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Short takes

Not suitable under 5; parental guidance to 10 (violence, scary scenes, scary themes)

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This topic contains:

  • overall comments and recommendations
  • details of classification and consumer advice lines for Disenchanted
  • a review of Disenchanted completed by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) on 31 March 2023.

Overall comments and recommendations

Children under 5 Not suitable due to violence, scary scenes and scary themes.
Children aged 5–10 Parental guidance recommended due to violence, scary scenes and scary themes.
Children aged 11 and over Ok for this age group.

About the movie

This section contains details about the movie, including its classification by the Australian Government Classification Board and the associated consumer advice lines. Other classification advice (OC) is provided where the Australian film classification is not available.

Name of movie: Disenchanted
Classification: PG
Consumer advice lines: Mild peril and language. Some flashing lights sequences or patterns may affect photosensitive viewers (OC)
Length: 119 minutes

ACCM review

This review of the movie contains the following information:

A synopsis of the story

Ten years have passed since Giselle (Amy Adams) found her ‘happily-ever-after’ and she thinks it’s time to move her family, husband Robert (Patrick Dempsey) and daughters, teenager Morgan (Gabriella Baldacchino) and new baby Sofia (Mila Jackson), from the bustle of life in New York City. They choose a town called Monroeville where they have found a castle to live in. The family has some problems settling into their new life, particularly Morgan who didn’t want to move in the first place. Giselle too is confronted by the local ‘queen bee’, Malvina Monroe (Maya Rudolph), and her ‘cronies’, Ruby (Jayma Mays) and Rosaleen (Yvette Nicole Brown), who don’t take kindly to having Giselle around.

When baby Sofia is gifted an Andalasian magic wand from her godparents, the King and Queen of Andalasia, Morgan feels isolated from her family, and after an argument between Morgan and Giselle, Giselle uses the wand and wishes that her life were more like the fairy-tale she had in Andalasia. However, her wish backfires on her when the town is totally transformed into a fairy-tale setting, complete with the evil queen Malvina; Morgan as a Cinderella; and Giselle becoming the wicked stepmother. Robert also steps into the fray, complete with sword to tackle giants and dragons. Meanwhile, the magic is dying in Andalasia and Giselle only has until the clock strikes midnight to reverse her spell.


Children and adolescents may react adversely at different ages to themes of crime, suicide, drug and alcohol dependence, death, serious illness, family breakdown, death or separation from a parent, animal distress or cruelty to animals, children as victims, natural disasters and racism. Occasionally reviews may also signal themes that some parents may simply wish to know about.

Magic; Fantasy; Adventure; Fairy-tales; Good vs Evil; Family breakdown; Threats of death; Children as victims; Children in danger; World destruction; Parental death.

Use of violenceinfo

Research shows that children are at risk of learning that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution when violence is glamourised, performed by an attractive hero, successful, has few real life consequences, is set in a comic context and / or is mostly perpetrated by male characters with female victims, or by one race against another.

Repeated exposure to violent content can reinforce the message that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution. Repeated exposure also increases the risks that children will become desensitised to the use of violence in real life or develop an exaggerated view about the prevalence and likelihood of violence in their own world.

There is some violence in this movie, including:

  • An electrical light switch malfunctions and sends a current across the ceiling, setting fire to furniture.
  • Morgan and Robert crash into each other, causing them to fall down.
  • Morgan argues with her parents.
  • Giselle, while cursed, often grabs and pulls Morgan, and belittles her.
  • Evil Giselle kicks Pip, her pet chipmunk, down a gutter drain.
  • Robert attempts to slay a dragon and is dramatically blasted out of a cave by the dragon’s fire, twice. The second time he is on fire, however, he is unharmed.
  • Malvina’s ‘cronies’ argue often.
  • Morgan is bullied by other teenagers on numerous occasions:
    • Purposefully knocking over her books.
    • Mocking.
    • Snickering.
  • Malvina sends Ruby flying with her magic.
  • There are mild threats between evil Giselle and the evil Queen Malvina throughout the film.
  • While cursed, Malvina and Giselle threaten each other’s lives and fight using their magic powers. This involves magical attacks and weapons being pointed between these characters. Malvina tells her guards to destroy Giselle. Giselle lifts Malvina up into the air using her magical powers which encircle Malvina’s throat, choking her with vines that rise from the ground, before letting her fall to the ground (alive).
  • During the evil showdown between Giselle and the evil Queen Malvina, their magic violently meets in a duel, and both are thrown backwards.
  • Guards threaten Giselle with their swords.
  • The bell tower clock explodes by magic.
  • Malvina ties Morgan up with moving tree roots.
  • The King of Andalasia, Edward, play fights with children using wooden swords. He is hit numerous times but is not seriously hurt.

Material that may scare or disturb children

Under fiveinfo

Children under five are most likely to be frightened by scary visual images, such as monsters, physical transformations.

In addition to the above-mentioned violent scenes, there are some scenes in this movie that could scare or disturb children under the age of five, including the following:

  • Malvina is quite scary as the evil queen. She dresses in black and talks to a ghostly image in a magic mirror.
  • A dragon breathes fire.
  • A giant stomps through Monrolasia, scaring townspeople, and nearly crushing Robert. The Giant also knocks a building with a child inside, however, Robert rescues the child before the building collapses.
  • The giant appears and nearly steps on Robert, who is then dragged along the road, attached to a cart by a rope.
  • Thorn branches and buildings from Andalasia burst through cracks in the floor and walls in Monrolasia.
  • Kind Giselle transforms into a wicked stepmother.
  • Characters turn evil and act cruelly.
  • Reality is mixed with fantasy.

Aged five to eightinfo

Children aged five to eight will also be frightened by scary visual images and will also be disturbed by depictions of the death of a parent, a child abandoned or separated from parents, children or animals being hurt or threatened and / or natural disasters.

In addition to the above-mentioned violent scenes and scary visual images, there are some scenes in this movie that could scare or disturb children aged five to eight, including the following:

  • The story begins as an animation, with a mother chipmunk telling her children the story of how Giselle was abandoned as a ‘baby with no mother or father’ and raised by animals. When she grew into a beautiful girl, an evil queen pushed her through a portal into the real world.
  • There is an animated depiction of an Ogre.
  • Morgan makes references to being kidnapped by trolls, as she is angry about moving to Monroeville.
  • Pip starts to behave weirdly, changing shape and size and then transforms from a chipmunk into a cat.
  • A dragon snarls and breathes fire out of its cave. Robert is blasted out with the fire and is seen with his clothes on fire but he isn’t hurt.
  • Malvina turns Ruby and Rosaleen into toads.
  • Giselle starts to change into a horrible person. One minute she’s nice, the next she’s nasty. She argues with herself as the good or bad inside her tries to dominate.
  • Giselle treats Morgan terribly and won’t let her go to the festival. She locks Morgan in her room but Morgan lets herself down from the tower with a rope.
  • A woman screams that a giant is coming and all of the people run away.
  • Giselle pushes Morgan through a well/portal into Andalasia. Morgan is transformed into a cartoon character.
  • There are animated scenes of Andalasia being destroyed.
  • Giselle and Pip are shown dying as Andalasia is destroyed.
  • Giselle feels weak as the power is being drained from Andalasia. She collapses but is saved in time.
  • Morgan is given a sleeping potion and is wrapped in thorns while she sleeps.
  • Fire runs rampant through Monrolasia.

Aged eight to thirteeninfo

Children aged eight to thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic threats and dangers, violence or threat of violence and / or stories in which children are hurt or threatened.

  • Nothing further noted.

Product placement

  • None noted.

Sexual references

There are some sexual references in this movie, including:

  • Robert and Giselle kiss on several occasions. In one scene they are shown cuddling together in bed.
  • In the introduction, Giselle wishes for a kiss from Prince Charming.
  • Female adults use sexual innuendo when referencing teenager Tyson, eg. “He is the apple of everyone’s eyes”.
  • Some flirting between Morgan and Malvina’s son, Tyson.
  • Morgan is attracted to Tyson.
  • Tyson is attracted to Morgan.

Nudity and sexual activity

There is some nudity and sexual activity in this movie, including:

  • Giselle draws attention to the low cut of her dress.

Use of substances

There is some use of substances in this movie, including:

  • Magic powers.
  • Use of a sleeping potion on Morgan.
  • Adults seen with wine (not visualised drinking).

Coarse language

There is some coarse language in this movie, including:

  • What the heck/hell?
  • Geez
  • Hell
  • Where the hell is…?
  • Hogwashery!
  • Stupid
  • Name calling, such as –
    • Idiots
    • Slippery devil
    • ‘Wannabe’
    • Watery toad.

In a nutshell

Disenchanted is the sequel to Disney’s, Enchanted (2007), featuring the original cast. The film combines animation with real life characters to take the audience into a Disney world of song and dance; enchantment; fantasy; and a dose of reality. While the movie is action-packed, fast-paced and likely to appeal to many children, it features heavy use of magic and some scary scenes, particularly towards the end of the movie, and it is therefore best suited to families with children aged 7 and over. Older children may also enjoy recognising similarities between this movie and iconic fairy tales such as Cinderella, Rapunzel, and Sleeping Beauty. It may also be beneficial to watch the original film to understand some references made in Disenchanted.

The main messages from this movie are that love conquers all; to be grateful for what you have; that step-relatives (such as parents, or children) are true family members; nobody is perfect so you should just be yourself; that you should be careful what you wish for, and that life doesn’t have to be ‘perfect’ to live ‘happily ever after’.

Values in this movie that parents may wish to reinforce with their children include:

  • Courage
  • Resilience
  • Family
  • Unconditional family love
  • Optimism
  • Persistence
  • Forgiveness
  • Taking responsibility for one’s actions
  • Good defeats evil.

This movie could also give parents the opportunity to discuss with their children attitudes and behaviours, and their real-life consequences, such as:

  • The movie parodies the out-dated role of step-mothers being wicked. It also portrays the opposite of this when Giselle returns to her normal self. Parents can discuss the fact that blended families are quite common today and step-parenting is normal.
  • In one scene Giselle and Malvina sing about who is the ‘baddest’ of the two, with both wanting to be ‘badder’. Parents could discuss why some people choose to be bad and behave badly.
  • The bullying incidents and their consequences for the bully and the victim.

This movie could also give parents the opportunity to discuss with their children the importance of:

  • Spending time together as a family and developing memories. Why is this important?
  • Taking responsibility for your actions, and understanding that others can help you to fix your mistakes. Giselle made a mistake, and she needed help from Morgan to fix it.
  • Persisting and looking for new ways to solve problems. Morgan had to keep trying and finding new ways to save her family from the curse.
  • Being grateful for what one has and not wishing for more