Cinderella - Special Edition
Walt Disney Home Entertainment -
1950 - 76
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Bibbidy-Bobbidy-Boo! Disney works its magic again as they bring another timeless classic home to DVD. This time it is the illustrious Cinderella that gets the deluxe treatment. Like the other top-notch Disney DVD releases before it, Cinderella, the mice, and even the wicked stepmother and stepsisters get the full makeover. This all-new digital restoration offers better picture and sound than ever before. As has also become standard, Disney has added its enhanced 5.1 home theater mix. The soundtrack has likewise been revamped, and there are a host of extras captured on this 2-disc platinum edition release.
"A Dream Is A Wish Your Heart Makes"
The story should be familiar. If you havenï¿½t seen this 1950 classic dozens of times, chances are your parents have. At any rate, it is the Disney adaptation of the old fairy tale. One of the nuances of this version of the story that eluded me as a child was that Cinderellaï¿½s father was the one with the money and the stepsisters and the stepmother were the ones that should have been the second class citizens. Then he croaks and the stepmother turns Cinderella into a servant and squanders the money on the rotten stepsisters. Adulthood revelations aside, the story continues. Despite doing the chores of a crew of five servants, Cinderellaï¿½s outlook on life remains positive.
When the king tries his best parental conniving to marry off his son and holds a ball for the young prince, all eligible maidens are mandated to attend. Cinderella thinks this is her big shot at some fun outside the confines of her servitude. Despite the help of mice and birds turned seamstress, the wicked trio of jealous women see fit to ruin Cinderellaï¿½s big chance and trash her outfit minutes before they are to leave for the castle. Despondent and with no possibility of recovery, Cinderella all but gives up. This is where we cue the entrance of the goofy but very helpful fairy godmother.
After turning some of our helpful rodent friends into horses, a pumpkin into a majestic coach, and the house dog into a well-dressed footman, all that remains is the repair of the previously-shredded ballroom gown. A few more waves of the wand, and Cinderella is off to the castle to enjoy herself. Getting swept up in the magic of the moment, she almost forgets the ï¿½everything goes south at midnightï¿½ clause of the fairy godmotherï¿½s contract. As she bolts off as the clock strikes twelve, the wealthy prince is left only with a glass slipper for a souvenir. As we all know, things work out in the end and they live happily ever after. Despite the unfortunate release of Cinderella 2, a film I refuse to acknowledge or watch, this 1950 masterpiece is everything that it can be on Disney DVD.
If itï¿½s not apparent from the restoration example on the back cover of the DVD, it will be when you start watching the movie. Though the 1950 animation is a bit soft and dated by modern standards, it is ultra clean and looks just as good as the day it was created. There are not noticeable video blemishes, and colors are fantastic. The main three standout colors are red, green, and blue. The plumes of some of Cinderellaï¿½s feathered friends are notable, as are the multicolored mouse brigade. As Cinderella slaves away on the vast turquoise floors, the bubbles also accent the multi-colored beauty of the restoration.
As mentioned above, Cinderella gets the Disney home theater mix upgrade. Despite that, the front channel of this 1950 film is still a bit canned. The center channel rings true for Cinderellaï¿½s vocals, and does fairly well overall. The rear channels offer musical support for these vocals, and are actually fairly active considering the age of the source material. Some of the ï¿½cartoon action sequencesï¿½ a la Tom & Jerry with Gus and the other mice avoiding the pursuits of the mischievous Lucifer also add some activity to a relatively mild rear channel.
Two-disc ï¿½uber offeringsï¿½ from Disney always bring the goods. Cinderella is no exception. Far too many extras to simply list in the body of this review (see the ï¿½Disc Featuresï¿½ listing to the left for that), Iï¿½ll touch on a few of the items that caught my attention. There is some good archival material, including seven unused demo recordings were never animated including ï¿½The Mouse Songï¿½ (1:40) and ï¿½Dancing on a Cloudï¿½ (3:45). There are piles of other supplements to look through including deleted scenes and some backstage goodies. The ï¿½Princess Pajama Jamï¿½ is the main child-specific gem, a little fewer and further between than some of their other monster releases, but donï¿½t let that discourage you from rushing out to get this one for yourself just as much as for any little ones you may be hosting.
Three words: go get it. Cinderella has never looked or sounded better. There are plenty of extras to behold, and all of the treasures in the film you remember have never been more vibrant. Add this one to the pile of ï¿½A-listï¿½ releases from the Disney vault.
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