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(Diamond Edition)

Salagadoola mechicka boola bibbidi-bobbidi-boo
Put 'em together and what have you got... bibbidi-bobbidi-boo

CINDERELLA ($40) has always been one of my favorite Disney animated fairy tales. An iconic animated classic, CINDERELLA features all virtues of Disney’s very best movies- beautiful animation, memorable villains, delightful songs and some very helpful animal characters, especially the mice- who are pure Disney invention. Based on the fairy tale Cendrillon by Charles Perrault, CINDERELLA tells the story of an aristocratic household in which a widowed father remarries, so that his much loved daughter, Cinderella, can have a new mother. When her father marries Lady Tremaine, she brings along Drizella and Anastasia, her two daughters from her first marriage, so Cinderella finds herself with two step sisters in addition to a new step-mother. However, Cinderella’s father dies unexpectedly... at which time, Lady Tremaine is revealed to be a cold and calculating woman, who puts her own needs, and those of her plain and awkward daughters, ahead of the beautiful Cinderella. When Lady Tremaine’s lavish lifestyle eats through the family fortune, she forces Cinderella into servitude inside her own home- having her wait upon her and her daughters. Making best of her plight, Cinderella befriends the all of the animals that live on the estate, including the birds and the overly friendly and highly amusing mice. Of course, not every animal appreciates Cinderella’s charms- with Lady Tremaine’s spoiled cat Lucifer being the notable exception.

Meanwhile the elderly King expresses his concerns that his son is still not married and he is without grandchildren. In an effort to introduce his son to all the eligible maidens in the kingdom, the King, with the assistance of his accomplice the Grand Duke, arrange for a ball to be held at the palace in Prince Charming’s honor. Because of the Royal Decree concerning all eligible maidens, Lady Tremaine states she will allow Cinderella to attend the ball "if" she is able to finish all of her work and find something suitable to wear. Of course, Cinderella’s wicked stepmother manipulates the situation against her stepdaughter, leaving Cinderella in tears, as she and her own daughters make their way to the ball. However, this is a fairy tale- one with a Fairy Godmother, who comes to Cinderella’s aid and makes sure that the girl arrives at the ball in grand style... But, of course, the magical enchantments bestowed by Cinderella’s Fairy Godmother all expire at the stroke of midnight. The vocal talent behind CINDERELLA features Ilene Woods, Eleanor Audley, Verna Felton, Lucille Bliss, Rhoda Williams, James MacDonald, Luis Van Rooten, William Phipps, Don Barclay, Mike Douglas and June Foray.

Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment has made CINDERELLA available on Blu-ray Disc in a 1.37:1 aspect ratio presentation that has been encoded onto the disc with the AVC codec. The 1080p presentation is superb; thanks to the same digital magic that that Disney has worked on the film elements of all their Diamond Edition releases. Every frame of CINDERELLA is beautifully represented on Blu-ray, which allows one to appreciate the majesty of the hand painted cels in this classic animated film. Colors are flawless, faithfully maintaining the pastel Technicolor palette of this lovely cinematic fairy tale. Blacks are pure, while the whites appear crisp and clean. Contrast is very smooth. The film elements from which CINDERELLA has been mastered have had all traces of age scrubbed away. Very little noticeable grain appears in the image, but the integrity of the animation doesn’t appear compromised in any way.

CINDERELLA is presented on Blu-ray Disc with a 7.1 channel DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack. For a film that is over six decades old, it should come as no surprise that the multi-channel sound mix doesn't come across as overtly directional. The sound is what I like to call "thickened monaural," which just spreads the sound throughout the soundstage. Dialogue remains locked front and center, while the music is allowed to envelop the listener from all the outlying speakers. Thanks to the lossless encode, the music sound as good as the vintage recordings will allow. The soundtrack has been digitally cleaned to remove all signs of age and sonic limitations inherent in older analogue recordings. Dialogue is clean and easy to understand. A cleaned up version of the film’s original theatrical soundtrack is also present on this release, as are French and Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtracks. Subtitles are available in English, French and Spanish.

Full motion video, animation and sound serve to enhance the interactive menus. Through the menus, one has access to standard scene selection and set up features, as well as the supplemental materials. Starting things off is a brief Introduction By Diane Disney Miller. A Disney View mode is also included, which replaces the black bars on the sides of the image with related artwork. Classic Backstage Disney DVD Features replicate content from the previous DVD release and include the following programs: From Rags To Riches: The Making Of Cinderella, The Cinderella That Almost Was, From Walt's Table: A Tribute to the Nine Old Men, The Art of Mary Blair, a Storyboard-to-Film Comparison, a Laugh-O-Gram, an Excerpt From The Mickey Mouse Club and a Trailer Gallery. Backstage Disney: Diamond Edition offers up new content that includes: The Real Fairy Godmother, Behind the Magic: A New Disney Princess Fantasyland and The Magic of a Glass Slipper: A Cinderella Story. Other content includes: an audio only archive entitled Classic Music & More, an Alternate Opening Sequence concept comprised of storyboard art and Deleted Scenes from storyboard art. Additionally, Tangled Ever After is a new CGI short featuring characters from Disney’s TANGLED. The Disney Second Screen feature that integrates laptops or iPads for additional supplemental content is also included on this release. Personalized Digital Storybook: Bibbidi-Bobbidi-You also makes use of the "Second Screen," even if the feature isn’t playing. Disc two offers a DVD copy of the movie for those who are on the fence about making the upgrade to Blu-ray.

CINDERELLA remains one of my absolute favorite Disney animated fairy tales. The Blu-ray presentation is top of the line Disney. Highly recommended.


Cinderella (Two-Disc Diamond Edition Blu-ray/DVD Combo)(1950)


DVD & Blu-ray Disc reviews are Copyright 2012 THE CINEMA LASER and may not be copied or reprinted without the written consent of the publisher.
THE CINEMA LASER is written, edited and published by Derek M. Germano.



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