The timeless fairy tale comes to life as Cinderella (Ilene Woods), with the aid of her Fairy Godmother (Verna Felton) and a gaggle of friendly mice led by Jaq and Gus (both voiced by Jimmy MacDonald), discovers a way to stand up to her wicked stepmother (Eleanor Audley) and two selfish stepsisters Anastasia (Lucille Bliss) and Drizella (Rhoda Williams) earning the love of the handsome Prince (Williams Phipps) in the process, with only a lost glass slipper standing between her and her royal destiny.
Disney’s 1950 animated classic Cinderella may not be the best of the studio’s fairy tale princess offerings, but it is still easily one of its most richly entertaining. Devoid of cynicism, free from anything remotely hard-hearted or emotionally callous, the movie is soaring testament to the power of the human spirit. Our heroine princess learns to be her own woman, free from the shackles (quite literal ones, in a way) of those who wish to control her for their own nefarious means. It is a movie about hope, freedom and sacrifice, true love only attainable when we take matters into our own hands and attempt to live our lives for the betterment, of not just ourselves, but for others as well.
A case can be made that the movie focuses more on the colorful supporting players than it does on Cinderella herself, long vignettes focusing on the misadventures of Jaq and Gus and their continuing run-ins with the family cat Lucifer. Those who make those claims certainly have a point, and as Disney princesses go this one is certainly the most nondescript in more ways than one. At the same time, her story and journey is a proud one, a saga that children of all-ages can find numerous things to note of. The morals imparted are wondrous ones, adages everyone everywhere can learn from. It is a movie whose story is as sweetly straight-forward as it is important, and it’s easy to see as fairy tales go this one has been one of the most long-lasting and endearing.
Historically, Cinderella helped save the animation department at Disney, its success allowing Walt to proceed with future productions that would help shape and define the studio for over a half-century. But as important as that fact is, it wouldn’t mean a darn thing if the movie itself wasn’t still such a divine treasure trove of entertainment bliss that only seems to get better as the decades pass on by. It continues to be a classic in every sense of the word, the magic it produces every bit as wondrous today as it ever was when originally released back in 1950.
Cinderella is presented on a dual-layer 50GB Blu-ray MPEG-4 AVC Video with a 1.33:1/1080p transfer and can be viewed with black bars on the side of the screen or in the studio’s patented “DisneyView” Mode, illustrator Cristy Maltese filling in the sides with exquisite hand-drawn artwork augmenting the film itself.
The restoration is up to Disney’s typical high standards where it comes to their animated offerings (Fox and the Hound notwithstanding), and as such it blows the mind just how beautiful this presentation of the timeless classic is. Colors are rich and bountiful, black levels richly consistent and animated textures leap off the screen. As has been the case with virtually every Blu-ray released by the studio, this is another handsome presentation of one of their hand-drawn treasures deserving of applause.
This Blu-ray features an English DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 soundtrack along with the original English Mono track (as well as French and Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1 options) and comes with optional English SDH, French and Spanish subtitles. The restored soundtrack is fantastic, but so is the original Mono, both showcasing the film’s subtle sonic intricacies quite spectacularly.
Extras here include:
· Introduction by Daisy Disney Miller
· Deleted Scenes
· Alternate Opening Sequence
· Backstage Disney: Diamond Edition
i. The Real Fairy Godmother
ii. Behind the Magic: A New Disney Princess
iii. The Magic of a Glass Slipper
· Tangled Ever After Short Film
Along with those aforementioned extras, the Blu-ray also comes with all of the classic Backstage Disney Features and classic Backstage Music & More offerings, “Bibbidi-Bobbidi-You” as well as other all-ages delights sure to keep everyone in the family entertained and intrigued.
As for the new stuff, the Daisy Disney Miller intro is short and to the point and, if anything, could have been longer. There are three deleted scenes running right about ten minutes, presented in storyboard fashion as they were excised long before the final animation process had begun. The alternate opening sequence is also presented through storyboards complete with new vocal work that, if I’m being honest, is kind of terrible even if the scene itself is relatively interesting.
The three new Backstage Disney featurettes run right around 30 minutes if all played together and all of them, especially, and surprisingly, the mostly animated Christian Louboutin centric “The Magic of the Glass Slipper” which I found positively enchanting. As for Tangled Ever After, what’s there to say? It’s terrific, borderline outstanding, even, the inclusion of it giving the Blu-ray a rather nice balance between past and present (hand-drawn and CGI) that’s impossible to resist.
Disney’s Cinderella is Bibbidi-Bobbidi-beautiful on Blu-ray. My highest recommendation.