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  • Writer's pictureShannon Heibler

Enchanted (2007)

There's a little part of my brain that pipes up whenever I think about this movie, "The cousin of that guy you dated in college wrote this! He also wrote Blast from the Past! This is the closest you'll ever get to Amy Adams or Brendan Fraser!" And... who is that for, brain? How is that helpful?


Gosh this movie hit differently today. I expected a sweet, silly, smart little confection of a movie and instead I got a wee existential deep dive. I haven't watched this in yeeeeeaaaaaars. Maybe a decade, honestly. I remembered loving it and whenever I'm craving extra affection, "How Does She Know?" still pops into my head. But I never, before tonight, appreciated the message of exploring what you really want in yourself and others, and how you are always able to change the lens through which you view things. And what's really remarkable is that it's actually pretty subtle. I mean, the movie is ham fisted, but no one ever points out that Giselle is just parroting what she's been told she wants. Instead (and she does this to Robert too, which I love), people help her explore her own point of view by asking "why?" Sometimes it's mocking and dismissive but usually it comes from an earnest place of wanting to understand. It's opening the door to evolution and growth rather than shoveling someone through the door.


I never noticed before that Giselle's fashion house is in the same space that Nancy worked in, and when Nancy was there, everything was shades of grey. Nancy's wardrobe was all grey until the ball and even then, it was mostly silver. She also was playing a role and once she was introduced to a different way of going about courtship ("so straightforward without a hint of irony!" oh girl, raise the bar!), she wanted more for herself. And she accepted it when it was presented to her.


Ben asked, after "How Does She Know?", "is that what a real life [dungeons and dragons] bard would be? It's terrifying." Initially I agreed but the more I sit with it, the more I think it was more indicative of people wanting to participate in that kind of magic. Wanting to get swept up in it. Was it magic? Yes, absolutely. But no one but Robert was fighting that wave. And even he got into it.


I love this whole number so much.


I was struck by the vulnerability in Robert talking about his ex-wife and how he dealt with those feelings (or didn't). We don't acknowledge enough that saying "I didn't deal with those emotions" is, in fact, it's own sort of openness and it should be celebrated. I read a ghastly Twitter thread that accused women of thinking less of men once they see them crying and that was really upsetting to me. Both that some women agreed and that so many men admitted that they were afraid of that. I don't need everyone to cry as much as I do (please don't! I get so many headaches!) but I hope more and more people can explore even the concept of emotions like this.


Pencil & ink.


Takeaways:

-I started to get down on myself about this one when I "finished" this afternoon. I originally had plans to do a lovely, full color, digital scene of myself in cartoon style but I quickly realized that I needed to spend time this week learning this style. I had to crawl before I could walk and that's a Very Difficult lesson for me. I like doing the thing, not taking the time to learn. So that I spent the week filling pages and pages of my sketchbook with feeble (but ever improving!) attempts to draw in a cartoony style is a big win. And I think I'm going to stick with me and maybe get to that original goal. This is a fun style and I enjoyed playing with it.

-I'm investing time every week with Skill Share, trying to get some of the fine arts education I feel that I'm lacking in. I "took" a class with Tom Bancroft, former Disney animator, which led me to his other classes, which led me to his books (thanks library!!!), which led me to another book I already had on my shelf. This isn't a style I need to do anything with but it's fun to explore and really and truly I cannot overstate how pleased I am to even be able to give myself permission to noodle around rather than produce. That alone makes me want to keep going in cartooning, because I'm not pushing and punishing myself to deliver.

-In the little revelations I've had about my art lately (a sense of longing! a call to somewhere beyond! WHIMSY!), one breakthrough came through my costume design work and that was that, while I get down on myself for not having a singular medium or style, that's my style. I'm more interested in doing the right style for the job rather than forcing my signature on the thing. I also realized that when I don't enjoy a designer's work, it's because their stamp is toooo clear on it. And this week, I just added another style to draw (ha!) from in the future. And I quite like that.


Next week, we visit Virgil, Texas to hear some True Stories. I've been thinking about David Byrne a lot lately (moreso than usual, somehow!) so I'm thrilled to get to revisit this flick.


I hope this next week is so gentle and kind to you. I hope you give yourself permission to see yourself a little differently, and I hope you give yourself permission to just noodle! It'll be okay!

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