three-dimensional CGI animation moved to the forefront in popularity. Disney subsequently shut down its 2-D animation division.
There was no longer anyone in-house to do it.
To replicate the classic Disney look, the filmmakers turned to James Baxter, one of their former animators who worked on The Lion King and Beauty and the Beast, among others. He knew the winning formula and how to replicate it, so his personal company handled the animated sequences for Enchanted.
16 It took 17 days to shoot the musical number
There are several notable musical numbers in the movie, but the most spectacular of them, by far, is "That's How You Know". The sequence was filmed in New York City's Central Park, and staging it presented a major logistical challenge.
In addition to the 150 dancers needed to surround Amy Adams and Patrick Dempsey, an additional 300 extras were required to move around in the background. Everyone's movement had to be tightly choreographed. Kevin Lima described it to the Hollywood Reporter as being like a "military operation."
Making matters more difficult was the weather. The scene needed seven days to shoot, but it took seventeen to get those days because it kept raining. The production could only work during the intermittent sunny days.
15 Patrick Dempsey's fans disrupted filming
One of the hazards of shooting a movie on location is that you get a lot of curious onlookers, hoping to catch a glimpse of the stars. Many times, those fans are respectful. And then you have Patrick Dempsey's fans.
Enchanted was in production during the peak popularity of Grey's Anatomy. The actor, known as "McDreamy," had amassed a legion of adoring female fans.
They were eager to see their celebrity crush in the flesh.
According to Entertainment Weekly's oral history, during the filming of the "That's How You Know" sequence in Central Park, Dempsey's fans would cheer, scream, and call his name while the cameras rolled, disrupting the work. Things got so loud that the actor would chat with his admirers between takes to get them to calm down.
14 Amy Adams really went down a manhole
Actors are often asked to do unusual things for movies. Amy Adams has a doozie of an experience to relate. For starts, she was shoved down a real New York City manhole.
As you probably know, when Giselle warps from her animated kingdom into the very real Manhattan, she emerges from a manhole right smack in the middle of Times Square. That was no set and there was no CGI. Adams actually crawled into one, just so that she could be filmed climbing out of it.
Some of people behind her are paid background extras, but since Times Square is perpetually crowded, others are real New Yorkers enjoying the sight of an actress in a fancy dress and a tiara rising from the dirty street.
13 James Marsden wore a padded costume
It has long been a complaint that Disney princesses' bodies are a little too perfect. They don't resemble real women in their dimensions. Less often commented upon is the fact that the bodies of Disney princes are also a tad on the unrealistic side. That required a healthy dose of creativity when it came to Prince Edward.
James Marsden is a visibly fit guy, but even he didn't look like a cartoon come to life.
In order to give him the exaggerated appearance of an animated prince, costume designer Mona May created a special suit for the actor. It had padding in strategic areas, specifically the chest, buttocks, and private areas.
When Marsden put it on, he suddenly had the necessary larger-than-life appearance.
12 Idina Menzel's song was cut
Idina Menzel is a Tony Award-winning actress known for her powerful singing voice. She famously sang "Let It Go" in Frozen. If you've seen that film, you know what an immensely gifted vocalist she is. So why on earth would the makers of Enchanted hire her, then not let her sing?
Actually, she almost did. Alan Menken and Stephen Schwartz, who composed all the songs for the movie, wrote a tune for Menzel's character, Nancy, to sing with Prince Edward. Called "Enchanted", it would have been performed at the end, over a montage showing the "happily ever after" for all the characters.
According to Scifi, the filmmakers' desire to end with a piece of pop music caused the song to be cut before it was even recorded. Instead, Carrie Underwood's "Ever Ever After" concludes the film.
11 Giselle's dress was extremely heavy
Costumes play an important role in helping to define any movie character, and Giselle has quite a costume. Early scenes find her wearing a big poofy white dress. The princess's garment makes a big impression, as it is beautiful but also a little comically large.
Amy Adams told Entertainment Weekly that Giselle's dress was "really heavy" and uncomfortable to wear.
Its base was made out of steel hoops, so the whole thing weighed 45 pounds.
That's a lot of weight for someone slender to carry.
Additionally, it took fifteen minutes for the actress to get it on. "I had a whole new appreciation for what Vivien Leigh must’ve gone through as Scarlett O’Hara [in Gone With the Wind]," Adams said.
10 Susan Sarandon's makeup was an ordeal
Modern-day makeup effects can transform your favorite actors into just about anything. The process is neither easy nor pleasant. It can, however, make a very big impression when done right.
For Enchanted, Susan Sarandon had to be transformed into an ugly hag. The actress went through a five-hour process to put on all the prosthetic pieces that would change her appearance. A dental appliance to make it look like she was missing teeth was also used.
Once filming was over, it took several more hours to get all this stuff off. To compensate, the filmmakers agreed to shoot longer days when Sarandon was made up, so that she wouldn't have to endure it very often.
9 Patrick Dempsey had a hard time being the straight man
Patrick Dempsey learned a hard lesson on the set of Enchanted -- it's not easy being the straight man. In a movie that features a singing princess, a wicked witch, a "talking" chipmunk, and an egotistical prince, his job was to ground the story by playing a normal person.
In other words, he is a surrogate for the audience, reacting to all the crazy stuff happening onscreen.
The actor told Collider that not getting to participate in the exaggerated fun was difficult for him. "The hard part is everybody’s having a great time over-acting and being brilliant," he said, "and I had to kind of just drive the narrative, which was challenging."
Ultimately, he realized that the mere chance to be part of something so "original and different" made it all worthwhile.
8 Amy Adams and Patrick Dempsey had an adorable feud
Making a movie brings with it a great deal of pressure. Even nice people who get along with each other occasionally succumb to the stress. Amy Adams and Patrick Dempsey saw that happen when they had a small on-set tiff. True to the movie's tone, even their fight was kind of adorable.
Dempsey told Crosswalk that it occurred during a dance sequence. Adams didn't want to wear shoes and she resisted him leading her. This resulted in a moment where his foot accidentally "ripped her toenail off."
Anyone hoping to hear about a screaming match will be sorely disappointed. The actor said, "we stopped talking for about 15 minutes. She went in her corner and I went into mine, and then we came back and we started dancing again."
7 Why Giselle doesn't end up with Edward
At the end of Enchanted, Giselle ends up with lawyer Robert rather than Prince Edward. Even now, more than a decade after it was first released, there is a debate as to whether she went with the wrong guy.
Many fans approve of the Giselle-Robert pairing, while others think she should have chosen Edward.
Kevin Lima is Team Robert all the way, for a specific reason. The director explained his theory to Entertainment Weekly, saying the story "is about a woman who grows past the small world where she came from and becomes a more fully formed person. So she can’t stay where she was, she can’t get married to the person [Edward] she met that she decided to marry in a single day.”
6 Amy Adams was afraid of having her voice replaced
Amy Adams was not a novice singer. She got her start working in dinner theater and local playhouses, performing in shows like A Chorus Line and Anything Goes. This being the case, you might reasonably assume that she had no worries about singing songs as Giselle. And yet, she did.
Animated movies have a long history of having one actor provide the voice for a character and another do the singing. Even though less than fifteen minutes of Enchanted were going to be cartoon-style, Adams didn't want to take a chance on being partially replaced. She wanted to speak and sing as Giselle.
According to EW, she took voice lessons to make sure her vocals were up to snuff for those challenging Alan Menken/Stephen Schwartz tunes.
5 James Marsden was really hit by a bicyclist
You have to hand it to James Marsden -- he's not afraid to take one for the team. During a scene in which Prince Edward arrives in Times Square, the actor hopped on top of a moving bus.
Another scene required him to be hit by a passing bicyclist after hopping over a small footbridge. Marsden told Collider that the rider would "bump" him and he would "fake a fall." When everyone watched that back on a video monitor, they felt it didn't look as good as it could have, nor did it have the appropriate comedic punch. He therefore insisted it be done for real.
The bicyclist slammed into him next time, and that's the take you see in the finished film.
4 The hidden Disney princess cameos
There are reportedly hundreds of in-jokes referencing other Disney movies in Enchanted. Spotting them all requires repeat viewings and a near-encyclopedic knowledge of their output.
One of the best Easter eggs is the fact that three former Disney princesses make on-screen cameos in the film.
Paige O'Hara, who voiced Belle in Beauty and the Beast, plays a soap opera actress, seen briefly on a television set. Judy Kuhn, who provided the singing voice of the title character in Pocahontas, portrays Robert's pregnant neighbor.
Most prominent is Jodi Benson, who played Ariel in The Little Mermaid. She has a small role as Robert's assistant, Sam. Not so coincidentally, her desk has a rather large fish tank behind it.
3 Patrick Dempsey wanted to make something positive
By the time he made Enchanted, Patrick Dempsey had become a major heartthrob thanks to his work as Dr. Derek Shepherd on TV's popular Grey's Anatomy. The show had lots of drama and steamy romance. His resume before that included such adult-oriented fare as Scream 3, Outbreak, and Mobsters.
A big part of what appealed to him was the niceness of Enchanted.
It was clearly a pleasant, sweet story with no offensive material. The actor told Crosswalk that he really wanted to work on a project that was "non-violent" and "positive yet unusual."
Having a young daughter was an additional motivation, as he thought it would be a good idea to make something that she could see.
2 Several major directors were attached
Enchanted was in development for many years before finally getting made. During that time, several well-known directors were attached to it.
Rob Marshall was set to make his feature film debut with the movie, but he ended up quitting when the chance to direct the screen adaptation of Chicago presented itself. That turned out pretty well, as the musical went on to win the Oscar for Best Picture.
Jon Turteltaub -- director of National Treasure and, most recently, The Meg -- was announced in 2001. Nothing ever came of it. Adam Shankman, whose The Pacifier was a big hit for Disney, was also considered for a while.
The job ultimately went to 102 Dalmatians helmer Kevin Lima.
1 The director voiced a key animated character
It's a little-known fact that director Kevin Lima has a small role in his own film. You just never see him on camera. You do, however, hear him.
Giselle's friend and sidekick in Enchanted is a chipmunk named Pip.
The animal was created via CGI animation. On set, Lima would sit off-camera and speak in a high-pitched chipmunk-like voice during Pip's scenes, so the actors would have a frame of reference for the character, who would be added digitally later on.
After filming was completed, the editors heard him talking that way on the raw footage. They believed it worked for the character, and suggested that he just go ahead and do the final voice for Pip.
What's your favorite part of Enchanted? Let us know in the comments.