Monday, November 26, 2007

Enchanted (not Inc.)

I'm having a hard time getting back into "work" mode after taking a very long weekend off, and then extending the holiday well into today. I'm hoping that will eventually mean I'm refreshed and ready to go, but right now, I'm still in the mode of "my, all that relaxing sure was nice, so why must it end?"

We had our usual up-and-down weather. Tuesday when I headed over to my parents' house, we had a high near 85, but I knew a front was coming in and the rest of the week would be much colder, so I packed accordingly. However, I forgot that the front wasn't coming until sometime on Wednesday, which meant it was still hot Tuesday night and for much of the day Wednesday, and all the clothes I'd brought were for cold weather. I ended up having to borrow some things from my mom. When the front finally came through, it was most impressive. I sat out on the back porch the whole time, feeling the wind change directions and the temperature drop nearly ten degrees in fifteen minutes. Awesome! We then got snow on Thursday. I don't know if we got any at my parents' house, but it was definitely snowing at the Cowboys game, and Texas Stadium isn't too far from my house. I came home a day earlier than I'd planned because Friday was a nice day and they were forecasting nasty stuff on Saturday, and that meant Saturday was the perfect day to make a pot of tea and curl up with a book, while Sunday was the perfect day to watch an entire Dickens adaptation miniseries.

Today was a nice, if a bit chilly, day, so I hiked up the hill to see Enchanted, which kind of counts as work. I'm glad to see that it's doing well at the box office, because that means that it's possible Universal will want to jump on the bandwagon and do their own magic in New York movie that they just bought the rights to. It was weird buying the ticket because it kind of feels odd to me now to say "Enchanted" without adding the "Inc." to it. I've been trying to think of ways to capitalize on something with a similar title and similar subject matter/tone to my book, since I would suspect that people who are interested in the movie would also like my books, but I'm not sure what I can do. I did a Google search on "Enchanted," and nothing even remotely related to my book came up until page 49 of the results, which was Amazon Canada's listing for Enchanted, Inc. My web site didn't show up until page 69. Then I tried searching Amazon just with the word "Enchanted." My book didn't show up in the overall results, but if you click on the "more like this" for book results, it is on the first page. At B&N, you can't just do an overall search, but it's number 34 on the list of all books when searching on just "Enchanted" (after all the permutations of books relating to the movie Enchanted, several different editions of Ella Enchanted, and a bunch of romance novels with the word "enchanted" in the title). Because the book is a couple of years old, it's only stocked sporadically, and it's definitely not on front tables where browsers might stumble upon it and notice it because of the title similarity. On the bright side, that tends to be the book of the series most likely to be stocked at B&N.

So, hey, maybe if I work the word "Enchanted" into blog posts enough times, that might help. It's about all I can think of. Maybe if I buy the movie soundtrack while also buying a few copies of my books at Amazon I can get them to show up on the "people who bought this also bought" list.

As for the movie, I loved it. They had me with the old-style Disney traditional animation at the beginning. I hadn't realized how much I missed that look with all the computer animation done now. The story did a nice job of questioning the quirks of all those old stories while still retaining the things about them that were so lovely. No one but Amy Adams could have pulled off that role the way she did it. I'm not a big fan of Patrick Dempsey, but I actually liked him in this. I was really surprised by James Marsden, enough so that now I want to watch the X-Men movies, and unless they did some serious post-production work on his vocals, Hugh Jackman has lost his crown as the best singing X-Man (I actually think Jackman's voice is a little too nasal). Ooh, and according to IMDB, he's a fellow Oklahoma native, so represent!

There were even some fun little Easter eggs buried in the movie. I noticed in the closing credits that Jodi Benson (The Little Mermaid), Paige O'Hara (Belle in Beauty and the Beast) and Judy Kuhn (Pocahontas) were in the cast. I figured out who Jodi Benson was because I've seen her in enough stage productions to recognize her, and now that I think about her main scene, there was a big enough visual gag in it, that at the time seemed rather pointless, to make it practically have a flashing neon sign saying: Little Mermaid Right HERE! The credits mention music from The Little Mermaid and Beauty and the Beast used by permission, so I bet there was also a musical cue I didn't pick up on. I'm less sure where Paige O'Hara came in because I can't think of any moment that had similar references, but Judy Kuhn's scene didn't have anything to do with Pocahontas that I can recall, and I don't remember seeing that mentioned in the credits.

I need to see it again to pick up on all the inside jokes. The story seems like something I'd come up with, and I must admit to being mildly irritated that I didn't come up with it first, though you might lose the visual effect in a book without being able to go from animated to live action, and it's very hard to write a musical number into a book (trust me, I've tried).

Now let's just hope that Universal does want to do their own magic in New York movie.


Princess LadyBug said...

James Marsden did all his own singing, I believe. He did VERY well in HAIRSPRAY.

I didn't catch all the references either, but I don't think I'll mind watching the movie again.

And here's hoping Universal takes a cue from Disney and gets "Enchanted". :)

Shanna Swendson said...

Isn't it typical of the Disney movies that they have a prince with a great voice and then barely use him? I noticed in the credits that James Marsden did the vocals for one of the background soundtrack songs that wasn't performed in character as the prince, so that's nice.