STUDIO: Walt Disney
MSRP: $29.99
RUNNING TIME: 74 Minutes
• From Rags to Riches: The Making of Cinderella
• Deleted Scenes
• 1922 Cinderella Laugh-o-gram
• Deleted Songs
• From Walt’s Table: A Tribute to Disney’s Nine Old Men
• The Art of Mary Blair
• Storyboard to film comparison
• Still frame and slideshow galleries
• Excerpt from The Mickey Mouse Club with Helene Stanley
• Original release and reissue trailers and Cinderella 3
• Cinderella and Perry Como
• Radio Programs
• House of Royalty
• Princess Pajama Jam
• ESPN Classics Cinderella Stories

I’m a big Disney fan. Cinderella, oddly, was one movie that I had never seen. I’m not sure how that happened. I love watching Disney films and always have. Hell, I even worked at Walt Disney World. It’s not that I had an aversion to Cinderella (per se), but I had simply never gotten around to actually watching it.

This was one threesome to the Fantasy Suite the next Bachelor was not looking forward to.

The Flick

It’s time to face facts, the days of "Instant Classic" Disney movies have passed us by. There was a time when Disney produced animated movies that were truly worthy of being deemed classics as soon as they were released. I remember when Lion King hit and Disney pronounced it their "Newest Classic." I thought that was a bit arrogant, even for the Mouse. However, it was hard to argue with them. Their legacy was firmly established and they were producing movies every year that lived up to the Disney name.

I think Walt Disney would sigh if he saw the films the Mouse House was pumping out today. It doesn’t matter if it is traditional animation (Home on the Range) or computer-based (sorry, the previews for Chicken Little don’t give me a warm feeling). Someone has pissed on his dream.

Let’s paint some little Happy Trees. Ooo and some Happy Clouds.

Cinderella is part of that pedigree that gave Disney Animation the chutzpah to declare its every movie a classic. It truly is an animated classic that Disney holds in highest regard.

But, is the praise heaped on this movie worth it? Is it really “classic” material? Since I had never seen it before I was able to watch it with unmolested eyes. The answer is yes. Cinderella is everything Disney preaches it to be.

Cinderella has that magical quality that Disney used to put into their films (it stopped somewhere around Pocahontas). The film uses elements of the typical Disney formula (story, animation and songs) to create a classic film that holds up to the 50 years that have gone by since it first premiered.

We’ve replaced these bird’s water and birdfood with bong water and opium seeds, lets see if they notice.

Everyone knows the story. Cinderella lives with her two step sisters and her evil step-monster stepmother. Naturally, the stepmother treats her daughters like royalty and Cinderella like a dog turd.

Every eligible woman is invited to a party at the Castle to meet the Prince. Cinderella’s stepmother makes it so Cinderella can’t attend the ball. However, with some magical help from her fairy godmother, Cinderella goes to the ball, woos the Prince (without saying a word) and abruptly leaves before the clock strikes midnight (damn curfews).

"What’re we gonna do t’night ‘Mum?"
“Same thing we do every night girls – fuck Cinderella’s shit up."

Of course, she coyly leaves behind a piece of clothing (a glass slipper) so the Prince can hunt her down later.

The story is simple, but it works. You feel for Cinderella leading her slave life and want her to break free. You know she is “better” than her step-siblings and want her to find a better way.

The magical component is there too, neatly embedded into the story line with Cinderella’s Fairy Godmother. The Fairy Godmother shows up and with a wave of her wand makes Cinderella’s dreams come true.

I hate it when I get my junk tied into a knot too.

Who hasn’t wished for something like that? For a magical relative to drop by one day and make dreams come true? George may wish for more people to help him post all our DVD reviews. Devin might wish for the Bush Presidency to disappear. The point is that a desire to magically change things is in each of us.

That’s another reason this movie works so well. Not only do we identify with the main character (we all feel put on sometimes) but we also long for the same thing she gets. OK, maybe we don’t all want mice to turn into horses, but we all want something that we know is out of our grasp. Sometimes dreams, and hard work, do come true (look at Nick’s side projects). Cinderella helps give us a blueprint for that.

Everyone was shocked when the glass condom broke.

I have a message for Robert Iger, Disney’s new President and CEO. Bring back traditional animation. Bring it back with power that harkens to the glory days. Not the whimper that it ended out on.

It seems that Disney has dropped traditional animation for computer animation because the traditional animated movies they were pumping out weren’t performing at the Box Office. At the same time, the Pixar films were tearing up the Bank. In a knee-jerk move, Michael Eisner, instead of examining what could be done to restore the animation division to its glory, started closing down what was once the pride of Disney. There’s room for both styles (as long as each has good stories to tell).

"I say my good man. I’ve had enough of this corporate synergy bullshit. It is time to get those lads from Extreme Makeover: Home Edition out of here!"

Maybe releasing Cinderella on DVD with this fanfare will cause Mr. Iger to watch the movie and realize a few things. 50 years later the movie is still magical. Making new movies like Cinderella can foster love for their movies and strengthen their bottom line. Also, the movies will do well at the box office and on various home releases (whatever the format) for decades to come (again, making money for the company). That’s the basic idea behind a win-win business strategy.

Bring back traditional animation (and the storytelling that helped make it) and make Walt Disney’s dream come true, again.

9.5 out of 10

Walt Disney’s version of the Phantom Zone.

The Look

Disney has outdone themselves restoring this movie. It looks amazing. At times the animation does look a bit flat – but, then again, the movie was made in 1950 and I’m willing to cut it slack there. For the most part, the colors are rich, the backgrounds detailed and the characters are crisp. Seeing how good this movie looks should be all the reasoning needed to reopen traditional animation.

10 out of 10

"Noooooooooo! What do you mean Britney’s Baby’s photos were stolen?"

The Noise

It is obvious that Disney spends a lot of time, technically, with the DVDs they feel are “worthy.” Cinderella is the cream of the crop and this DVD showcases that.

The sound has obviously been re-mastered and it is damn near perfect. There are no crackles or dead spots in the audio and all the dialogue and songs come through crystal clear.

9 out of 10

Once the other characters saw the bank Chip and Dale were pulling in when they started stripping, everyone wanted in on the act.

The Goodies

DAMN! Again Disney has flat out thrown everything they could think of (and then some) onto these discs.

I LOVE IT! I want either quality or quantity when I look through the goodies on a disc. Either give me some really good things, or throw in everything. With quality, you are getting good stuff; and with quantity, you can hope that at least one thing out of 10 is worthwhile.

Cinderella gives us both quantity and quality. Mostly it is quantity – but some of the items are fantastic. Some of the goodies are downright strange too. That’s fine by me. Put it all on and let the consumers decide for themselves.

Disk 1 contains the movie, coming attractions (including the trailer for the surprisingly not-bad looking Direct-to-DVD sequel Cinderella 3) and ESPN Classic’s Cinderella stories.

That’s right. There is an ESPN Classic Extra on this disk. I’m not sure if that is fantastic or a complete bastardization. But, given I’m a marketing geek, I’m leaning toward fantastic. It brings corporate synergy that would have Malcolm McDowell’s character from In Good Company foaming at the mouth.

The rest of the extras are on Disk 2. Most of it is your standard fluff that Disney can pack onto the disk because it has all the old material (like the Mickey Mouse Club stuff and Cinderella and Perry Como, etc.), kids stuff (games, music video) and the film lovers stuff too (like the making of documentaries, storyboard to film comparisons, etc.).

There is a ton of stuff in there. You definitely won’t feel cheated in quality or quantity when you comb through the goodies. The documentaries are especially interesting, if only to see differences between filmmaking in the 50s and today (assuming you watch the making ofs on other Disney sets too).

The most interesting pieces in the extras are the deleted scenes and songs. The songs are presented with concept art and make for an interesting window to look at the making of the film (even more so than the documentaries) because they force you to see things that Walt Disney felt he needed to cut. Personally, I loved one of the deleted songs (the Cinderella work song). The other deleted song (Dancing on a Cloud) was OK, but nothing special (and it was later added to Sleeping Beauty).

9.5 out of 10

Spraying cum out of your ass is the best natural defense when you positively, absolutely need to stop a cat twenty times your size.

The Artwork

Magical, really. The cover art is absolutely perfect for the set. Cinderella and the Prince dancing away with other parts of the movie moved to the corners. The only thing is that both the Fairy Godmother and the Wicked Step Mother aren’t on the cover. The carriage gets a spot but the lady that supplies the magic and the main foil aren’t?

9 out of 10

Overall: 9.4 out of 10