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Worry not, Disney fans--this special edition DVD of the belovedCinderellawon't turn into a pumpkin at the strike of midnight. One of the most enduring animated films of all time, the Disney-fied adaptation of the gory Brothers Grimm fairy tale became a classic in its own right, thanks to some memorable tunes (including "A Dream Is a Wish Your Heart Makes," "Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boo," and the title song) and some endearingly cute comic relief.
The famous slipper (click for larger image) We all know the story--the wicked stepmother and stepsisters simply won't have it, this uppity Cinderella thinking she's going to a ball designed to find the handsome prince an appropriate sweetheart, but perseverance, animal buddies, and a well-timed entrance by a fairy godmother make sure things turn out all right. There are a few striking sequences of pure animation--for example, Cinderella is reflected in bubbles drifting through the air--and the design is rich and evocative throughout. It's a simple story padded here agreeably with comic business, particularly Cinderella's rodent pals (dressed up conspicuously like the dwarf sidekicks of another famous Disney heroine) and their misadventures with a wretched cat named Lucifer. There's also much harrumphing and exposition spouting by the King and the Grand Duke. It's a much simpler and more graceful work than the more frenetically paced animated films of today, which makes it simultaneously quaint and highly gratifying.--David Kronke

DVD Features

For another of its classic films, Disney delivers another dazzling DVD with a gorgeous, razor-sharp picture and 5.1 sound. (Note: the 1949 film is properly presented in full-screen format, 1.33 aspect ratio, because widescreen films weren't made until the '50s.) The best part of the supplemental features is the archival material, the absolute highlight of which is two unused songs, "Cinderella's Work Song" (in which Cinderella imagines multiplying herself à la the Sorcerer's Apprentice) and "Dancing on a Cloud."
Bippity-boppity-boo! (click for larger image) Because these numbers were never animated, they're accompanied by stylish illustrations from the Disney artists, and they're simply marvelous to look at. The artist of much of that material, Mary Blair, gets her due in a 15-minute featurette, while the better known "Nine Old Men" are the subject of a round-table discussion among some of today's top animators. In addition, a 38-minute documentary covers their contributions to specific characters of Cinderella as well as the film in general and the vocal cast. Also on the historical side is "The Cinderella That Almost Was," tracking the development of the project through decades of original Disney concepts, characters, and songs, including the 1922 silent "Laugh-o-Gram," which is also included in its entirety.
The pumpkin transformed (click for larger image)

Additional musical material includes three radio programs and a short promo of the movie by Perry Como, in which he summarizes the plot amid some songs by the Fontaine Sisters, star Ilene Woods, and the host himself. Seven other unused songs (17 minutes total) are available in audio-only. The material for kids is on the sparse side, consisting of two music videos, Disney Channel personality Sally (from "Mike's Super Short Show") learning how to become a princess with the help of the Extreme Makeover: Home Edition crew and others, a minor dancing-princess feature, and a DVD-ROM design studio. Oddest extra: ESPN's "top Cinderella stories," including the 1980 U.S. Olympic hockey team and Joe Namath's New York Jets, although stories on Mia Hamm and tennis's Williams sisters should appeal to the film's primary target audience of young girls. --David Horiuchi

Cinderella Throughout the Years
Rodgers & Hammerstein's Cinderella (1957 Television Production)

Rodgers & Hammerstein's Cinderella (1965)

The Slipper and the Rose (1976)

Faerie Tale Theatre - Cinderella (1982)

Rodgers & Hammerstein's Cinderella (1997)

Ever After - A Cinderella Story(1998)

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Details

CastEleanor Audley, Verna Felton, James MacDonald, Rhoda Williams, Ilene Woods
DirectorWilfred Jackson, Hamilton Luske, Clyde Geronimi
Genre:  Animation, Music, Family, Musical
Screen WriterCharles Perrault, Bill Peet, Erdman Penner, Harry Reeves, Homer Brightman
DVD Release Date:  October 4, 2005
Runtime:  74 minutes
Studio:  Walt Disney Home Entertainment
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review by . March 16, 2011
You probably think I'm some sort of heartless bitch for giving a movie like this such a low rating. But, I have my reasoning and I will explain it in the review. I realize that Cinderella is a classic, and with the nostalgia goggles of that time, its a piece of filmmaking genius, but I personally don't think it's that spectacular as a film, although it definitely has some good qualities about it, like the stunning animation, the cat and mouse slapstick, and the relatively memorable …
review by . November 30, 2005
I was excited also when this story came out on DVD. This edition is great and I love the color enhancement. It's great to see my daughter enjoy the same movie that I once watch.   Certainly one of the most important themes of the story is that dreams can come true if you stay optimistic and keep wishing; however, one of the messages that I really like my kids to see is that no matter what life throws at you, you chose how to react to it. Cinderella certainly has a hard life being treated …
review by . November 15, 2005
posted in Movie Hype
Stunning new 2-disc `Platinum Edition' of Disney's 1950 fairytale confection CINDERELLA. The story is as old as the hills: Cinderella is mistreated horribly by her cruel Stepmother and stepsisters Anastasia and Drisella. Her only friends are some pet mice, the birds and her faithful dog and horse. When the Prince invites all the eligible maidens in the land to his grand ball, Cinderella is heartbroken when her Stepmother forbids her to go. Enter the magical Fairy Godmother, who, with a little "Bibiddi …
review by . September 27, 2005
(First off, thank you Amazon, that was very awesome of you!)    Cinderella is unique in its scope, and its all too obvious that Sir Walt was in love with it.    After watching the behind the scenes footage on Bambi, and listening to the archived audio footage of Disney himself having a round table discussion about the story, I hear ol' WD's voice when I watch any of his classic animations. "Now Cinderella will be awakened by two chippery birds, but not before …
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