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ELLA ENCHANTED Blu-ray + DVD Combo Pack Review

Ever wonder why Cinderella just did everything her evil stepmother and stepsisters demanded of her, without putting up even a little bit of a fight?

Ella Enchanted, a 2004 twist on the classic fairy tale, offers one possible explanation. And on Tuesday, October 16, thanks to Lionsgate Home Entertainment, you’ll be able to experience the magic on Blu-ray + DVD Combo Pack for the first time ever!

Ella Enchanted, directed by Tommy O’Haver, is based on the 1997 book of the same name written by Gail Carson Levine. For those who haven’t read the book, and younger audiences who missed Ella Enchanted in theaters, here is the official Synopsis:

On the day of her birth, Ella (Anne Hathaway) is given a gift by her Fairy
Godmother (Vivica A. Fox)–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 (Hugh Dancy) evil uncle (Cary Elwes) who wants
to take over the Crown and rule the kingdom.

The cast also includes (listed alphabetically) Jim CarterSteve Coogan (voice), Minnie DriverEric IdleHeidi KlumJoanna LumleyAidan McArdleParminder Nagra, and Lucy Punch.

Although this is one of Hathaway’s earlier film roles, her multi-faceted talent is easily apparent. For one thing, Hathaway’s Ella is hardly as meek and dainty as her Disney Princess counterpart. Hathaway literally kicks butts and takes names–not entirely unlike her recent portrayal of Catwoman in The Dark Knight Rises. Hathaway’s musical talent is also put to good use in performances of Queen’s “Somebody to Love” and Elton John and Kiki Dee’s “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart,” reminding us all to look forward to her upcoming role in Les Misérables.

The carefully and deliberately measured self-interest and wickedness of Elwes, Lumley (whose performance as Aunt Spiker in James and the Giant Peach still strikes fear in me), and Punch is simply delightful. Their enjoyably villainous ways make the perfect foil for the film’s virtuous heroine and hero. And Carter, so refined and proper as Downton Abbey‘s Mr. Carson, is wonderfully funny as the ogre Nish.

Dancy achieves a perfect balance of swashbuckling, princely confidence and youthful naiveté in his Prince Charmont (a.k.a. Char). He and Hathaway have great chemistry…and with his soulful eyes, it’s no wonder that the Prince Charmont Fan Club hounds him wherever he goes.

After all is said and done, the tall tale’s lesson is simple and one we should all remember: follow your own heart and conscience, and you won’t be led astray.

One more thing…if you should ever find yourself in a magical world where fairies exist and have the power to bestow gifts upon humans, and you happen upon a seemingly-nice-though-somewhat-sassy fairy named Lucinda who offers you one of her special gifts…run!

Blu-ray and DVD Bonus Features:

  • Music Video: “It’s Not Just Make Believe” performed by Kari Kimmel
  • Deleted and Extended Scenes
  • Audio Commentary with director Tommy O’Haver, and actors Anne Hathaway and Hugh Dancy
  • Ella Enchanted Red Carpet Premiere Special” featurette
  • “The Magical World of Ella Enchanted” featurette

DVD Exclusive Bonus Features:

  • “Prince Charmont’s Fan Club” Set-Top Game
  • “Happily Ever After” DVD-ROM special feature

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The Ella Enchanted Blu-ray + DVD Combo Pack is available on Amazon.

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[one_half]Year of Production: 2004
Rating: PG (for some crude humor and language)
Genre: Fairy Tale; Family
Blu-ray Closed Captioned: English
SDH DVD Closed Captioned: English
Subtitles: English and Spanish[/one_half]Feature Running Time: 96 minutes
Blu-ray Format: 1080P High Definition 16×9 Widescreen (1.78:1)
DVD Format: 16×9 Widescreen (1.85:1)
Blu-ray Audio Status: 5.1 DTS HD Master Audio
DVD Audio Status: 5.1 Dolby Digital

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Follow Sarah Katz on Twitter (@sarahdkatz), and stay tuned to Screen Invasion via Twitter (@ScreenInvasion) and Facebook.

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All photos: © 2004 – Miramax.

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The Author

Sarah Katz

Sarah Katz

Born-and-bred New Yorker. Lifelong film & TV lover—from chick flicks, rom-coms, rom-droms, rom-drams, and tweentertainment, to Shakespeare, period pieces, James Bond, fairy tales, and mafia movies.