Headscratchers / Enchanted

Why didn't Giselle just go back down the manhole from the very beginning?
  • Because she was too disoriented to think straight, and by the time she could slow down enough to consider that it might work, she was hopelessly lost.
  • Because that would've been one hecka boring movie.
  • She had no reason to believe it would work. What does she know about magic or magic portals? Would it be reasonable to assume all magical portals work both ways?
  • She's a Fairy Tale Distressed Damsel whose mindset says to wait for your Knight in Shining Armor to rescue you.
  • She couldn't get the dress back down the hole.
  • It smelled of sewage.
  • People have been going into that manhole for years, as evidenced by the workers. It simply doesn't work that way.
  • The portal is keyed to her (NYC being the destination is entirely because she was the first one through it - maybe Edward would've gotten Hoboken?). She gets the 'sparkly fireflies and stars' treatment when she first goes through it, but for everyone else it's treated as instantaneous or close to it. This makes it two-way for everyone but her.
    • This also would make sense since later on, without any knowledge of magic, Edward was able to go back through with Nancy for some grown-up bonding time.
  • She tried, but was chased out by the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

Why did Nerissa even bother with the Portal Pool? Why not just give Giselle a poisoned apple in the first place?
  • She didn't want to dirty her hands at first because she wanted to have Plausible Deniability, but when her Pawn proved incapable of doing the job, she got fed up enough to come finish the job herself.
  • Poisoned apples are difficult to find. First she just tried to save them.
  • Poisoned apples are a cliched, known tool of murder on both sides of the portal (Nathaniel goes to considerable trouble to prepare them in a way that won't raise suspicion, when it would've been easier to give them to her plain, for example). They're hard to find or make for most people - the suspect list would've been two Andalasians long at most - and Edward's the antidote. She only uses them out of desperation, and then only in New York, where there'd be more suspects.

How did Giselle know what a vacuum was (while singing "Happy Working Song")?
  • They have Fairy Tales in Andalasia about worlds with freaky things like vacuums?
  • Because as shown with the crowd song scene, fairy tale songs are spontaneous- the characters don't need to know what words mean, as long as the song does
  • She read the label on the box.
    • How did she know how to pronounce "vacuum"? It's not a typical spelling for someone in an English-speaking fairy tale world to know off the top of their head.
      • If you listen to how she sings the word "vacuum" in Happy Working Song, she pronounces it "va-cu-um", which was probably to accommodate for meter, but it could be that she was mispronouncing it. If it's the latter, she might have read the box and may have seen Rob or Morgan use it at an earlier time and figured out what it did.
  • She also knew what a shower was in that scene, but not in the next scene.
    • It's never stated she didn't know what a shower was, she just wanted to know how it worked, and thought it was wonderful, to give Nancy a reason to start the break-up process...
      • To be completely pedantic, it SHOULD be pronounced va-cu-um.
  • Everything she needed to know, she learned from her animal friends. Her question about the shower is specifically "where does the water come from" - the cockroaches might know where the water drains to, but not its source.

How did she get downtown on the subway?
Elaboration: she gets on the subway at Times Square - 42nd Street and gets off way downtown at Bowery (BMT Nassau Street Line). The problems: based on looking at a subway map, you cannot go from Times Square to Bowery without transferring at least once. Why would she have bothered? (And how did she get that dress through the turnstiles?)
  • A bunch of people got off with her and/or transferred, and she couldn't really fight the tide? Or perhaps she just thought she'd get back to Andalasia eventually if she kept riding and got off when she'd thought she'd gotten far enough. As for the dress? Maybe someone just pushed her through. I dunno.
    • But unless she jumped it (which would cause an MTA police officer to cite her for fare evasion) or went through the turnstile at the same time as another person, how could she get through the turnstile even in a more practical dress? She probably wouldn't be able to jump it in her dress, and not knowing what the trains are, even is she probably wouldn't think to jump it. And the dress is too wide for her to go through with another person.
    • The N, Q, and R lines stop at Canal Street, not too far south of Bowery. However, for Giselle to exit at Bowery station proper, she would have to change to the J train and go one stop norh. Also, at most stations, there is an emergency gate that is often right next to the regular turnstiles, or an extra large gate at wheelchair-accessible stations.
  • Spectacularly bad directions and MTA transit personnel not being on the lookout for a Caucasian girl in her late twenties/early thirties with red hair and wearing a Pimped-Out Dress.

How do those apples work anyway? Why did it immediately burn through the helmet? By the time Robert kissed her, at least 1/4 of her body would have been burnt through.
It's an old cartoon gag; poison is always seen burning things like acid just to show how dangerous it is. And since Andalasia's magic follows (Disney) cartoon rules...
  • The real question is, why are they safe to touch, yet only burn through the helmet when covered in caramel?
    • The poison reacts violently with caramel, or something in it - think Diet Coke and Mentos here. ...In fact, that may be why she accepted it in the first place, because no sane person would try to handle poisoned apples in caramel.
    • Maybe the skin of the apple is safe to the touch, and hitting the helmet made the apple burst and release the acidic juice.

Where are the forest animals getting all that jewelry?
Probably some lost treasure. Hey, it's a Fairy Tale world!

Why did Narissa still go after Giselle after it became apparent that her son wasn't going to end up with her?
  • She wasn't taking any risks of a possible reconciliation.
  • When she gave her the apple, Narissa knew Giselle was still planning on going with Edward, so she still had to eliminate her. Afterwards, she wasn't going after JUST Giselle — remember, Edward had straight-out told her that he was going to make sure she was deposed and stripped of her crown. She was cleaning up loose ends there, and being spiteful and vindictive (and very large), she wanted to go after the girl who started the whole mess in the first place.
    • Furthermore, remember that she outright stated her plan: kill them all, then go back with a sob story about how her dear sweet son, his loyal servant, and his darling fiancee were all slaughtered by a terrible monster in another world, with her the sole, shaken survivor.
  • Narcissa was a vengeful lady. Even if Giselle didn't end up with Edward, there's no way she would have let Giselle just go off and have a happy life, not after all the trouble she went to, trying to kill her.
  • Hubris. Probably also why she changed into a form suited towards climbing rather than flying.

Why did Giselle accept the advice of someone (Nerissa) she knew had tricked her once? She even looked like a witch!!!
  • Looking like a witch might not mean much to Giselle — remember her comment about how not all stepmothers are evil? As for accepting the advice, I think the whole point of the moment is that Giselle is feeling unhappy enough to want to do ANYTHING to take the pain away.
    • Plus, poisoned apples are probably a cliche in Andalasia too.
  • Disney princess, remember? Snow White took an apple from a much freakier looking old lady.
  • In addition, experience in this world might have taught her that just because someone looks nice, they might not be nice and vice versa.
  • Speaking of experience, a big theory is that part of Giselle knows darn well what the apple's all about. The scene is an analogy for committing suicide in response to a broken heart, so as to "forget" the pain....
    • On a less dark note, this sort of gives subtext to "I knew it was you." Giselle is indicated throughout the film to be a little Genre Savvy about fairy tails, and as such knew what the apple would do, and that the traditional cure would be True Love's Kiss. She wanted to be with her One True Love, and this was the only apparent way to force her hand.

Morgan's babysitter should be fired.
  • So we know Robert has no idea Giselle is still in town for the ball, because it's just more romantic for him to be shocked to see her there. However, it's troubling that Giselle was able to whisk his daughter away to go shopping earlier that day without his knowing. This means either the little girl was left home alone (very unlikely, Robert's shown to be a very protective father, and somebody had to have let Giselle in the apartment) or her babysitter let a stranger take off with the kid and did not inform her father, let alone ask permission.
    • Morgan would have indicated she knew and trusted Giselle. Depending on how familiar the babysitter was with Robert's social life, she would either simply have to trust Morgan or be suspicious, in which case Giselle could probably whip out a "Let Me Take the Kid Shopping" song.
    • Plus, the babysitter might have thought Giselle was Robert's fiance. And so felt it was safe for Morgan to go with her.

So, a kiss to a Disney princess is roughly equivalent to sex?
  • (See: the discussion about what Nancy thought Giselle and Robert did...) so, all those sweet, innocent kisses on the foreheads of the forest animals...?
    • I took it as, even if there's sex in Andalasia there is no way she could comprehend someone doing it outside of marriage, especially with someone who has another "true love". As for Disney Princesses and sex...depends on the princess. I could see Giselle and Snow White as completely oblivious, but Jasmine and Pocahontas are not going to settle for 1st base.
  • Probably more of the "true love's kiss between couples" kind of kissing, not "affectionate kiss to friends" kind.
  • I took it as Rule of Funny. They were poking fun at the older princess' naivete by implying that Giselle had never heard of sex before.
  • It leads to sex. Maybe there's a social convention in Andalasia that requires 'rounding the bases' in order - no exceptions, no take-backs. (Of course, this implies something about Edward that seems highly unlikely...)
  • She may just not have had the chance to take sex-ed, living alone in the woods?

Why does Giselle have a fish to in her mouth to spit out into the glass?
  • I know the scene's there to help cement her oddness, but she's from a world of Talking Animals...
    • The fish asked her to? (Recall the situation in Finding Nemo.)
  • Because she lives in a forest, drinks from a stream and sees nothing weird about having fish in the water supply? She was drinking from the fish tank, after all.
    • "Oooo - extra protein!"
  • Maybe she just thinks it would be nice if the fish could visit other places from time to time.
  • I'd think it's supposed to convey her "little girl at heart" side. You know: "Mommy! Look what I can do! I can carry a fishy in my mouth, and he's okay!" Note how she giggles after spitting the fish out. So basically...she was trolling Sam.

What sort of ID did Giselle show to open up a business? How is she going to pay taxes?
  • Possibly Robert helped her out with that. He's a lawyer, and even a divorce lawyer would probably have the expertise necessary to at least get the paperwork started. Or, alternatively, there was just a Big Fucking Dragon on the top of the Empire State Building or whatever. Andalasia might be recognized by the UN as a country by this point, and Giselle is an ex-pat.
    • Now there's some weapons-grade Fanfiction Fuel.
      • Here, have some more — a girl who's essentially land-based Aquaman would be a security threat at the very least...
    • Even if he doesn't know how to do it, he probably is in contact with lawyers who do know how to do that sort of thing. One of my friends is a lawyer, and she knows lots of different types of lawyers. It's not out of the realm of possibility...
  • Maybe they stole Nancy's ID?
  • Did she marry Robert at the end? That would clean up some paperwork...
  • Considering her studio is in Nancy's old work space, maybe they visited Andalasia and Nancy signed over the business to Giselle, Nancy's now a princess/queen married to the heir apparent. What would she need a business back in New York for? We aren't shown how long after the adventure the epilogue takes place. (Though it's certainly long enough for two self-help books to be written.)
  • Rounding up my headcanon:
    • Robert being a lawyer, either by himself or with help from his colleagues, sorted out Giselle's ID in the realm of reality. Being the wife of Robert will help this. She ended up being a citizen of United States and pay the same taxes Nancy did.
    • Nancy, being the new queen of the animated realm, is obviously no longer able to (if not legally barred from) being part of any business in the real life realm. She will have to at least resign from her position, leaving behind at least a vacancy open for a new hire, if not a recommendation for Giselle to replace her.
    • Given Giselle's obvious and supernatural talents in making clothes and her good looks, it is almost trivial for her to work her way into the fashion industry even without anyone else's help. When Nancy resigned Giselle could have applied for the job and won it all on herself (although being an acquaintance of Nancy can help here) and there is a chance Nancy recommended her firm to take Giselle as her replacement.

What are Nancy's parents going to think of Robert finding a new girlfriend right when their daughter disappears off the face of the earth?
  • That's assuming that Nancy actually does "disappear off the face of the Earth." Maybe the portal stayed open. Maybe it became part of the MTA, with transfers to Times Square and Andalasia. Besides, Nancy and Robert were already on the outs when Giselle showed up. Her parents probably knew that, and weren't surprised when he showed up with a redheaded strumpet.
    • That actually makes it more suspicious. If a man on the outs with his fiance gets together with a new woman almost immediately after his fiance disappears, I'm pretty sure that makes him suspect #1 in her murder investigation.
  • Maybe she's estranged from her parents or is an orphan. Might also explain why she's ready to up and leave her life in New York so suddenly, without getting anything in order.
  • She called them. Her phone gets reception in Andalasia after all.
    • Yeah, but right after she found that interesting tidbit out, she threw said phone away. We even saw it smash.
      • Robert handed her his phone at the start of the climax. We never see him get it back.
  • It's possible that Nancy's migration leaves the portal more open between Andalasia and Manhattan. Remember, both Giselle and Nathaniel have also decided to permanently stay on the "other side", away from their original homeland, no doubt this also affects the portal.
    • Nancy is a secret romantic, but still something of a realist; once she's settled down with Edward, she probably would let her family know she's happy. Under the right circumstances, (carrier pigeons?) there might be some limited communication between the two worlds, not unlike someone moving to a very remote country.
  • They... might be the reason Nancy's so quick to leave in the first place. Recall that she's present when Edward threatens his mother with a sword.
  • Nancy already withdrew from their relationship when she saw Giselle showed up in Robert's apartment, although the invitation to the dance did re-spark some hope. Despite their long-running relationship it is already obvious to Nancy that the their relationship is treading on thin ice even before Giselle showed up. Giselle's appearance just added the last straw and sunk that ship in Nancy's heart.
    • It is obvious that when Edward failed to wake up Giselle, Robert had reservations on kissing her until Nancy gave him her blessings. At that moment it is crystal clear to both Nancy and Robert that her giving permission to him to proceed with this kiss means the dissolution of their engagement and hence relationship. By this time and occasion they both know that this breakup will be amicable, as Robert already found his better fit than Nancy. An amicable breakup usually rules out murder suspicions.

During the singing montage in the park, what happened during the unshown intervals? They're shown singing one lyric in one area, and then the very next lyric a very long distance away. Does everyone in the crowd stop singing, race to get to the next locale, and then resume singing as if nothing has happened?
  • This troper laughed out loud when she read that. Made of Win. I wish they'd shown that - it would have worked with the whole Affectionate Parody scheme, too.
  • Seconded, I literally broke into laughter at that thought. Maybe the song was really much longer and they cut it down to only show certain parts? God, I can't get the image of the hundred people running from place to place.
  • Repeat choruses. Lots and lots and lots of repeat choruses. Or possibly humming.
  • I've always thought it would have been funnier, and appropriate to the scene, if Robert had been aware of the sudden transitions from one location to another and expressed bewilderment at them.
    • "Weren't we just in a boat? What happened to the boat?"

After Giselle finishes singing the "Happy Working Song", Morgan rushes to wake her dad to show him what happened, only to find the rats, pigeons, and cockroaches roaming about. How the heck did Giselle have enough time to get to the bathroom, get out of that poofy dress, and figure out how to work the shower?
  • Maybe she got some of the animals to turn the water on for her while she was cleaning. They also helped her out of the dress.
    • Still doesn't explain how she had the time to do all that. Morgan and Robert only took a moment to clear away all the critters.
      • Giselle is magically clean, no matter what happens to her. Taking a shower must be just for fun, and could be very short. Hell, she can make an hand-crafted dress while you take a coffee.
  • She started the shower only a moment Robert became aware the water was running, and her animal friends (probably the cockroaches) gave her a quick explanation.
  • All those animals helping her means she is literally multitasking without context switching. Since all tasks she is doing have no particular order efficiency of processing such embarrassingly parallel tasks scale linearly when processing power increases.

Why in the world would you call the part of the night when people have to switch partners the King and Queen dance?
  • If I were there I'd be a wee bit disgruntled (or at least bemused) at being expected to separate from my date during a dance with a clearly coupley name and romantic song.
    • Perhaps the idea is to fit in with the fairy tale concept of finding love through a chancey and serendipitous event, much like how Giselle and Robert and Nancy and Edward fell in love?
  • I guess "And now time for the Deus Ex Machina dance, where everyone dances to the most romantic song with the person they really wanted to come to the dance with" was too on the nose?
  • More to the point, why is it called the "Kings and Queens Waltz"? It is quite clearly in 4/4 time, and therefore not a waltz.
  • True, but the song does use swing and triplets to give it a waltz-like beat, or even a sped-up 3/4 time. Plus, I doubt anyone at the ball really cared whether it was an actual waltz or not; it worked well enough for the mood.
  • Actually, the song is in 6/8 time. So not exactly a traditional waltz, but close enough.

So Disney hires Idina Menzel, a renowned Tony Award-winning Broadway starlet, to be in their movie, and she doesn't sing once? Sure, maybe some planned songs for her got cut, but it still irritates this troper nevertheless.
  • I can't speak for the director, though I seem to recall either reading somewhere or hearing on the Making Of feature that they did consider having her sing but cut the songs for time. But I do know this: Idina Menzel says she was actually flattered they didn't have her sing, because that means they hired her based solely on her acting talents.

Doesn't Narissa turn into a dragon during the climax? Why can't she fly?
  • When she hit the building for the first time, she was partially engulfed by the smoke that signaled her transformation. Maybe the physical shock of hitting the side of the building was causing her to revert to human form, and she was too distracted by trying to hold the dragon shape to fly?
    • Or the impact against the building broke her spine and she couldn't fly?
  • This really bugged me too, but I think the animators actually thought of this. If you notice Narissa does have wings, but they're fairly not big. Basically they'd be useless. You notice that never once to be see her fly. In fact all she does is climb.
  • There might be an argument that she was flight-capable back in Andalasia, but real-world physics are less forgiving.
  • It's specifically a climbing form, basically a lizard with vestigial wings? There's no pressing need for flight in that situation (she has to come back and off the other Andalasians, and it's harder to stick a landing on a small target like the tower), and the weather conditions are terrible besides.

We're supposed to believe only pigeons, rats, and cockroaches live in New York?
I mean, they went through a huge park earlier! There's got to be some chipmunks, rabbits, racoons, skunks, or other kinds of birds, maybe a even fox or two (they're fluffy wood land creatures as far as she knows). Heck, she even had two birds (that I'm pretty sure weren't pigeons) deliver flowers to Robert's girlfriend. Couldn't they have just mixed the "gross" animals into the other ones and had her still be shocked? Or had one of the ones that would usually be harmless to her snap at her or something?
  • Well, rats are small so can make it through tiny holes, so there's a possibility the larger animals couldn't get into the apartment building.
  • Rule of Funny, maybe?
  • They just happened to be closest to the apartment, or maybe they responded because the park animals don't have any practical experience with interiors (not nearly as big a deal when Giselle was living in the forest).
  • They were in Central Park. Raccoons, maybe, and sparrows would've made sense (sparrows are all over the city, just like pigeons) but you're more likely to see feral cats in the city than chipmunks, skunks, rabbits, or foxes. It's a park, yes, but it's a park surrounded by concrete and steel surrounded by polluted rivers.

Why were they so confused over Giselle being from 'Andalasia', when there's a place called Andalusia, and they could have believed that they'd misheard? Of course, it would be a bit difficult to get a very American sounding woman all the way from Andalusia to America, but there's still the possibility.
  • Because she repeatedly says it's Andalasia. She also says it past the "Meadows of Joy" and "The Valley of Contentment", which Sam says do not exist.
    • Most Americans are shit at geography. No seriously.
      • I'd be shocked that anyone not living in Spain knew where Andalusia was. I had to look it up. I doubt anyone knows a whole lot about regions in foreign countries unless they travel a lot. (Or they are horse enthusiasts; "Andalusians" are quite famous.)
  • "Andalusia?"
    • "No, no - Andalasia. With an A. A as in Arrow of True Love."
      • (I like to think Sam doesn't know enough Spanish to look up "Meadows of Joy" and "The Valley of Contentment" properly, either.)
      • Seriously, how far past "Meadows of Joy" and "Valley of Contentment" would YOU get before you stopped Googling directions, and started looking for the number of the people with the white jackets and butterfly nets?

How do we know that Robert had a divorce?
Sure he's a divorce lawyer, but that doesn't necessarily mean that he himself is divorced. When in the movie was this mentioned? It's possible he may have mentioned it himself, but I don't remember any direct explanation within the movie.
  • While he's having dinner with Giselle he tells her that his wife left him.
    • When he says that she "left," that doesn't necessarily mean a divorce. It could be a euphemism for her dying, or maybe she just up and ran off without an official divorce. I think the story makes more sense if she died as opposed to just "leaving," but that also brings up different issues:
    • He was planning to propose to Nancy- I don't think he'd do that without an ironclad divorce in his hand from his ex. And it is very clearly implied that it was a separation/divorce and not death, as it's mentioned in the context of explaining his cynicism about true love.
    • Or you could take a third option and say that Robert's previous wife was driven to suicide by an unhappy marriage.
    • I don't see why we can't just fill in the blanks and assume it was a divorce. Robert is clearly a bit of a cynic who doesn't believe in true love or "happily ever after" - him having an unhappy marriage followed by a strenuous divorce (or his wife just ran off on him, which amounts to about the same thing) ties nicely his mindset by explaining where it might come from. And for what it's worth, I don't really know of anyone who would convey his wife's death to someone he's become quite close to by saying she "left," whether he was fond of her as a wife or not.

If Morgan is only six, and Robert has known Nancy for five years, isn't that timing kind of awkward?
It's entirely plausible that Robert and Nancy knew each other for years before they started dating, but the way Robert explains things to Giselle it implies that he and Nancy had been dating for the whole five years. That would mean that they started dating when Morgan was only one, which would mean there was very little time between when Morgan was born and Robert's wife "left." That scenario would also give Robert almost no time to grieve/get over it/whatever before starting to date again.
  • If Morgan was one when Robert and Nancy began dating, it could have been nearly two years since Robert split with his wife. Even if she left after Morgan's birth, a year doesn't seem that short a time to get over a divorce and start dating, especially if you're not in the "I love her and wish she'd come back" mindset (which Robert clearly isn't).
    • Also, Robert and Nancy's relationship isn't exactly painted as ideal. So maybe Robert hadn't gotten over it when he started to date again, and he and Nancy have been trapped in a mediocre relationship ever since because they don't feel they can break up. Heck, maybe he thought his daughter needed a mother figure, so he deliberately set out to settle down with the first woman he found regardless of their compatibility or his own feelings. There are so many reasons he might have started a serious relationship within a year.

Why was Giselle living in the forest at the start of the movie?
I know the meta reason is as part of the whole Affectionate Parody of Disney, but what's the in-story reason? I can see three possibilities:

  1. She had to run away to preserve her life, a la Snow White. (But if so it couldn't have been Narissa who threatened her, since she clearly didn't know who she was before Edward met her.)
  2. She had been hidden for her own protection, a la Briar Rose. (But then where's the ones who sent her away/hid her/raised her? We only see her animal friends.)
  3. She's a Doorstop Baby who ended up Raised by Wolves for some unknown reason.

The third option seems the only viable one, albeit with a lot still left unexplained. Any other ideas?

  • I think maybe she was raised in the woods by two loving parents who happened to enjoy nature, but due to conventional Disney family law was tragically orphaned. If she was young enough when it happened, maybe the forest animals did end up raising her.