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VINE VOICEon August 23, 2008
Everyone knows the story of Cinderella; her story is perhaps the most well-loved princess story of all time. At three years old, my young daughter is enamored of all things princess, and Cinderella is clearly the most beloved princess of all. We recently were lucky enough to take a fabulous Disney cruise. When my daughter actually got to meet Cinderella, to hug her and to talk to her, she was quite literally quivering. I truly thought she might faint from the excitement. It was her dream come true.

Disney's classic masterpiece brings Cinderella's story to life, in full, rich, beautiful color, with familiar, catchy, adored songs, and gorgeous, detailed, vivid animation. This tale is endearing to princesses of all ages, young and old alike. We watch Disney's CINDERELLA several times a week in our house, and every time, my daughter watches straight through from beginning to end, completely enchanted. Heck, I am still completely enchanted, even after all these years. It is lovely, charming, sweet, and happy. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED for all princesses everywhere.
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on October 5, 2012
Pre-ordered this movie for my daughter. Loaded the digital copy to the iPad and when my daughter got home we put the blu-ray it. It has side bars and you have to format your wide screen tv to stretch the picture and remove them. Who makes a dvd in that format these days? All other disney blu-rays I have purchased are in widescreen format. It is 2012. Aspect ration is 1:33:1 whatever that means.
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on October 12, 2012
The beginning narration accompanies charming water-color pictures: "Once upon a time, in a far away land, there was a tiny kingdom, peaceful, prosperous and rich in romance and tradition. Here in a stately chateau, there lived a widowed gentleman and his little daughter, Cinderella. Although he was a kind and devoted father, and gave his beloved child every luxury and comfort, still, he felt she needed a mother's care. And so he married again."

Poor Cinderella. When her father dies young, her Stepmother shows her true colors, and Cinderella becomes a servant in her own house.

"Cinderella" is one of the stories that is truly "Once upon a time" and "Happily Ever After". It's also one where the males in the story are almost after-thoughts. The Prince is generic and forgettable. The King and Grand Duke are more interesting (and have more story-time), but they, too, are not central characters.

No, it's the sweet-natured heroine and the dastardly stepmother and imbecilic stepsisters who run the show. And Cinderella's animal friends are important to the plot, too. Or, at least they try to be. The first third of the movie is a little slow-going, made up of several scenes of Cinderella interacting with her animal friends.

There is plenty of humor, and not just with the animals. I particularly like this exchange between the King and the Grand Duke, the morning after the ball:
Grand Duke - "The Prince, Sire, says he'll marry none but the girl who fits this slipper."
King - "Aha! We've GOT him!"
Grand Duke - "But Sire, the shoe may fit any number of girls!"
King - "That's his problem. He's given his word. We'll hold him to it!"

I am fond of Disney's 1950 "Cinderella", but it does not have as much striking graphic animation as earlier Disney movies. For example, "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs", 1937, had awesome scenes with the Huntsman and Snow White running through the woods. Or how about the "Pinocchio" scene where Pinocchio and other boys start turning into donkeys on Pleasure Island. And 1940 "Fantasia" had "A Night on Bald Mountain".

Except for the wonderful scene where Cinderella goes into her Stepmother's bedroom, and the dim morning light creates a shadow pattern on her, standing reluctantly against the bedroom doors, the "Cinderella" animation is more pedestrian, like storybook illustrations.

And except for the Fairy Godmother's "Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boo" song, the music in "Cinderella" isn't as memorable as earlier movies, either. (Or later movies, for that matter.)

This is a review of the 2-disc Diamond Edition of "Cinderella". Both the DVD and Blu-Ray in this Diamond Edition feature Digitally restored picture and sound. The colors are great, but the animation spark isn't. The movie can be listened to in English, French and Spanish. Subtitles are available in French and Spanish.

Bonus Features are a little different for the Blu-Ray and DVD:
1. Both DVD and Blu-Ray - "Tangled Ever After" This animated short shows us how the preparations go (and don't go) for the wedding of Rapunzel and Flynn (first seen in the 2010 movie "Tangled").
2. Blu-Ray only - "Never Before Seen Alternate Opening Sequence" This sequence is in the form of draft drawings (no color), where Cinderella, in rhyme, tells her animal friends about her day.
3. Blu-Ray only - "Personalized Digital Storybook: Bibbidi-Bobbidi-You - A Disney Second Screen Experience". If you download an app, you can play short games and do simple activities (such as "Create a Gown for Cinderella") on an iphone, ipad or laptop. Geared for young children.
4. Both Blu-Ray and DVD - "Behind the Magic: A New Disney Princess Fantasyland at Walt Disney World". an ad
5. Blu-Ray only - "The Real Fairygodmother". A short about Mary O'Connor. She was the wife of long-time Disney artist, Ken O'Connor, and is remembered for her many acts of kindness and generosity.
6. Blu-Ray only - Two Deleted Scenes: "The Cinderella Work Song" and "Dancing on a Cloud"
7. DVD only - "Learn How to Take Your Favorite Movies on the Go" an ad
8. DVD only - "Discover Blu-Ray 3D with Timon & Pumba" an ad

This is a review of the 2-disc "Diamond Edition Blu-ray/DVD Combo in Blu-Ray Packaging". The amazon page when I purchased the set and currently clearly states: "Format: Animated, Closed-captioned, Color, DTS Surround Sound, Dubbed, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen". I rate the movie 4 stars, except that the inaccurate amazon page and the mediocre Bonus Features could take it down to 2.8 stars.

The Diamond Edition DVD of "Cinderella" is definitely not widescreen. After I watched my DVD, I looked around on-line. It appears that "Cinderella" has never been produced in widescreen for public purchase. Given that movie theater screens are NOT 1.37:1 or 1.33:1, and "Cinderella" was a theater release, maybe this means that Disney never kept a theatrical version of the movie. In any case, I've run into several problems with amazon page descriptions that are off the mark. I've tried sending amazon information about it, but they just don't seem interested in correcting their pages.

Happy Reader
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on July 21, 2006
Disney made its mark as a major studio in 1937 with its first full-length feature film, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. Ironically, given this early success, Snow White was their only hit movie for the next 13 years. World War II kicked the hell out of Disney's overseas markets. Even movies today regarded as classic Disney - Pinnochio, Bambi, Fantasia - lost money on initial release. Disney eked through by diversifying into training films for the US government, and the South American films that were part of FDR's Good Neighbor policy, etc. - stuff that made back its costs but not much more. By 1948, Disney was in dire financial straits. They had just enough money for one more movie. Walt Disney realized he needed a hit or his studio probably wouldn't survive, and it would have to be what they did best: a full-length animated feature film. Walt said to himself, "What we need is a movie about a girl in trouble. Audiences love that. They loved Snow White." That's what he wanted: a movie like Snow White, but even more so - more comedy, more drama, more magic, more music, more lovable characters. He chose as the basis of his company's Hail Mary pass arguably the most famous fairy tale in the world: Cinderella.

Disney didn't have the money, as they had on earlier films, to lavishly storyboard every scene. Thus they hit upon the wonderfully clever idea of shooting the entire movie in live action, then the animators used stills from that as storyboards. The photos used survive to this day, and many are provided as a Special Edition "extra." In some cases these photos have the animator's drawings over them, turning for instance an almost bare stage into a hall in Cinderella's family chateau.

In 1950, Cinderella was released and was everything Disney so desperately needed. Even today, Cinderella is arguably the best movie Disney's ever made. It's just awfully hard to argue with any aspect of this film. The animation artwork was a product of Disney's famous "Nine Old Men" - at that time not yet old. Cinderella pulls off, superbly, something not particularly easy to do: it integrates believable human characters with funny cartoon animals and makes it work. From Eric Larson and Marc Davis' beautiful and graceful Cinderella to Ward Kimball's wonderful Jaq and Gus-Gus the mice and over-the-top Lucifer the cat, everything flows together so well it all seems perfectly natural.

Part of Walt Disney's plan to out-Snow White Snow White with Cinderella involved its music. He very consciously wanted Cinderella to be a source of hit songs. There had been hit songs from Disney films before ("Heigh Ho" and "Whistle While You Work" from Snow White, "When You Wish Upon a Star" from Pinnochio, etc.) but they'd been almost accidental. "Oh, we have a hit song, well, that's nice." For Cinderella, Disney for the first time went to Tin Pan Alley (28th Street in New York City where the professional songwriters could be found). Disney wanted his girl's music done by the very best craftsmen, the guys who wrote hit songs for a living. The Cinderella soundtrack hit big (a #1 album with 3/4 million units sold) with songs even today considered quintessential Disney, most notably "A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes" from the movie's opening scene, "The Work Song" while the animals help Cinderella clean the house and simultaneously build her ball gown, and "Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boo" (nominated for an Academy Award as best movie song of the year) from the Fairy Godmother transformation scene.

For their best movie, Disney apparently spared no expense producing the DVD. Not only has the picture quality been digitally restored, but the audio has also been cleaned up with a new 5.1 surround sound mix. Totally gone is the background hiss associated with so many old movies. (Cinderella has the distinction of being "the noisiest movie ever restored" according to its audio crew.) The original mono soundtrack has also been spruced and is provided as an option for purists.

A word about the movie's aspect ratio (i.e. how wide the picture is compared to its height). The DVD cover says Cinderella is presented in its "Original Full-Screen Aspect Ratio (1.33:1)". This is untrue. Virtually all sound films until 1953, including Cinderella, were 1.37:1. Since a TV screen is 1.33:1, you don't lose a lot when the original is "formatted to fit your television." I just wish they hadn't lied about it.

Cinderella ends at breakneck pace: we go straight from her foot sliding into the glass slipper to the wedding to Happily Ever After, bing, bang, boom. Walt Disney believed "Audiences like a happy ending, but they don't like a happy ending that goes on too long." Hey, who am I to argue? Well, maybe I'll argue. A DVD extra addresses scenes originally planned for the movie but not actually used. One of these would have occurred after the fitting of the glass slipper and before the wedding: Cinderella is taken by the Grand Duke to the castle in her normal everyday clothes; the first time Prince Charming sees her since the ball she's not wearing a lovely gown, she's wearing her scullery maid outfit. Cinderella is frightened, how will he react when he realizes she's not a fine lady but a poor servant girl? And of course he doesn't care how she's dressed, he loves her anyway. I can **see** that scene in my mind, it would have worked beautifully. This is the one way in which an almost perfect movie could have been even a tiny bit better.
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on October 4, 2005
I cannot think a film is decent if it makes the good-looking people morally "correct" and the unattractive people villains. There are many people who look lovely on the outside and are hideous on the inside.

Just as some of the most conventionally unappealing people have the purest most beautiful hearts.

This film sends the wrong message.
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on October 9, 2012
Contained in the description it says "Widescreen". This Blu Ray is only fullscreen 1:33:1 or 4:3. I have a 42" Panny Plasma. Showing this movie on my small TV leaves 5" on either side of the screen of solid black. Not widescreen.

Every thing else about this release is wonderful. It looks beautiful - works with my Panny 7.1 surround, and brings back memories from years ago when this was only available on VHS - we played our VHS out until the audio was weak and the picture was fuzzy.

I have been waiting for this to be released and am very disappointed that it specifically states it is widescreen but it is CERTAINLY NOT widescreen.
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on October 8, 2012
For a blu ray disk, how can Disney not even put it in "widescreen?" It's 2012, yet they leave it in 1.33 aspect and you get sidebars when you watch it. My kids don't mind, but it bothers the crap out of me.

Beyond disappointed. If you are an audiofile, you'll be disappointed as well. At least my DVD puts it into 16:9.

Have to give it 2 stars because it does look spectacular though. The only positive. Could care less about 7.1...it's not Jurassic Park. 7.1 on Cinderella is pointless.
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on September 9, 2012
I haven't seen the movie in a long time, and i was excited to watch the movie, so i put it in the VHS player, and it wouldn't play, i tried putting in a different movie to see if it was the player but it was perfectly fine, so i hated this and i was mad and almost cried.
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on October 12, 2012
They took a fullscreen video 1.33:1 and put it inside of a widescreen ratio. So your actually watching a widescreen image with a fullscreen aspect video in the middle of it instead of it taking up the whole widescreen image.

If you have a standard TV this will cause the video to playback in a small square in the middle of your tv. It wont even take up the whole screen. They didnt make it anamorphic fillscreen for some reason and I refuse to watch a tiny box that doesnt even take up half the TV screen.

This has ruined my experience with this DVD set and I returned it the next day.
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on October 11, 2012
Ok what is this it is not fullscreen or widescreen? I really hate this I have loved this movie since my VHS copy and this edition is aweful. First the disks are very cheeply made not like the previous versions with a nice label of the movie with a character and the aspect ratio is very confusing. I want to watch this movie in either wide screen or full and not in a box. It looks like the movie is being seen through a computer monitor. Why did Disney do this, If they continue to do this to classic movies I am not going to buy anymore DVD's from them not for $20 they are not worth it if I cannot see the whole screen or even wide screen.
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