Ella Enchanted

Theatrical Release: April 9, 2004
DVD Release: August 24, 2004
Ella Enchanted


Based on a popular children’s book, “Ella Enchanted” follows the adventures of Ella (Anne Hathaway), who suffers from a curse of being obedient. When she is born, fairy Lucinda (Vivica A. Fox) bestows upon her the gift of obedience, causing her to do whatever she is told. After her mother dies, Ella’s father marries a widow with two homely daughters, Hattie (Lucy Punch) and Olive (Jennifer Higham). The stepsisters and their wicked mother (Joanna Lumley) are jealous of beautiful Ella’s friendship with the handsome Prince Charmont (Hugh Dancy). The girls order her to do things that get her into trouble and make her life miserable. To break the curse of obedience, Ella embarks on a search for the elusive Lucinda that takes her through a land of ogres, elves and giants who become her friends. Sword fights and some spiffy martial arts create excitement for young viewers, and singing and dancing elves, comical giants and Shrek-like ogres will enchant children five and older.

Dove Review

This film is very much like its title – it’s enchanting. The beautiful young actress who plays Ella, Anne Hathaway, is extremely talented. She sings, dances, can act and she has great comedic timing. The mix of this fairy tale along with contemporary music and songs works very well. Ella is given the gift of obedience by the fairy Lucinda, and she has to do whatever she is told. It makes for some great humor when she is told such things as “Hold your tongue,” and “Hop to it!”

As for the content, it is wholesome overall but there are a few scenes of a character who is drunk and there is the use of fantasy-type magic. Parents need to note this. Parents can consult the content chart below. Dove approves the film for family viewing. Ella might well enchant you too!

Content Description

Faith: None
Integrity: None
Sex: Kissing in a few scenes.
Language: OMG-1; Butt-2; Some crude slang is used when a character tells Ella to "Bite me," and then Ella does bite her arm!
Violence: Giants are whipped and treated as slaves; a plot to kill the king; the prince has blood on his shoulder from being wounded.
Drugs: A few scenes of drinking.
Nudity: Cleavage; bare midriff of a woman; a man's bare chest.
Other: Baby Ella pees; flatulence by a giant; the butt crack of an ogre is seen; a snake helps a villain plot a wicked scheme; the use of fantasy-type magic.


Company: Buena Vista Home Video
Writer: Gail Carson Levine and Laurie Craig and Karen McCullah Lutz
Director: Tommy O'Haver
Producer: Jane Startz
Genre: Drama
Runtime: 90 min.
Reviewer: Edwin L. Carpenter