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Ella Enchanted (2004)

Ella is under a spell to be constantly obedient, a fact she must hide from her new step-family in order to protect the prince of the land, her friend for whom she's falling.

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1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Narrator
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Heston (voice)
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Areida
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Nish
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Sir Peter
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Storyline

Based on Gail Carson Levine's award winning novel, this is the story of Ella, a young woman who was given a "gift" of obedience by a fairy named Lucinda. She must obey anything anyone tells her to do. When her mother passes away, she is cared for by her thoughtless and greedy father who remarries a loathsome woman with two treacherous daughters. This modern-day, fantasy Cinderella story features fairies, ogres and elves...as well as a hero in the guise of Prince Charmont, whom Ella falls in love with. Unlike Cinderella though, she must depend on herself and her intelligence to get her through her troubles and find Lucinda in order for her "curse" to be broken! Written by M. C. Gomez

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Get enchanted


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for some crude humor and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Official Sites:

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Language:

Release Date:

9 April 2004 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Den forheksede Ella  »

Box Office

Budget:

$35,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$6,169,030 (USA) (9 April 2004)

Gross:

$22,913,677 (USA) (6 August 2004)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

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Sound Mix:

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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

EASTER EGG: There are several faces hidden in the image throughout the movie. In order of appearance: 1. During the opening pan across the countryside, when you see the unicorn, the side of the wall where the branches are broken forms the silhouette of a face in profile. The broken part of the wall makes the forehead, nose, and mouth; the branches make the hair, eyebrow, and eye. 2&3. There are two hidden faces in the pages of the magic book when Mandy (Minnie Driver) first opens it. 4. When Prince Char and Ella see the giants working in the field, there's a face hidden in the hill on the left side. You can see it in the shot that starts on the guard towers and pans right to the field (the last shot of the giants). It might also be visible in the very first shot of the giants, but only in the wide-screen version. 5. When Ella is chained to the tree, there is a small face hidden in the middle of the tree in between the two outreached branches (that look like short arms). It can be very hard, if not impossible, to see on some copies of the film (especially if the print is kind of dark). See more »

Goofs

"When Char takes Ella to the hall of mirrors, he holds both of her hands. Later, when the clock reaches 12, Ella has the dagger though there were no places in which she could have kept the dagger without Char seeing." Considering Ella had Slannen chain her to a tree in an attempt to keep her from killing Char, it's safe to assume she did away with the dagger, thus she didn't have it with her when Char took her to the Hall of Mirrors. However, Sir Edgar specifically ordered her to kill Char with that particular dagger. She couldn't go and find the dagger because she had also been ordered to kill him at the stroke of midnight, so the curse made it magically appear in her hand to allow her to obey her orders. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Narrator: Fairy tales tell, as their labels imply / Stories of magic, of creatures that fly / With giants and dragons and ogres and elves / And inanimate objects that speak for themselves / There's romance and danger and plotting of schemes / There's good guys and bad guys and some guys in-between / A fairy tale also reveals some sort of truth / The perils of choices we make in our youth./ But our story today is different in theme./ For our hero had no choice or so it would seem./ It starts ...
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Crazy Credits

The cityscape of the Miramax logo dissolves into the cityscape of the medieval city in the movie. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Honest Trailers: Cinderella (1950) (Feat. AVbyte) (2015) See more »

Soundtracks

Sona Sona
Written by Anand Raj Anand (as Anand Raaj Anand)
Performed by Sonu Nigam, Sudesh Bhonsle (as Sudesh Bhosle), and Jaspinder Narula (as Jaspinder Naruda)
Courtesy of MCS Music America
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User Reviews

Doesn't quite enchant
12 December 2004 | by See all my reviews

Given the recent success of fantasy movies, it was probably inevitable that "Ella Enchanted" would get its turn on the silver screen. Like "Harry Potter," Gail Carson Levine's delightful re-imagining of Cinderella has been popular with both readers and critics, and contains plenty of imagination and engaging characters. One only wishes it had translated to screen better.

Levine comes up with a clever explanation for the reason why Ella (played in the film by Anne Hathaway) must slave for her horrid step-family: at her cradle, a well-meaning but rather dim fairy godmother (Vivica A. Fox) granted her the "gift" of obedience, forcing the poor girl to comply with any direct order regardless of how ridiculous or dangerous. Refusing to be resigned to her lot, Ella sets out to return the unwanted gift--and en route, find romance with Prince Charmont ("Char" for short, played by Hugh Dancy).

Unfortunately, it is here that the similarities to the source material end. In the film, Ella comes off as far less resourceful and clever as she does in the book, and mostly seems to wind up getting into embarrassing or awkward situations through her enforced compliance. Which is a shame, because Hathaway is a vibrant and talented actress who could have easily imbued the character with more spunk had she been called on to do so. It doesn't help that the screenwriters have seen fit to muddy Ella's quest with a standard-issue villain in the form of Char's Claudius-esquire uncle (Cary Elwes, channeling the spirit of Prince Humperdink and accompanied by a very unconvincing CGI snake), and some business about the oppression of the kingdom's non-humans.

Like "Shrek," "Ella Enchanted" takes the fractured fairy-tale route, throwing in sly references and anachronisms at every opportunity. Some of these work (I liked the man-powered escalator in the medieval mall), but more than a few fall flat (mostly Char's squealing fan club, who are perhaps too accurate in their annoying behavior). Hathaway and Dancy play it more or less straight, but everyone else camps it up grandly, especially Elwes. Unfortunately, both Fox and Minnie Driver as Ella's more sensible godmother feel miscast, and Parminder Nagra (the talented star of "Bend it Like Beckham") is virtually wasted as Ella's foreign-born friend.

"Ella Enchanted" is nice enough to sit through--Hathaway's presence keeps things going, and there are enough nice visuals. But in a genre that in the past few years has seen "Harry Potter," "Lord of the Rings," and "Shrek"--with "A Series of Unfortunate Events" and "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" among the films on the horizon--it takes more than nice to distinguish oneself in the field.


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