Cinderella is one of those movies that we all know. It is a timeless story that is just as good and relevant now as it was many years ago when it was created. Disney has a made a movie that will be around forever and that has got to make everyone who was a part of it’s creation feel special. Cinderella is the type of film that you watch, knowing all the time what is going to happen (because you’re already very familiar with the story), yet you cannot take your eyes off of it. This simple tale of a young girl realizing she is a princess regardless of her social status, is the kind of film that men and women can relate to. Sure, in many ways, this is a girls film but I think that that is mainly because the title character is female. This movie is so rich and so filled with life lessons, that to simply brush it off as a “cartoon” would be truly missing something.
Just the name Cinderella sounds special. It is different and it sets itself apart. When you screen this disc and all the supplemental features (of which there are MANY) that come with it, you realize how much love went into this movie. How it was never seen as just an “animated film”, but as something much bigger than that. I think a lot of this is present in “animated movies” today, hence the popularity of such films as The Incredibles and Finding Nemo. There just seems to be more put into these films. The fact that because it’s animation, and they are only limited by their imaginations, big FX and amazing action sequences almost have to take a backseat to emotions. And isn’t it interesting that when that does happen, these films reap enormous box office rewards.
A movie like Cinderella is fascinating, simply because it reminds us of how something so small and simple, can be so special and resonate within so many of us.
“Making of” Cinderella; The Cinderella Almost Was; 1922 Cinderella Laugh-o-gram; Reconstructed Deleted Songs; From Walt’s Table and The Art of Mary Blair
This 4 part making of breaks down the two year production that was the making of Cinderella. We get a back story, why the creative forces behind the film wanted to make the movie, how they found the voice actors and actresses and much more. “The Cinderella that Almost Was” looks at early storyboards and drawings for Cinderella that ultimately were jettisoned in favor of the current film. The “Cinderella Laugh-o-gram” was interesting from a historical animation standpoint. It really is proof that you have to start somewhere and that nobody is doing “brilliant” work right out of the gate. While I thought that there would be more deleted scenes, “The Cinderella Work Song” and “Dancing on a Cloud” were interesting sequences to see. You really look at a film differently once you know what has been excised and it was no different with this movie. “From Walt’s Table” was my favorite featurette on these 2 discs. Just to hear stories about the man and then to also get to hear from people like Brad Bird and Don Hahn is worth owning this DVD in my opinion. Walt Disney was truly one of a kind. Lastly, “The Art of Mary Blair” shows us the person behind the look of Cinderella, Alice in Wonderland and many other classic films.
Storyboard to film comparison; Still Frame and Slideshow Galleries; Mickey Mouse Club Excerpt; Cinderella and Perry Como; Audio for Cinderella title song and Seven Unused Songs
“Storyboard Comparisons” are always interesting just because the artists doing the initial drawings really do a great job of bringing the eventual shot to life. The story behind the storyboards is something that really surprised me, as I doubt I would ever think to utilize human beings for storyboard renderings. The “Still Frame and Slideshow Galleries” are an interesting look at more of the artwork behind the film. The other features listed on these discs are heavily audio laced. I didn’t really listen to all of them as there is so much material on here to wade through, but I think that it’s a nice touch and a way for the young and old to sort of be able to share different mediums which they both might not be familiar with.
Three Radio Programs; Sally Learns How to be A Princess; Princess Pajama Jam; ESPN’s Classic Cinderella Stories; Music Videos and DVD-ROM
“The Princess Pajama Jam” is something kids can play with Cinderella and it’s all set to music. You move from “princess world” to “princess world” in a “follow the leader”-type way. There are music videos for such songs as “A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes,” and “Every Girl Can Be A Princess.” The DVD-ROM for this 2 disc collection is broken up into three parts and it allows users to created their own gowns, castles and the “perfect princess bedroom.” The last part I am going to talk about is “ESPN’s Classic Cinderella Stories.” As much as I did enjoy these “sports” Cinderella tales, I just sort of felt that this material was very out of place on this DVD set. Not that I think it hurt it, it would just be like giving away a subscription of “Field and Stream” with Finding Nemo. Or something like that...
Fullscreen - 1.33:1. While I am sure that they could put this film in Widescreen, I really like the choice they made to stick with the aspect ratio in which Cinderella was originally created. While I really do like a lot of today’s animated movies, I love the way this film looks. Even though it is 2-D (which I think has sadly been discarded when it is still very possible to make strong movies with the medium) this film is big, lush, rich and real. I think this has a lot to do not only with the people behind it, but just the fact that animated movies were made differently in those days. They truly were made by hand and I think that is why Cinderella still looks impressive and amazing after all these years.
Dolby Digital 5.1. I tried to watch this 2 Disc DVD set on a better setup than my 13”, one speaker TV, but to no avail. I wanted to do this so that I could get the full experience of everything that this DVD has to offer. I wasn’t able to but I was still awed by how good everything sounded. As I am not that demanding in the audio department, there is probably a lot going on with the sound design that I wouldn’t notice even utilizing a home theater system to screen these DVDs. That said, I really got caught up in the story that was being told. I don’t usually go for movies like this, simply because I like my films (both live action and animated) to have a firm foothold in reality. Still, Cinderella is a monumental movie in Cinema History, and one that I am glad to see is not only getting preserved, but getting a royal treatment.
This cover has a magical glow to it. Cinderella dances with her Prince as the other characters and memorable icons from the story surround them. The colors are so fine and well composed, that I would be surprised if this packaging didn’t get nominated for at least a few awards. The back part features a description of the movie, an extras listing and some technical specs. While I found that wading through all of the extras was somewhat difficult, I certainly can’t fault the creators of this DVD for being this ambitious. Cinderella is such a special and long held story, that I think to release it without the bells and whistles that this release has would’ve been wrong.
As someone who is making his own animated movie titled 1985-1986, I was really excited and inspired watching Cinderella and all the bonus features. While I think the creators of this DVD went a tad overboard with all of the extras that they included, I think that for a DVD of a movie that is coming out for the first time ever, they really have got to pull out all the stops. As a result, I think we have one of those releases that is going to break new ground as far as the DVD medium is concerned. This release is packed with extras and the thing is is that most of them really are relevant and provide something for everybody.
I had seen Cinderella when I was a very young boy and to come back to it after all these years was very illuminating. This is a story that we practically hear from the moment we are born. It is a tale that we can all relate to because we have all been that character, or wanted to be that character in various situations. And the truly amazing thing is that it seems if we stay with something long enough, and we do believe in ourselves, we all can have, in our own way, a Cinderella story of our own.