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Legendary movie producer Walt Disney brought three of the world's
greatest fairy tales to the screen. They remain among the most popular
animated films of all time. The first was his groundbreaking classic
"Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs" released in 1937. The last was the
then-under appreciated "Sleeping Beauty" which made it's debut in 1959.
In between these two was perhaps his most satisfying adaptation of a
classic fairy tale: "Cinderella" (1950). Of the three films,
"Cinderella" is the one most faithful to its origins. Ironically,
unlike "Snow White", which for better or worse, became for many the
definitive version of the story. "Cinderella" did not follow the same
path. Although it was a hit and, like "Snow White", was responsible for
restoring the dwindling Disney fortunes, it never achieved the same
audience recognition which it certainly deserved. Disney, for once, did
himself proud, electing not to tamper with a classic, instead
elaborating and adding substance to the tale, rather than rewriting it
for the screen. The result was enchanting.
A combination of superb animation (in beautifully soft Technicolor) and the perfect voice talents brought the story to life with a radiance that endures to this day. Ilene Woods, who was a radio performer, recorded demonstration discs of the songs as a favor to the authors of the material, Al Hoffman, Mack David, and Jerry Livingston. When Disney heard them, he knew he had found his Cinderella. And indeed he had. Woods heartfelt renditions of "A Dream Is A Wish Your Heart Makes", "So This Is Love" and "Oh Sing Sweet Nightingale" are perfect. Eleanor Audley, who would go on to voice Maleficent in "Sleeping Beauty", masterfully captured the icy cruelty of the stepmother, while Rhoda Williams and Lucille Bliss were convincingly nasty stepsisters. Luis Van Rooten admirably performed as both the King and the Grand Duke, and James Macdonald was endearing as both Jaq and Gus, Cinderella's devoted mice. William Phipps has little dialog as the prince (future talk show host Mike Douglas provided his singing voice) but film (and Disney) veteran, Verna Felton was born to play the fairy godmother, and she made the best number, (the Oscar-nominated "Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boo") her own show-stopper.
Among the artists responsible for the "look" of the film, was Mary Blair, whose inspired use of color was greatly admired by Disney. Her elegant French-period backgrounds add tremendously to the quality of the movie. But, most important of all' are the believable characters--from Cinderella, right down to Lucifer, the stepmother's deliciously evil cat. They bring both life and vibrancy to the often told story, something very difficult to create in an animated film.
In conjunction with the film's 55-year anniversary, (and, not so coincidentally, the coming holiday season) "Cinderella" has just been released on a special edition DVD. It simply has never looked better. The fully restored film must be seen to be appreciated--suffice it to say, it looks wonderful. An enhanced stereo soundtrack has been added, and serves the music well. The DVD extras, now a standard part of Disney Platinum Editions, are too numerous to list here, but as usual, some are directed towards children, some are slanted to adults, and the rest fall somewhere in between. But real fans will want to get the Deluxe Gift Set, because, along with an actual cell from the film and eight character sketches, it includes a 160-page hardback book, which not only incorporates most of the material found in the book with the 1995 special edition home video release, but much more as well. As usual for Disney, "Cinderella" will only be available for a limited time. So, if like me, you are a "Cinderella" lover, get it NOW! This edition is truly a "Dream Come True."
People criticise Disney's animated features of the 1950s for being overly
glossy, set in landscapes that are much too pristine. That criticism is
just. And yet it can't be the whole story, because the two least glossy -
"Alice in Wonderland" and "Peter Pan" - are also the weakest.
on the other hand, set in a world in which the very dirt sparkles, is
clearly the best.
It DOES look good. The backgrounds are subtle and consistent; the colours are pure without being too bright. The animation varies a bit. I'll swear that some of the humans are rotoscoped - but then, the rotoscoped humans (including Cinderella herself) aren't full-blooded characters in the script, so this approach works well enough. It's really the animals that make the movie. I think the studio had never quite used animals in this way before, as totems rather than sidekicks. The mice, for instance, are the creatures who draw us into the story; but they are really representatives or allies of the more colourless Cinderella. The cat, Lucifer, is a kind of witch's familiar to the Wicked Stepmother. (The cat is brilliantly conceived and animated - one of the best feline creations of all time. The supervising animator was Ward Kimball and he modelled it on his own cat. I wonder how he put up with the animal.) This approach allows the animals to steal the show without drawing our attention from the main story. Their actions are of maximum interest only in the light of the main story.
Among the supporting cast the notable humans are the King and the Grand Duke. The King is a one note character - he wants grandchildren and appears to have no other desires at all - but the note is struck in a pleasing fashion. The Grand Duke is a put-upon character who deserves to be lifted out of his sphere as much as Cinderella does. (Although he, of course, is richer.)
"Cinderella" is Disney's return to features after an eight-year hiatus, and neither with it nor with any subsequent movie would he recapture the raw brilliance of his early years. Moreover he made things hard for himself by picking "Cinderella". She's a passive heroine and there's not much anyone can do about that. (Maybe I'm wrong on this score - I haven't seen the recent "Ever After".) Nonetheless it is remarkable how successful Disney was in bringing this unpromising story to life, without cutting across the grain of its spirit.
Walt Disney's CINDERELLA takes a story everybody's familiar with and
embellishes it with humor and suspense, while retaining the tale's
charm. Disney's artists provide the film with an appealing storybook look
that emanates delectable fairy tale atmosphere. It is beautifully, if
conventionally, animated; the highlight being the captivating scene where
the Fairy Godmother transforms a pumpkin into a majestic coach and
Cinderella's rags to a gorgeous gown. Mack David, Al Hoffman, and Jerry
Livingston provide lovely songs like "A Dream Is a Wish Your Heart Makes"
and "Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boo" that enhance both the scenario and the
Even though CINDERELLA's story is predictable, it provides such thrilling melodrama that one shares the concerns and anxieties of the titular heroine and her animal friends. Both the wicked stepmother and her dreadful cat Lucifer present a formidable menace that threatens the dreams and aspirations of Cinderella and the mice. It is this menace that provides the story with a strong conflict that holds the viewers' interest. The film's suspense, however, is nicely balanced by a serene sweetness, especially in the musical numbers. It is in these segments that reveal the appealing personalities of Cinderella and her friends, moving the viewers to care for them. Overall, Walt Disney's CINDERELLA is wonderful family entertainment that has held up remarkably well after half a century.
As a young boy, I always sort of hated "Cinderella," since I was outvoted by
my two sisters when my parents were considering what Disney movie to buy. I
wanted "Dumbo," but my sisters won out, and we got "Cinderella." They
thoroughly enjoyed the movie while I sulked in the back of the room playing
with my Star Wars action figures.
A lot has changed since then. My love of the Disney theme parks landed me an internship at Walt Disney World, and I now have two young nieces. I like to showcase Disney to them as much as I can, and we recently watched "Cinderella" together. With my newfound appreciation for all that is Disney, I watched "Cinderella" with a new perspective and was impressed with what I saw.
From the beginning of the movie, though, I didn't quite understand why Cinderella was trapped in such a horrible predicament. Why was she such a slave to her stepfamily, and why couldn't she just run away? I wasn't too sympathetic to Cinderella, but as the story progressed, I found myself becoming immersed in the story. Maybe the eye-catching animation or the fun-loving characters drew me in, or maybe it was the timeless songs. Listening to songs like "Bibbidy-Bobbidy-Boo" and "A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes" sort of whisked me back to the theme parks. I can picture myself in that carefree and fun atmosphere while looking at the awe-inspiring Cinderella Castle.
Something about this movie just evokes the magic of Disney. That may make many people scoff, but go to the Magic Kingdom and see all the little girls dressed up like Cinderella that are excited to be in this fantasy world, and you'll know what I'm talking about. The images of Cinderella and the glass slipper - as well as Mickey Mouse, Winnie the Pooh, and Tinkerbell - embody why Disney is one of the most beloved companies in the entire world.
While "Cinderella" may not be the strongest story, it is sort of iconic in Disney and movie history. It represents that fun, idealistic, and fantasy-like wonderment we held when we were kids. I imagine this movie holds a lot of meaning to many, many people out there. It may not be my favorite Disney movie, but it does represent all that I love and admire about the Company.
My IMDb Rating: 10/10. My Yahoo! Grade: A (Outstanding)
This is the first movie I have ever seen and it was love at first sight. Since then I've watched it a hundred times or so and collected the video in many languages. Cinderella is wonderful, funny and rich. I know that many people remember it for the mice and Lucifer, but look at the human figures: they're (with the exception of the Prince) perfect and truly convincing. For example the relationship between Cinderella and the stepmother is strongly rendered and it's clear that the girl fears that woman. The sequence of the fairy godmother is one of the best of all Disney films (what a dream the transformation of the dress) and the ball episode is exciting and fascinating in both drawing (note the use of the shadows at a time when computer coloring was far away), dialogue and music (the Cinderella Waltz "So this is love" is enchanting).
When I first saw 'Cinderella', I found it surprising that the mice had so
much to do whereas in the fairy tale they were just incidental creatures.
But Disney saw that giving them a big role in the main storyline was the key
to providing all the humor and suspense needed to spice up the predictable
story. The leading mice, Gus and Jaq are delightful creations and the
valiant band of mice are given amusing bits of business.
Artistically, the animation art has a rather glossy modern look despite the fact that it's an old, old story from 1697, a classic children's fairy tale that has been done countless times as either a film, a play or a ballet. But this version will charm Disney fans young and old with its imaginative use of animation and a splendid collection of tuneful songs.
A highlight is the 'Cinderella Work Song' in which the mice make a dress for the mistreated Cinderella, full of inventive comic touches and accompanied by the intricate blend of song and animation. Add to that 'So This Is Love', 'A Dream Is A Wish Your Heart Makes' and 'Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boo' and you have a charming version of the Charles Perrault story.
For villainy, the stepmother and her black cat (Lucifer) are two of the most brilliantly animated creatures in the film. The cat reminds me of a naughty black cat I once owned. The scene where the stepmother is stroking the cat as she gives Cinderella a list of chores is striking in its use of shadow and menace. Along with some dark touches, there is always a bubbling sense of humor, particularly in this sequence.
Cinderella herself comes across as a pleasant heroine with a sense of humor herself, lifelike in her movements and one of Disney's more successful human figures. Disney's artists did greater art work in other films but this is a well-structured work, a great combination of music and clever animation. The pace is fast, even allowing for extended scenes of the mice and their shenanigans for the sub-plot. And Lucifer, the cat, makes a wonderful foil for their tricks.
The Disney touch is evident in every scene and makes this charming blend of comedy, music and romance a film with timeless appeal.
Let's not be coy, this is one of Disney's finest animated features. The
characters, the colors, the music, it's all wonderful. The studio was at
it's absolute peak at this point, with the terrific "streamlined" look to
the artwork, that would be changed to a more "rough" appearance in just a
few years following this movie.
And what's not to like about it? Cinderella is one of the more endearing characters to come from a Disney feature, her stepmother and stepsisters some of the meanest, and her mice and bird friends, some of the most charming.
Memorable scenes include the "Nightingale" number, with Cinderella's reflection in the soap bubbles, the evil sisters tearing her dress to shreds, her arrival at the ball, and the trying-on of the slipper. Add to that some great numbers like "Bibbodi Bobbodi Boo", and the mice's "work song". A wonderful movie, that never loses its magic, no matter how old you are.
Cinderella takes me back, when I was a little girl I loved the
princesses of Disney. Cinderella was one of my favorites because I
always was so enchanted by the story. Any child or family members will
enjoy this wonderful and magical story.
We have Cinderella who is a beautiful girl enslaved by her wicked step mother and ugly step sisters. She cleans and cooks for them without ever receiving thanks. The only friends she has in the world are the mice in the attic that are so charming and musical. When the ladies receive an invitation to the King's ball to find a lady for his son, the prince, a.k.a. Prince Charming, they all get excited, Cinderella overhears the exciting news and asks if she could come too. Her step mother makes a false promise and says if she does her chores and such, she can come too. Of course, she doesn't keep her promise and destroys a beautiful dress she and the mice made for the ball. Leaving poor Cinderella behind, a wonderful thing happens, Cinderella's fairy god mother appears and creates a beautiful dress and carriage out of things from around the house and even makes the mice and horses into elegant horses and a driver for the carriage. When the prince sees Cinderella at the ball, he has fallen hard for her. All the ladies are jealous, including her step mother and sisters. But Cinderella must return home at midnight when the spell is broken, all she leaves behind is her glass slipper. The next day the prince is on a hunt to find this girl who fits the slipper and is making a stop at Cinderella's house where her step mother has found out about her night and locks her in her room.
Can she escape in time to tell the prince that it was her at the ball? You'll just have to find out. Trust me, this is a true Disney classic with beautiful animation and classic music that is so charming. You can't help but fall in love with this masterpiece. A dream is a wish your heart makes, this movie captures everything a girl could want.
I hadn't watched this film for about five years the last time i saw it. The magic remains. There is something that definitely contains that storybook feel, the songs entertain and the secondary character's all please. The villains in the form of step sisters are perfectly evil and vile. Then there is the most magical of all Disney, the mice making the dress and well you know the rest. To sum up the four of the Disney princess movies are all great but this is a charming magical experience, watch and enjoy. Oh and of course, Cinderella is wonderful as the main character in the movie.
If you think about it Disney movies can really lost their charm. With Elene Wood and others the movie has such a feel to it, you simply can't help but smile
They say the moral of this story is that dreams come true. Of course in the real world some are believers others are hoper's. In this film it's even more the magical when her rainbow comes smiling.
And of course the rest is...Cinderella
In a small kingdom, the happily child Cinderella loses her beloved
mother and his father marries with the cruel Lady Tremaine, who has the
mean daughters Drizella and Anastasia. When her father dies, Cinderella
becomes a servant in her own house and her stepmother and sisters feels
only hatred for her. Cinderella's only friends are four mice, a dog and
a horse that live in the house.
When the King decides that his son, the Prince, should get married, he invites every maiden in his kingdom to a ball in order that the Prince could choose his bride. However, Cinderella's cruel stepmother does not allow her to attend the ball. When Cinderella is hopeless of going to the Royal Ball, her Fairy Godmother appears and uses magic to help her to make her dream come true. But she must leave the ball before midnight since the magic effect will end.
"Cinderella" is one of the classics produced by Disney that belongs not only to my childhood, but also to my daughter and my son's childhoods. This adorable fairytale is wonderful and should be mandatory to every child in the world. I do not have much to say, since I believe that most of the readers certainly know the story of "Cinderella". I feel sorry for those that have written stupid things about this lovely fantasy what a poor childhood they had. My vote is ten.
Title (Brazil): "Cinderela" ("Cinderella")
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