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The Prince doll at the beginning of the movie that Giselle made of the True Love she dreamed about is implied to be Edward with the way that the scene fades from the doll into Edward's face and how he comes to rescue her. But while Edward looks like the doll with brown hair and blue eyes, so does ROBERT. ALSO, Edward wears red the whole movie. The Prince doll wears a blue overcoat that matches the blue coat Robert later wears to the ball.
Giselle's modern makeover in the ball scene initally thew me off. But after thinking about it, it made her look a lot more "normal" and less of a fairytale princess, highlighting her Character Development.
At the same time, it also contrasts her with everyone else at the ball, who are all dressed up and enjoying their fantasies, while she was faced with reality (that she would not get together with Robert).
It's not just the ball, either. Pay attention to Giselle's dresses as the story progresses. They slowly become less and less ornate and "princess-y" foreshadowing her progression from the Andalasian idealism to a more realistic view of the world.
As someone has perfectly written in the WMG page, Giselle is meant to directly symbolize the evolution of the Disney Princesses. At the beginning, she is a true-love obsessed girly girl (i.e. Snow White, Cinderella, and Aurora). After she goes to New York for a little while, like about the time she gets the blue dress, she is still very in the clouds but is SLIGHTLY less naive (i.e. Ariel). Later on, though still bright and romantic, she has a bit more of a spirit and can actually get emotions like anger (i.e. Belle, Jasmine). Then at the climax, she takes action and actually engages in combat (i.e. Pocahontas, Mulan). Finally, at the end, she is a very creative, hard working business woman (i.e. Rapunzel, Tiana).
Her voice gets a lot more mannered and less "Disney Princess"-ish the longer she stays in reality.
This doesn't have anything to do with the film's internal logic, but I noticed that the musical numbers get more modern as the film progresses. It starts with a bland "I Want" Song reminiscent of Disney's early films, moves on to a jaunty parody, then a big bombastic Menken/Ashman-style musical number, then a slow Award Bait Song, and finally a totally contemporary closing number with guitars and everything. It kind of reflects Giselle's gradual adjustment to the "real world".
Director Kevin Lima said that reflection was intentional.
The clock at the ball is actually designed to finish its chimes at the "stroke of midnight" instead of start them. Why would anyone want to make a clock like that? Well, remember the guests' comments about "last year's show"? Apparently there's some kind of skit at the ball every year. What if the one that was planned for that year's ball (pre-empted by the real-life drama going on) was fairy-tale themed and featured a When the Clock Strikes Twelve climax? It makes perfect sense that they'd have a special clock set up for that!
During the Central Park scene Robert says that you have take time to get to know a person before getting into a serious relationship, and that many relationships end unhappily. Giselle insists that you should be romantic and then goes into the "That's How You Know" number. It seems at first that they are presenting completely opposite viewpoints... until you realize that both characters are stressing that relationships only work if you put in the effort. And for a relationship to be happy and successful you need work both to build a strong foundation and to always let the other person know how much they mean to you.
It's hinted that Giselle and Edward have a sort of magical influence on the real world; most obvious is when Giselle gets an entire park to join her in a musical number, but subtler is the scene where Edward talks to the TV (mistaking it as a magic mirror) and it tells him exactly what he needs to know, just as he's asking for it. At first you think it's a coincidence, but then you realize it worked out almost too perfectly. It works in reverse too; the real world has a sort of sobering affect of Giselle, but not on Edward, possibly because he hasn't spent as much time there as she has and because he's not socializing with the New Yorkers as much as she was.
Earlier in the film, Morgan asks Giselle if she's a princess, to which she responds with "not yet". Morgan symbolizes how little girls think. They assume women in beautiful dresses are supposed to be princesses.
Nancy implies that Robert is never romantic or not openly so. She's immediately taken by how openly Edward refers to Giselle as his true love. Nancy and Edward end up together because Edward represents everything she wants in romance.
Giselle claims in her "True Love's Kiss" song that "the lips are the only parts that touch". How sad. Because of her living alone all those years in that abandoned cottage, the poor girl has never heard of hugging.
I thought this was a joke about how the kisses in Disney animation are always "chaste kisses", i. e., the kissing characters never touch their tongues, only lips.
What about the soup from which the Queen is calling Nathaniel? Remember the poisoned apples? Yes.
Just how big of a bill did Giselle run up on Robert's credit card? Not too disturbing since as a lawyer Robert is presumably fairly well off, but he's going to have an unpleasant surprise at month end.
Well Giselle's fashion designer business seems to be booming so she'll easily be able to pay him back.
Being Trapped in Another World, Giselle wandered throughout the streets of New York upon her arrival. At night. We already saw her mugged, but she could have suffered much worse.