Sunday, 20 April 2014



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The public made CINDERELLA one of the highest-grossing films of the year and Disney's most successful release since BAMBI. In fact, it was one of the top-grossing films of 1950, pulling in $4 million during its initial release.

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Stunning new 2-disc `Platinum Edition' of Disney's 1950 fairytale confection CINDERELLA. The story is as old as the hills: Cinderella is mistreated horribly by her cruel Stepmother and stepsisters Anastasia and Drisella. Her only friends are some pet mice, the birds and her faithful dog and horse. When the Prince invites all the eligible maidens in the land to his grand ball, Cinderella is heartbroken when her Stepmother forbids her to go. Enter the magical Fairy Godmother, who, with a little 'Bibiddi Bobiddi Boo' magic, enables Cinderella to live out her happily-ever-after dream.

From a historical perspective, the Disney studio was pinning it's future on the success of CINDERELLA. World War II had virtually wiped out the studio's international market and films like PINOCCHIO, BAMBI and FANTASIA had lost a lot of money on their initial releases.

Disney has performed a complete restoration on the film, including an extensive frame-by-frame cleanup of the original camera negative and the result is eye-popping (almost alarmingly-so as every hint of speckle, dirt and debris has been removed). The film looks showroom-new and it's hard to believe the thing was actually made over 50 years ago. Likewise the soundtrack has been sweetened with Disney furnishing the film with an all-new 'Enhanced Home Theatre' 5.1 mix. But purists need not worry, as the original mono soundtrack is also included.

There are some fantastic extras on Disc Two including an all-new `Making-Of' documentary which features recent interviews with Ilene Woods (voice of Cinderella), Mike Douglas (the Prince) and Lucille Bliss (Anastasia). 'The Art of Mary Blair' is an invaluable look into the life of the revered Disney concept artist and designer; 'The Cinderella That Almost Was' hosted by Don Hahn explores the scenes, songs and characters that were considered but eventually cut from the final film. 'Disney's Nine Old Men' is a charming segment hosted by Joel Siegel which has the leading Disney animators of today remembering the trailblazers who created the classic Disney animated masterpieces.

There is also a charming clip from Perry Como's television show which publicised the film with a performance from Ilene Woods. A clip from 'The Mickey Mouse Club' features Helene Stanley (the live-action reference model for the Cinderella character) enacting a scene with the help of the Mouseketeers. There are also extensive galleries, interactive games and DVD-ROM components.

There are however some needless (and downright questionable) extras like the ESPN Classic 'Cinderella Stories' programme, which profiles sport celebrities and their rise to fame. Just what exactly does all this have to do with Disney's Cinderella? Plain boring old filler. That said, the rest of the package is outstanding. For Disney collectors and families everywhere, this is a must-own.

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