In an effort to revive his sagging animation department, Walt Disney turned once again to a fairy tale. This time around, he chose one of the best known and oldest of them all, Cinderella.
The tale is familiar. A beautiful girl is abused by her stepmother and stepsisters and forced to work as their slave. When a ball is given for all the eligible maidens in the kingdom, Cinderella dreams of going too, only to have her hopes dashed at the last minute. With a gift of magic, she is able to go, but only until the stroke of midnight.
The story is so well known, if fact, that any story about an underdog coming from behind and winning is called a Cinderella story. Disney's job here was to make the story entertaining for 75 minutes. The solution here was creating the animals. Mice Jaq and Gus and their constant struggle against the evil cat Lucifer is funny and tying this sub-plot to the ultimate outcome is brilliant. The other standout character is the stepmother who is frighteningly evil with no super powers.
As with any Disney movie, this one also has great songs. Arguably the best known is "Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boo." Right behind it is "A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes." My favorite, however, is the often overlooked love song "So This is Love."
While not the best release in the Platinum series, it still stacks up well. The movie has been restored, and it looks great to me. I'm not a nitpicker, but I can't find any problems with the full frame picture, the original aspect ratio. There is an enhanced 5.1 home theater mix, which doesn't seem quite as impressive as some other releases. It seems more like the sound coming equally from all speakers. Of course, given the age of the film, there probably isn't much more they could do. For purists, there is an original soundtrack on the disc as well.
The extras in this set seem to be split between content for kids and adults, with the kids winning. Disc one includes a new version of "A Dream is a Wish" with the stars of several Disney Channel series. It also has several "Cinderella stories" in sports moments, a weird feature to me. Disc two includes several features about living like a princess.
Also on disc two are the bonus features adult fans of this movie will want to watch. There are two "deleted scenes," which are really abandoned songs with the storyboards created for them. In edition there are more abandoned songs with no storyboards on here. It's pretty interesting watching how various ideas went from one form to another before finally making it into the movie. Other extras include a thirty-eight minute documentary about the creation of the show, including achieved interviews with the animators behind the show. We are also treated to an overview of how the movie progressed over the years it was in development, a tribute to the "Nine Old Men," Disney's "Laugh-O-Gram" version of the story from 1922, and radio promotion from the time. I was thrilled to see trailers from the movie's multiple releases here. Unfortunately, there is no commentary in sight.
This Platinum DVD release means that all of Disney's animated movies have been put on DVD at some point in the last few years. While the Platinum series isn't quite as nice for adult fans as they used to be, this is still a release that fans of the movie will want to pick up.