Similar to SHREK and THE PRINCESS BRIDE, this fantasy adventure, based on a book by Gail Carson Levine, combines fairy tale with sly, 21st century pop humor. Teenage Ella (THE PRINCESS DIARIES' Anne Hathaway) lives in Frell, a magical place where humans, fairies, ogres, and other mythical folk peacefully coexist. However, when power-mad Prince Regent Edgar (Cary Elwes) passes laws that segregate humans from everyone else, Ella becomes determined to win equal rights for all. This task presents a challenge for anyone, but especially for Ella, who at birth was given the dubious gift of obedience by Lucinda (Vivica A. Fox), a fairy with an attitude. When she finds an ally, and love interest, in the almost-king Prince Charmont (Hugh Dancy), she invokes the ire of her witchy stepsister Hattie (Lucy Punch), who has figured out that Ella must obey any command. Between avoiding her stepsister, trying to break the spell, and restoring justice to the kingdom, will Ella find time for true love?
The talented cast, featuring Eric Idle, Minnie Driver, Joanna Lumley, and Jimi Mistry, play up the jokes, including heartthrob posters of Prince Charmont from "Medieval Teen" magazine and a Middle Ages mall. Contemporary music, including songs sung by star Hathaway such as "You Make Me Feel Like Dancing," and riotously colorful dance numbers, complement the anachronistic humor. With its mix of SLEEPING BEAUTY, CINDERELLA, and classic teen irony, ELLA ENCHANTED provides a timeless heroine.