The Slipper and the Rose
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In the tiny kingdom of Euphrania, the King and his court are most anxious to get Prince Edward wed. But Edward wants to marry for love. Meanwhile, young Cinderella finds life drastically altered with her father's death as she's forced to be a servant in her own house. But a cheery fairy godmother helps her with her impossible tasks, and even gets her to take an evening out at the King's bride-finding ball. But when the magic wears off, and the prince with shoe-in-hand searches for Cinderella and finds her, what is going to happen to Euphrania without the needed marriage alliance to prevent war? Written by Kathy Li Beautiful version of the classic Cinderella story, as Prince Edward, heir to the throne of Euphrania, is expected by his father the King and his mother the Queen to choose a wife and settle down. To this end, they plan a court ball to which all the princesses they can locate will be invited. Meanwhile, young Cinderella has just lost her beloved father. But things go from bad to worse for her, when her selfish stepmother and spoiled stepsisters reduce her to the status of a servant in her own home. Thankfully, however, her Fairy Godmother is waiting in the wings to see that she goes to the ball and meet the prince. The rest is up to them...
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For those unfamiliar with this movie, it is your traditional Cinderella movie but with some twists. First it focuses more on the prince and the court. Prince Edward is fed up with court traditions and being forced into a marriage for political gain. Dialogue is witty and sometimes satirical. Cinderella is a bit more low keyed compared to the prince's character but has an innocent and fresh feel that charming. Effects are minimal but well used. The settings and costumes to me are the real magic of this movie.
And of course I would not love it quite so much if not for the songs. Some are sweet and haunting, but many are addicting and fun. For instance the Prince in the royal tombs singing "Good kings... bad kings. Sane kings or mad kings, benevolent or nefarious... here is where they bury us! Oh ho ho What a comforting thing to know. There's a pre-arranged spot in the family plot where my royal bones will go ~ Yes, I'll be slipped into the beautiful family crypt. Oh ho ho What a comforting thing to know!" Other of my favorites are the opening "Why can't I be two people," "Protocoligorically Correct," "Position and positioning."
This is a favorite of friends and family and highly recommend the blu-ray release!
The reason I enjoy this retelling of Cinderella is because there's a lot more depth to the story while still maintaining the fairytale feel. There is a fairy godmother (who complains about how much work she has to do), a wicked stepmother and selfish stepsisters, leaving the ball before the stroke of midnight and magic. But at the same time, there's the king worrying about being attacked by outside forces (which is why it's so important for Edward to get married to a princess), Edward lamenting his position that restricts his desires, and his companion at arms explaining that this restriction actually exists at every level of society. And best of all, the happy ending is preserved. Richard Chamberlain is excellent as the Prince. Gemma Craven is a perfect Cinderella.
The songs are great fun. The Prince gets lectured by his parents about marriage with the song "What Does Love Have to Do with Getting Married?" Edward sings of his ancestors in "What a Comforting Thing to Know". After the ball, Cinderella and Edward sing alone their perceptions of the night with parallel versions of "When He/She Danced with Me". The king and his advisors plan for the ball with the extremely entertaining song "Protocol".
I can't recommend this movie enough. If you get the chance, watch it.
This movie is a childhood favorite. I was thrilled to be able to purchase the movie on DVD. Watching the Blue Ray version was like watching again for the first time. The picture and images are crystal clear. The finest details and trims on those amazing costumes stand out. The ballroom scene was a rainbow of colors.
I highly recommend the upgrade from DVD.
SO many visual details on this Blu-ray that I've never noticed before on my VHS or DVD editions. You can see EVERY stitch of embroidery on the costumes, even the light reflecting off the velvet coats and pants.
There are some very noticeable differences from the VHS or DVD editions, namely in the "day for night" scenes which never really looked right previously. ("He/She Danced With Me" and a couple other short moments.) On this Blu-ray those scenes were saturated almost toooooooo blue, but I guess it does now look more like nighttime rather than just filming in midday (which is what the director mentions in the audio commentary).
Audio is okay, and that's why I rated this :4 stars instead of 5. I found myself needing to adjust the volume up or down every few minutes, especially when going into or out of songs. I don't remember the audio levels in the DVD being so uneven, so what happened here?