“Happy Working Song” sees Giselle summoning the local animals to help her cheerily clean Robert’s apartment. However, since this is New York City and not Andalasia, Giselle’s usual friendly woodland fauna are substituted with rats, pigeons, and roaches. One might assume that these creatures are computer-animated, inserted into the frame in post-production. Some of them are, but a surprising amount are real, trained animals.
The mini-doc “Fantasy Come To Life: The Making of Enchanted” sheds light on the many moving parts involved to bring the sequence to life. “There were rats that were trained to sit, rats that were trained to scamper, rats that were trained to sniff,” Amy Adams said of her furry co-stars. “So they’re very talented rats.” Re-watching the scene and knowing that those are actual rodents scurrying across the floor is enough to send shivers up anyone’s spine.
As big of a deal as the animals were, their involvement was just the tip of the iceberg in this complex production number. For the moments without real animals, Adams had to pretend the empty room was alive with activity, which sometimes required some moviemaking magic. For example, one shot necessitated the star being attached to a rig that twirled her dress in a whimsical motion, which in the finished film would be accompanied by computer-animated birds lifting up the fabric.