Audiences Again "Enchanted" by Menken & Schwartz-Scored Disney Film

News   Audiences Again "Enchanted" by Menken & Schwartz-Scored Disney Film Disney's new movie "Enchanted," which features songs by Alan Menken and Stephen Schwartz, hit its second week at the top of the box office.

The film debuted at No. 1 last weekend with a $35 million opening ($50 if one includes its intake from Wednesday). This past weekend's $17 million brings the total gross to $70.6 million.

Kevin Lima ("Tarzan," "102 Dalmations") directs the live-action (with animation) feature penned by Bill Kelly ("Blast From the Past") that stars "Hairspray"'s James Marsden as well as Amy Adams, Susan Sarandon and Patrick Dempsey. Idina Menzel (Wicked) is also featured in the film along with Timothy Spall (forthcoming "Sweeney Todd") and youngster Rachel Covey.

The film, according to press notes, is a "classic Disney animated fairy tale [that] meets with modern, live-action comedy." "The film follows the beautiful princess Giselle (Adams) as she is banished by an evil queen (Sarandon) from her magical, musical animated land and finds herself in the gritty reality of the streets of modern day Manhattan. Shocked by this strange new environment that doesn't operate on a 'happily ever after' basis, Giselle is now adrift in a chaotic world badly in need of enchantment. But when Giselle begins to fall in love with a charmingly flawed divorce lawyer (Dempsey) who has come to her aid — even though she is already promised to a perfect fairy tale prince (Marsden) back home — she has to wonder: can a storybook view of romance survive in the real world?"

The movie's animated characters pop up into real life in the heart of the theatre district, in New York City's Times Square, with billboards of musicals (though some, like The Wedding Singer, now closed) setting the scene. Fittingly, the ensemble (and vocal cast) is filled with some stars of Broadway: Gregory Jbara (Dirty Rotten Scoundrels), Judy Kuhn (Les Misérables), Brian d'Arcy James (The Apple Tree) and Daniel Mastrogiorgio (Contact), among others. Julie Andrews (My Fair Lady) provides narration.

Menken and Schwartz previously collaborated on the animated films "Pocahantas" and "The Hunchback of Notre Dame." Composer Menken — known for his work on Little Shop of Horrors, Beauty and the Beast — has previously teamed with Disney on "Home on the Range," "The Little Mermaid," "Aladdin," "Beauty and the Beast" and "Hercules." His musical version of Sister Act (with lyricist Glenn Slater) made its world premiere at California's Pasadena Playhouse. The duo are also developing a musical version of "Leap of Faith." Menken's The Little Mermaid is currently in previews on Broadway.

Schwartz has also penned music for the animated "The Prince of Egypt" and the television movie "Geppetto." He is known for his stage scores for Wicked, Godspell, Pippin, The Magic Show, The Baker's Wife and Children of Eden.

For more information on "Enchanted," visit the official Disney website at enchantedmovie.com.