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(2004), PG
Analysis Date
CAP Final Score
CAP Influence Density
April 15, 2004
69 out of 100

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If Scriptural references appear, the full text appears at the end of the Summary / Commentary likely using a mix of KJV and NIV.

(2004), PG -- Yes, there is nudity in Ella Enchanted just not Hathaway's.

Cast/Crew Details Courtesy Internet Movie Database
Production (US): Blessington Film Productions, Jane Startz Productions, Miramax Films, Momentum Films
Distribution (US): Miramax Films
Director(s): Tommy O'Haver
Producer(s): Su Armstrong, James Flynn, Susan Miller, Morgan O'Sullivan, David Parfitt, Jane Startz
Written by: Laurie Craig, Gail Carson Levine (novel), Karen McCullah Lutz, Kirsten Smith
Cinematography/Camera: John de Borman
Music: Shaun Davey
Production Design: Norman Garwood
Art Direction: Anna Rackard
Viewed at: Hollywood-Wallace Theaters South Freeway, 301 Rendon-Crowley Road, Burleson, Texas

This analysis is for JDS and DP whose last-minute donations made it possible to afford it.

Anne Hathaway is the star of stage screen and scruples. To my knowledge, she has never played in an immoral sex scene. [2 Tim. 2:22] Ella Enchanted is no exception though opportunity abounds for writers to insert ignoble deeds into a story about a girl who cannot help but obey everything she is told by anyone who tells her. Hathaway is a delightfully refreshing change from the seeming typical young starlet of the big screen such as Thora Birch (American Beauty ) who had no trouble stripping for the camera at 17 years old, and apparently neither did her parents. It does seem that Hollywood sees young women as useful for only one thing. Born 1982, Anne was 22 years old in this picture. The same age as Kate Winslett when she showed the 13 year old population what their mothers looked like without any clothes in Titanic (1997) [Luke 17:2]. ?!?! What a rude perspective! What a sobering perspective. Maybe it is a needed perspective to put the display of nudity in and as entertainment into proper perspective. Yes, there is nudity in Ella Enchanted just not Hathaway's. More later.

Ella of Frell (Anne Hathaway, The Princess Diaries) is born in the land of fairies and fairy tales, a land of witches and spells. Living with her mother (Donna Dent) and fairy witch Mandy (Minnie Driver), on her first birthday Ella is visited by a particularly inept fairy godmother witch named Lucinda (Vivica A. Fox) who gave Anne a very special gift. Lucinda cast a spell on Ella that would make her obey whomever told her to do anything. What a gift! Maybe it should be called a curse rather than a gift. Ella spent her adolescent life trying to keep the gift -- er -- curse in the shadows. [Deut. 18:10 -14; 2 Chr. 33:6; Gal. 5:19 - 20] God is very serious about the practice of witchcraft, sorcery, divination, etc. And He does not give measure of it, meaning any of it is sinful. And to call witchcraft used for good purposes "good" is calling evil good; is violating Isa 5:20. For to use evil for whatever purpose is serving evil. God does not want us to even listen to those who practice sorcery or witchcraft, etc.

After mommy witch died, daddy (Patrick Bergin) remarried and married into money, so he thought. Along with the money came an evil stepmother (Joanna Lumley) and two evil step sisters, Hattie (Lucy Punch) and Olive (Jennifer Higham). Hattie is a rather unattractive conniving young lady but Olive, also unattractive, is not quite as bright as many would like her to be. Indeed, the writers have her as a stereotype of the snorting country bumpkin.

As part of Hattie's unnatural calling to be always looking out for number one [Mark 9:35], the day the hunk Prince Charmont "Char" (Hugh Dancy) came into town for the opening of the Frell Galleria mall, Hattie set her sights on becoming the next queen. Where is Ella in all this? Holding anti-this, anti-that protest signs complaining about the conditions for the elves and the giants. The elves and the giants are not opposing sports teams. They are elves and giants forced to do the bidding of the elite. All arranged by Prince Char's uncle, Prince Regent Sir Edgar (Cary Elwes, The Princess Bride) who, by orders of his brother the now dead king, is confidante and advisor to Prince Char until he is crowned as King. Sir Edgar has designs of his own.

In frantic flight to escape all the local lovelies trying to capture Prince Char for their own, Prince Char ran literally into Ella deep in the countryside who was ordered by Hattie to go home, which Ella had to do because of the curse Lucinda placed on her. Ella was rather snooty with Prince Char since she figured it was he rather than his uncle, Sir Edgar who caused all the woes for the elves and giants. But Prince Char was quite taken with Ella since she was not like all the other girls who were after him.

Ella determines that she must be rid of her curse, but as mentor and nanny Mandy told Ella, the curse could be lifted only by the witch that cast the spell -- Lucinda. However, on her death bed, mother told Ella she has it within herself to be rid of the curse but failed to tell her how. Now, why would a mother wait until her daughter is grown to tell her that the daughter herself can break a spell that has been making the daughter's life miserable? Maybe mom enjoyed the "Steppford Wife" obedience? It is suspected that growing up totally obedient to fair authority would make the individual mentally and emotionally the strongest possible, meaning that sin, disobedience and exposure to ignobility are not really needed after all to shape the individual and his/her ability to cope. But has anyone found the perfect parents? I carainly am not and 31 kids have called me "daddy" (29 foster kids, adopted seven of them, soon to be nine :o)

So, Ella sets out to find Lucinda with the help of elf Slannen (Aidan McArdle) who wants to be a lawyer. But because of the social oppression caused by Prince Regent Edgar, Slannen believes he is doomed to be a singing, dancing elf for the rest of his life. Also with the help of Benny (Jimi Mistry), a talking book which can only show Ella images of the ones she is looking for but not how to get there, Ella embarks with single-minded fixation on finding Lucinda and getting her to lift the curse.

Sort of a A Knight's Tale flavor of mixing modern with medieval, Ella Enchanted is an enjoyable romp filled with witchcraft. What a paradox! The witchcraft is not as extreme as would be found in The End of Days or Spawn, but it presents witchcraft nonetheless. Childhood fantasy witchcraft, but witchcraft nonetheless.

As this film proceeded to produce what could have been tolerable family fare for the knowledgeable and prepared, Jim Carter playing Ogre Nish just had to flash his nearly bare backside several times. And it wasn't something an overweight man might flash as he stoops to the floor. It was clearly intentional with about 50% or more of Carter's gluteous maximi exposed. Repeatedly. [Eph. 5:4] If it is okay for this guy to bare his backside in and as entertainment, why is it not okay for the bus driver of your target-aged kids to do the same?

Several sequences of action violence, orders to kill, planning murder and a knife threat caused the scoring to require the display of the yellow CAPCon Alert light. The yellow CAPCon Alert light suggests your close inspection of the listing in the Findings/Scoring section before making a decision whether this film is or is not fit for your family.

Offense to God took some serious hits due to the use of witchcraft to control others, for casting spells, for seeking revenge, several additional examples of witchcraft such as a talking book with an animated figure on its cover and one use of God's name in vain but without the for letter expletive [Deut. 5:11]. There were no uses of the three/four letter word vocabulary noted. And there were no successful murders or suicides noted.

One of the more offensive issues of impudence was a little girl telling Ella as a child to "bite me." That expression is apparently becoming popular among the elementary and intermediate school population. I doubt most of them even know what it means; that it is an oral sex snippet circa the middle of the previous century. But I'll bet the producers and writers knew that. [Luke 17:2]

And, of course, there is a sample of the Hollywood's fetish with body functions: flatulence. [again Eph. 5:4]

Ella Enchanted earned a final score of 69 which places it one point above the very bottom of the range of scores in the comparative baseline database earned by PG movies (86 to 68 out of 100). Another way of looking at that is that such a score places this movie only two points of 18 above the scoring range earned by PG-13 movies (55 to 67 out of 100). Mostly because of rear male nudity, witchcraft and action violence.

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If needed to focus or fortify, applicable text is underlined or bracketed [ ]. If you wish to have full context available, the Blue Letter Bible is a convenient source. If you use the Blue Letter Bible, a new window will open. Close it to return here or use "Window" in your browser's menu bar to alternate between the CAP page and the Blue Letter Bible page.

  • 2 Tim. 2:22 Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart.
  • (NIV) Deut. 18:10 - 14 Let no one be found among you who sacrifices his son or daughter in the fire, who practices divination or sorcery, interprets omens, engages in witchcraft, or casts spells, or who is a medium or spiritist or who consults the dead. Anyone who does these things is detestable to the LORD, and because of these detestable practices the LORD your God will drive out those nations before you. You must be blameless before the LORD your God. The nations you will dispossess listen to those who practice sorcery or divination. But as for you, the LORD your God has not permitted you to do so. (New Living Translation) do not let your people practice fortune-telling or sorcery, or allow them to interpret omens, or engage in witchcraft, or cast spells, or function as mediums or psychics, or call forth the spirits of the dead. Anyone who does these things is an object of horror and disgust to the Lord. It is because the other nations have done these things that the Lord your God will drive them out ahead of you. You must be blameless before the Lord your God. The people you are about to displace consult with sorcerers and fortune-tellers but the Lord your God forbids you to do such things."
  • 2Chr. 33:6 He sacrificed his sons in the fire in the Valley of Ben Hinnom, practiced sorcery, divination and witchcraft, and consulted mediums and spiritists. He did much evil in the eyes of the LORD, provoking him to anger.
  • Gal. 5:19 - 20 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies,
  • Isa. 5:20 Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter.
  • Mark 9:35 And he sat down, and called the twelve, and saith unto them, If any man desire to be first, the same shall be last of all, and servant of all.
  • Eph. 5:4 Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving.
  • Deut. 5:11 Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain: for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain. [Vain is shav' {shawv}: emptiness, nothingness, vanity, such as an expletive. With or without the four letter expletive, the use of God's name in any way other than respect, reverence or thoughtful discussion is in vain. That includes the popular three syllable sentence with His name trailing it AND the misuse of Jesus' name.]

    ***Selected Scriptures of Armour against the influence of the entertainment industry***
  • Ps. 12:8 The wicked freely strut about [e.g., create progressively vile/offensive entertainment with impunity and no consequences and present it to younger and younger audiences every year] when what is vile is honored among men [when enough people continue to defend it, embrace it, pay for it, enjoy it, want it, submit to it. I call attention to Ps. 12:8 to warn of the creeping desensitizing power of "entertainment."]
  • Col. 2:8 Beware lest any man [by his influence] spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.
  • 1 Cor. 15:33 (KJV) Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners. (NIV) Do not be misled: Bad company corrupts good character.
  • Rom. 5:19 For just as through the disobedience of the one man the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one man the many will be made righteous.
  • Jude 4 For certain men* whose condemnation was written about long ago have secretly slipped in among you. They are godless men, who change [warp, distort, falsely represent, situationally redefine, counterfeit, conditionally apply] the grace of our God into a license for immorality and deny Jesus Christ our only Sovereign and Lord. [*men: anthropos {anth'-ro-pos}, generic, a human being, whether male or female]
  • Matt. 25:40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto [or for] one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto [or for] me.
  • Luke 17:2 It would be better for him to be thrown into the sea with a millstone tied around his neck than for him to cause one of these little ones to sin. [cause by teaching or example]
  • Ps. 119:133 Direct my footsteps according to your word; let no sin rule over me.
  • John 14:15 If ye love me, keep my commandments.
  • 1 Thess. 5:22 Abstain from all appearance of evil.


    As always, it is best to refer to the Findings/Scoring section -- the heart of the CAP analysis model -- for the most complete assessment possible of this movie.

    Ella Enchanted (2004) CAP Thermometers

    Wanton Violence/Crime (W)
  • martial arts action
  • assault
  • knife threat
  • action violence with swords and clubs
  • order to kill
  • theft
  • knife threat
  • planning murder
  • several additional action violence sequences

    Impudence/Hate (I)
  • lies to protect
  • "Bite me" by a female child to another female child
  • meanness
  • physical cruelty
  • flatulence
  • additional lies

    Sexual Immorality (S)
  • innuendo
  • attention forces on crotch
  • rear male nudity, repeatedly
  • crotch hit
  • glee from girls at the idea the prince takes showers naked

    Drugs/Alcohol (D):
  • drinking
  • drunkenness
  • poisoning

    Offense to God (O)
  • witchcraft, repeatedly
  • spell casting
  • forced subservience due to spell, repeatedly
  • revenge
  • talking book
  • one use of God's name in vain without the four letter expletive

    Murder/Suicide (M)
  • none noted

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    There are some in the entertainment industry who maintain that 1) violent programming is harmless because no studies exist that prove a connection between violent entertainment and aggressive behavior in children, and 2) young people know that television, movies, and video games are simply fantasy. Unfortunately, they are wrong on both accounts." And "Viewing violence may lead to real life violence." I applaud these associations for fortifying 1 Cor. 15:33. Read the rest of the story. From our more than eight years of study, I contend that other aberrant behaviors, attitudes, and expressions can be inserted in place of "violence" in that statement. Our Director - Child Psychology Support, a licensed psychologist and certified school psychologist concurs. For example, "Viewing arrogance against fair authority may lead to your kids defying you in real life." Or "Viewing sex may lead to sex in real life." Likewise and especially with impudence, hate and foul language. I further contend that any positive behavior can be inserted in place of "violence" with the same chance or likelihood of being a behavior template for the observer; of being incorporated into the behavior mechanics and/or coping skills of the observer. In choosing your entertainment, please consider carefully the "rest of the story" and our findings.

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