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Cinderella (1950): Diamond Edition - Blu-ray Review

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Cinderella - Blu-ray Review

4 stars

After an eight year hiatus of major animated theatrical releases, thanks to World War 2 and lower box office returns, Disney would again take a major gamble, as he did with Snow White, and put into production a lavish animated fairy tale at the princely sum of 3 million dollars.

Based on the fairy tale Cendrillon by Charles Perrault, Cinderella would tell the tale of a kind girl plagued by misfortune. After the death of her benevolent father, she falls victim to a wicked stepmother and stepsisters, who reduce her to nothing more than a servant in her own home. Her unrelenting optimism is rewarded one day when a fairy god mother bestows on her a night of magic and romance, where she meets a handsome prince. When the clock strikes midnight, she returns to her life of servitude and toil, and it is left to the prince to find her with the sole clue she leaves behind: a glass slipper. But will her awful step family ever let it happen?

This film is the fairy tale which all little girls remember and some feminists lament. It is also the first Disney film of the Fifties, bridging the golden age of animation to the lesser regarded silver age output (unfairly, in this reviewer’s opinion). It also has the distinction of being the film that saved Disney Studios from going bankrupt, started their own distribution and television networks, and provided Disney with the capital to start Disneyland. Not bad for a three million dollar investment!

There is an underlying message in the main character that is very powerful and eternally appealing, if you get past the old fashioned veneer and steer clear of any feminist rhetoric. Cinderella does not escape her life because a prince comes to get her; she succeeds in bringing joy into her own life through her unbreakable optimism and kindness. It is the beauty within her that draws happiness into her life in the end. That is an appealing and positive message for any little girl.

Cinderella - Blu-ray Review

This production also saw the first cost cutting measures Disney would employ. Even with a 3 million dollar budget, Cinderella saved him money by heavy use of live-action referencing—essentially getting animators to closely model the movements of actors shot on stages. At that point Xeroxing was yet to come into existence for the studio, so it has a more Golden Age appearance than the films that would follow it into the Fifties.

Cinderella is the quintessential Disney princess movie; its themes are as timeless as the tale itself. It is old fashioned in a wonderful and nostalgic way, transcending cynical modern interpretations to still resonate with little ones today. A worthy and milestone classic in the Disney canon.

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Cinderella - Blu-ray ReviewMPAA Rating: G for general audiences.
Runtime:
74 mins.
Director
: Clyde Geronimi, Wilfred Jackson
Writer: Bill Peet; Erdman Penner; Ted Sears; Winston Hibler; Homer Brightman; Harry Reeves; Ken Anderson; Joe Rinaldi
Cast: (Voices) Ilene Woods; Eleanor Audley; Lucille Bliss; Verna Felton; Rhoda Williams
Genre: Family | Animated
Tagline:
Midnight never strikes when you're in love.
Memorable Movie Quote: "For that girl. The one who lost her slipper at the ball last night. They say he's madly in love with her."
Distributor:
RKO Radio Pictures
Home Video Distributor:
Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment
Official Site: disney.go.com/cinderella
Release Date: March 4, 1950
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:
October 2, 2012

Synopsis: When Cinderella's cruel stepmother prevents her from attending the Royal Ball, she gets some unexpected help from the lovable mice Gus and Jaq, and from her Fairy Godmother.

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Cinderella - Blu-ray Review

Component Grades
Movie
 
Blu-ray Disc
4 stars
 
5 Stars
     
Blu-ray Experience
4.5 stars

Blu-ray

Blu-ray Details:

Cinderella - Diamond Edition [Blu-ray] [1950] [Region Free]

Available on Blu-ray - October 2, 2012
Screen Formats: 1.35:1
Subtitles
: English, English SDH, French, Spanish
Audio: English: DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1; English: DTS-HD Master Audio Mono; French: Dolby Digital 5.1; Spanish: Dolby Digital 5.1
Discs: 50GB Blu-ray Disc; Two-disc set (1 BD, 1 DVD); DVD copy; BD-Live
Region Encoding: Region-free

Disney has yet to skimp of restorations and this one is no different. Like most of the films before it, grain is non-existent, which may grate with some purists, but because it is animation it could be argued that no fine detail is lost. What is gained is the clarity of vibrant colours, flawless contrast, and rich detailing in the line work and the backgrounds. It’s just a gorgeous MPEG-4 1080p transfer through and through. Audio generously offers up two lossless tracks: one DTS-HD remaster of the original mono track for purists; the other a suitably robust DTS-HD 7.1 remix that is immersive enough, but sticks mostly to the front speakers. Extras, as with many of the classics releases, are a combination of new featurettes and older content ported over from the last DVD releases earlier this century. Another outstanding release here, folks.

Supplements:

Commentary:

  • None

Special Features:

  • Diane Disney Miller Introduction
  • Classic Backstage Disney DVD Features
  • Deleted Scenes
  • Cinderella Alternate Opening Sequence
  • Backstage Disney: Diamond Edition
  • Tangled Ever After
  • Classic Music & More
  • Personalized Digital Storybook: Bibbidi-Bobbidi-You
  • DisneyView

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