Cinderella Reviews

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Super Reviewer
½ December 23, 2010
Besides sweet songs and adorable characters, what is so amazing about this fabulous Disney animation - which actually saved the company after the war and brought it back to shape after those forgettable anthologies - is how it creates anticipation even when we know the fairy tale inside out.
Super Reviewer
September 25, 2010
The story of "Cinderella" is one of the more beloved tales of the Disney universe, becoming such a pop culture sensation for it's time! It helms one of the most basic storyline's of it's kind, but it has one of the best executions onto the screen. As Cinderella is living a life of slavery to her family, her dream is to meet the King and attend the annual ball. Aside from the unnecessarily dragged out first half with the mice side plot, this film is enchanted beyond belief. this story has sparked what have become many children's films today, and filmmakers around the world will strive to create something as original as this is. It's not quite filled with enough story in the first half, but "Cinderella" is a great film!
Daniel Mumby
Super Reviewer
½ September 23, 2012
When I reviewed Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs several months ago, I took the time to address the legacy of the Disney Company on our culture, and to analyse whether the baggage thus created has undermined our ability to enjoy their films. In the case of Snow White, it's relatively straightforward: the film is a masterpiece. But when we apply the same criteria to Cinderella, things get a little more complicated.

If Snow White is the film which established Disney's aptitude for European folk and fairy tales, Cinderella is the film which consolidated their easily marketable character archetypes, which would rear their somewhat ugly head during the Renaissance. You could almost call it Snow White's commercially-minded sister, since it occupies very similar territory in terms of source material but has far less innocent intentions. It's still enjoyable as a frothy pantomime, and contains much by way of visual beauty, but its problems are a little bit harder to ignore.

On the plus side, there can be little doubt that Cinderella looks beautiful. While in other Disney efforts it's the dark reds and deep blacks that stand out, this film offsets a relatively earthy opening with shimmering blues and whites at the ball. It uses Technicolor to its full advantage, using the brightness and high contrast of the colours to create a sense of magic which paler animation might not succeed in replicating. Even if you're a miserable cynic like me, you'd still find something to admire in the ballroom scenes or the transformations.

However, the openly bright and cheery animation is also an indication of the liberties Disney takes with the source material. It's well-documented that the famous glass slipper is a mistranslation on the part of Charles Perrault: considering that fairy tales were mostly passed down by word-of-mouth, it's understandable that you could confuse vair (meaning 'squirrel fur') with verre (meaning 'glass'). By the time Disney came along the Perrault version was the most widely-known on both sides of the Atlantic, and so it was the obvious version on which to base an adaptation. But while we can't blame Disney for that particular bout of artistic license, they are guilty of a more unfortunate departure.

The Disney version of Cinderella is a pretty accurate take on Perrault's story, including the pumpkin, the mice and the fairy godmother. But Perrault's version ends with the ugly stepsisters (here called Drizella and Anastasia) begging for forgiveness at how they treated Cinderella; Cinderella in turn forgives them and all three end up getting married. Perrault's closing words prize graciousness over beauty, intelligence or breeding, saying that "even these may fail to bring you success." The Disney version undermines this by having the stepsisters humiliated, and Cinderella rides off without them even getting a look-in during the final scene. In short, they take something quite uplifting and make it unnecessarily cruel.

This departure changes both the story and the central character quite drastically. It ceases to be any kind of Christian morality tale, about loving one's enemies and working tirelessly for the good of others, and becomes a story about getting what you deserve without doing the hard work first. In one of her typically sardonic reviews, the Nostalgia Chick called it: "the revenge fantasy where you show up to your high school reunion in a white limo and 40 pounds lighter wearing furs, all under the guise of innocence and martyrdom." Even if you don't take such a forthright view, it's certainly true that the expectations the film presents are more than a little askew.

These uncomfortable feelings become magnified by the context in which the film was made. Cinderella was Disney's first genuine feature-length effort since Bambi, after it had finally sorted out the jumble of half-finished efforts that had accumulated during WWII. In the aftermath of the war, there was a greater emphasis on the family unit in society, and with it came the promotion of female domesticity: women who were empowered during the war were now being told to stay at home and help rebuild the population. Cinderella appears to promote this, with the protagonist desiring to be whisked off by a prince, and not much else.

Cinderella is the archetype on which the modern Disney Princess phenomenon is based. It is the epitome of someone living their life based on aspirations which are simultaneously unobtainable (the prince) and beneath you (the resulting acceptance of domesticity). While these characteristics may have been exaggerated and refined still further with the Renaissance (not to mention the explosion in Disney merchandise), it's hard to let Cinderella totally off the hook. Even dismissing it as a fairy tale doesn't work, since all fairy tales contain morals to teach children the ways of the world: when done right, they are works of substance which are only fanciful or ridiculous on a superficial level.

At this point you're probably thinking: if you hate this film so much, why give it so high a rating? Why does a film with such a seemingly anti-feminist legacy merit a higher rating than the completely unobjectionable The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad? The answer is that when you put aside the unwelcome changes to the story and the repurcussions this has on creating real-life expectations, you are left with a frothy, fun little pantomime which is every bit as enjoyable as Peter Pan. Whatever my negative feelings towards the legacy of this film, as a piece of narrative cinema in and of itself it is perfectly entertaining.

Much like Peter Pan, the entertainment comes through when we embrace Disney's visual and musical conventions, in particular their talent for music-related slapstick. Some of the best scenes in the film involve the mice trying to evade the clutches of the fat, proud Lucifer, with Disney's talent for comic choreography coming through. There's nothing quite on the level of Hook's battles with the crocodile, or the tea party in Alice in Wonderland, but there's still more than enough to keep young children entertained. As for the music, it's not as memorable as other Disney efforts, including Snow White, but there's plenty of variety within the score by Paul J. Smith and Oliver Wallace - enough at least to take your minds off how annoying 'Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boo' is.

When we stop trying to analyse the make-up of the central character, what we discover is that the Disney film focusses to a relatively large extent on the supporting cast. While you'd have a good case for attacking its take on Cinderella herself, the film is every bit as much about the stepmother, the mice or the king. It's much like Disney's take on Sleeping Beauty nine years later, in which the main protagonists don't do all that much, and the real drama lies in the conflict between Maleficent and the fairies.

The interactions between the King and the Duke are genuinely funny, with the physical comedy being well-timed and the sets playing up the pantomime quality, such as the King's enormous bed. The happy-go-lucky attitude of the cute mice is fun to watch, particularly in the dress-making sequence. And while Lady Tremaine is perhaps too understated and reserved to be a proper pantomime villain, she fulfils the criteria in terms of her cruelty towards the lead character and her seemingly awareness that she is being evil. Eleanor Audley would later voice Maleficent in Sleeping Beauty, and it's easy to view this performance as her audition for that role.

Cinderella is a harder film to like than many of its predecessors, sticking in the throat with its worldview where Bambi did with its overriding schmaltz. There will be many out there who will balk at Disney's treatment of the Perrault fairy tale, or simply object to it on the grounds of its legacy. But for those who stay or attempt to overlook this, it passes the time very nicely as an enjoyably frothy pantomime romp with visual beauty to spare. It's not classic Disney by any means, but it's still vaguely satisfying - in spite of everything.
Super Reviewer
May 3, 2012
I really enjoy Disney films and I've seen most of the classic titles in their catalogue. With Cinderella, Disney adapts yet another classic fairy tale. I enjoyed this film when I was younger, but over the years, compared to other Disney flicks, I felt that this one was a little tiring. I'm not bashing the film, but I felt that after multiple viewings, this film really didn't stand out among other ground breaking Disney classics such as Snow White, Pinocchio and Fantasia. Disney has made much better films, and I do agree that this one is a definite classic. However it didn't have the same impact on me as so many other Disney films that came before or after it. Other than that, this will surely appeal to families everywhere and it's still a must see film for parents to watch with their kids. Cinderella has stood the test of time and is an enjoyable film to watch even if it's not perfect. If you want the best princess film of all, watch The Princess Bride along with Snow White and Cinderella. Disney has made great films, but for me, there's something missing with this one to really make it stand out among others in Disney's catalogue. The film is good entertainment and is a definite must see, I just think there are better Disney films out there than this. If you're a Disney film fan, pick this one up. Even if it's not the greatest in the classics, it's still worth your time.
Super Reviewer
July 25, 2006
A really great film for little girls. Every girl wants to know that when she grows up there will be a handsome prince (or a normal guy) who she will fall in love with and live happily ever after. It IS a fairy tale but that's what Disney is for.
Super Reviewer
August 9, 2011
Classic Disney!
Super Reviewer
March 16, 2011
This is the greatest princess film ever told, and I know im a guy, but you have to be crazy not to enjoy this film.
Super Reviewer
June 24, 2011
A childhood favourite and a classic!
Super Reviewer
½ June 23, 2011
Another classic. Unfortunatelly the new Spanish translation is TERRIBLE. Legal issue. It's a shame.
Super Reviewer
½ March 28, 2010
Cinderella is your basic Disney Princess movie; near perfect. This great characters, dangerously tolerable music, and flawless animation. Like all these fairytale adaptions, this manages to bring the best elements of the core story and present it to us in a way that is both fun and highly re-watchable. When you stay away from being trying to be so socially relevant and inappropriately referencing pop culture, it makes your movie all the more digestible and mature in the long run. Now that doesn't work for live action, but it does wonders for animation.
Super Reviewer
September 30, 2006
Cinderella is full of lush and beautiful animation. Too bad the story isn't as good. Not Disney's best but its not awful.
Super Reviewer
September 5, 2010
This was never one of my favourite stories as a kid, and I saw this movie when I was older, so I thought it was kind of silly and it didn't impress me much. Of course, it isn't a bad movie, I just don't care for it.
Super Reviewer
½ July 21, 2010
Super Reviewer
March 19, 2010
That shows you that you can make things happen.
Super Reviewer
September 9, 2007
Again and Again walt disney have produced fantastic classic that i grew up with and the i so enjoy very much!!
A great classic !!
Super Reviewer
February 6, 2010
I love this fairytale.
Super Reviewer
½ September 10, 2009
"Cinderella" is a movie about Cinderella, a girl who's father died and she has no choice but to live with her sickeningly wicked stepmother and her equally hateful stepsisters. Cinderella is nothing but a slave to all three of them, they make her do every chore in the house while they do what what they want to. But Cinderella thinks she might have a chance to go to the Ball at the castle where the prince will choose a wife. Cinderella's stepmother tells Cinderella that she can go to the Ball if she does all her chores and if she has something to wear, with IF being the main word. Of course, the stepmother and the two stepsisters will do everything they can to keep Cinderella from having a chance to go to the Ball or have anything else go good for her. But with the help of Cinderella's many animal friends, especially the mice, and her Fairy Godmother, she just might have a chance to go to the Ball and escape from her current, dreadful life.
Ever since I was a kid, I've always enjoyed watching "Cinderella." What makes "Cinderella" a great movie are all the entertaining characters that are in the movie. All the characters from the wicked stepmother, to Cinderella, and even the animals are well done and they're all entertaining in their own way. The songs in "Cinderella" are pretty good, but they're not some of the best from the Disney movies in my opinion. But "Cinderella" does have some of the best animation out of any of the classic Disney animated movies, and it has many memorable parts such as when the mice are toying with Lucifer the cat, when the Fairy Godmother helps Cinderella out, and of course, the part that everyone remembers, when Cinderella loses her glass slipper. I recommend anyone who likes classic animated movies to get "Cinderella." NOTE: That was my Amazon review from the year 2001. Yet another surefire Disney classic that's over half a century old but still holds up very well.
Super Reviewer
½ July 31, 2009
animated films. gotta love em
Super Reviewer
November 23, 2006
This fairy tale of Walt Disney animated movie is delightful. The mice characters are among the studio's best, and the story moves along at a good clip.
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