Disenchanted Filmmakers Talk About The Importance Of Giving Idina Menzel Her Own Song In The Sequel

Anyone who's seen it can tell you that "Enchanted" is a great movie musical. Anyone who's into musicals can tell you that Idina Menzel is a great musical performer. Yet, for some reason, those two facts didn't add up in the way audiences might have expected when the Tony-winning actress never sang a peep in the 2007 Disney movie. Her character, Nancy, starts off the film dating Patrick Dempsey's Robert and ends it by partner-swapping with the cartoon princess turned real-life woman Giselle (Amy Adams), marrying her former suitor, Prince Edward (James Marsden). The Broadway star acts, but never sings, despite the world of music around her.

Nancy may have never gotten to sing her way through the drama and romance, but this month's sequel film, "Disenchanted," is set to remedy that. In a press conference attended by /Film's Ryan Scott, Menzel, producer Barry Josephson, and composer Alan Menken spoke about the song Nancy was supposed to sing in the first film and the way the new movie will right past wrongs by including the songstress in at least one major musical moment.

When asked if he considered the importance of letting Menzel sing this time around, Menken answered with an emphatic "Yes, yes, yes!" before attempting to explain why on earth the star didn't get a solo the first time around. "We had two attempts in the first movie to do that," the composer said. "There are two songs we wrote for the first movie and we just couldn't get them in." One of the songs was "Enchanted," a tune the pair have spoken about before. Back in 2007, Menken told SciFi Wire that lyricist Stephen Schwartz wanted to end the film with a song named after its title, one that would capture Nancy and Edward's love story.

I'm singing a song that I could barely sing live if I tried!'

According to Menken's interview with SciFi Wire, "On practical terms, it was just really extremely difficult that late in the game to deliver that kind of song." In the same previous interview, Mendel points out that the two New York-based characters, who in the film find the magical, musical world Giselle inhabits totally foreign, wouldn't naturally sing anyway. At the "Disenchanted" press conference, Josephson says that he called the decision "bad producing" in a meeting about the sequel with director Adam Shankman, while Menzel says they shot the "Enchanted" scene but knew it was likely to get cut.

"We shot one of them and I remember Jimmy said, 'This isn't gonna go in the movie,'" she recalls. "I was like, 'What do you mean, it's gonna get cut?' He's like, 'It's never gonna make it.'" Menzel, though, says the song she does end up with in "Disenchanted" is well worth the wait.

"It was just superfluous at the time because you were trying too hard and I really appreciate that," she told Menken in reference to his attempts to squeeze in a song for her back in 2007. "But now you made up for it in so many ways! I'm singing a song that I could barely sing live if I tried!"

Given that the "Rent" and "Wicked" star is known for being able to hit all the high notes both on screen and in front of an audience, that's an impressive claim that makes me even more excited to hear her song in "Disenchanted." You'll be able to hear it too when the film debuts on Disney+ on November 18, 2022.