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In this spectacular free adaptation of the popular theatre play "La Biche au Bois", the valiant Prince Bel-Azor pursues a baleful old witch to her impregnable castle, to save the beautiful young Princess Azurine.
A fairy godmother magically turns Cinderella's rags to a beautiful dress, and a pumpkin into a coach. Cinderella goes to the ball, where she meets the Prince - but will she remember to leave before the magic runs out?
There's no question that this adaptation if more Melies than Jules Verne so fans of the classic novel really shouldn't come here expecting some sort of faithful version. What we see is the maker of a submarine who takes it to the bottom of the ocean where he witnesses various things ranging from mermaids to giant fish to sea horses. While at the bottom of the sea the man must figure out a way to reach land again. At just over 10-minutes there's obviously not enough time to be faithful to the novel but at the same time I don't think Melies would have been faithful had the film ran for two-hours. It's pretty clear that Melies is just wanting to use his bag of tricks at the bottom of the ocean and for the most part this makes for some entertainment. One scene that isn't very entertaining is a rather long sequence where we see some females doing a dance at the bottom of the ocean. I think the film is at its best when the director shows off the creations including the giant fish and a giant crab who attacks our hero. It should go without saying but these creatures certainly don't look real by today's standards but I think they contain a certain charm that really adds some value to the movie. The film never becomes too long, which is certainly a good thing and fans of science fiction should be entertained throughout.
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