Thursday, January 14, 2010

Walt Disney Animation Studio Part 12: Cinderella

Series Intro: Here's Part 12 of this multi-part retrospective of Walt Disney Animation Studios' endeavors. They'll mostly be in release date order, save for those that aren't available on DVD at Netflix. (Numbers will be skipped to note missing movies)

Some background info (compiled from Wikipedia and imdb and my own knowledge of the movie).

Official Title: Cinderella
Release: February 15, 1950
Running Time: 72 minutes
Estimated Cost: $2,900,000 (1950) ($26,031,410.79 (2009))
Estimated Revenue: $85,000,000 (1950) ($752,299,839.02 (2008)) (just a smidge over the 3mill (1942) that Bambi brought in... which was WDAS' last true feature length release before Cinderella)
Overall Rating: 3 stars out of 5

Plot Summary:
Cinderella's father had died and she is now living, as a servant, with her step-mother and step-sisters. Cinderella helps a new mouse escape a trap, gives him clothes and starts her daily chores to make sure her step-family's lives are wonderful. Cinderella appears happy through all these chores and such. While Cindy is working, we get a side story of Lucifer the cat and the mice Gus Gus and Jack as they get into many different happenstances throughout the story. Another sub-plot consists of King Charming trying to find a princess for his son, when he decides that every eligible maiden in the village should attend a ball. Well, Cindy's mice and bird friends work to make her gown while she's off doing her chores, but at the last moment the step-sisters ruin the dress. Cindy's Fairy Godmother comes, makes mischief with the animals and turns Cindy into a beautiful princess.

After wooing the Prince, by dancing the night away, the clock strikes 12 and Cindy must return home for the magic is ending. But lucky for the Prince, she leaves behind a shoe (that isn't transformed when the magic is over). He sends a search the next day for a woman who fits this shoe, and despite Lady Tremain's (step-mother) best effort and because of Jaq and Gus Gus, Cindy finds a way to prove she is the Prince's mystery date and the two promptly get married.  

Cinderella, A Dream Is A Wish Your Heart Makes, Oh Sign Sweet Nightingale, The Work Songs, Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boo, and So This Is Love

A Dream I A Wish Your Heart Makes would become one of those staple songs that would represent the ideas of WDAS productions for ages to come.

Plot Rating: 3 stars out of 5

How nice it was to have a through line for the entire movie again. But the side plot of Lucifer (the cat) and Jaq and Gus Gus doing anything seemed more of a filler than adding anything of value to the plot. It was as if, WDAS had forgotten how to make a strong plot since Bambi (more like Pinocchio). While watching their interactions I felt like I was watching a Tom and Jerry cartoon.

Animation Rating: 3 out of 5

The cartooniness of several of the previous WDAS releases was gone. Real actors were used once again as models for the cast, thus giving the characters a more realistic feel (unlike the humans in the packaged films). Cindy could also emote much more than her previous princess predecessor, Snow White.

What really keeps this from getting a higher rating is background art. Bambi had amazing backgrounds, while for Cindy the background was very undefined. Looking at the castle, it's actually hard to see how Imagineers created the Walt Disney World castle.

I also have to say though, I saw this movie on my old VHS, because it was put back into the Disney Vault back in 2008.

The Test of Time:

Considering Cindy heads the Princess campaign, has had 2 direct to video sequels, has a real life castle in Florida, I would say this movie still kits home as a happy ending movie.

Now, I'd like to comment on this movie from a feminist stand point. How ridiculous is it for Cindy to marry Prince Charming after just a few hours of dancing? I do understand that Fairy Tales are just that, but still, this just doesn't fly anymore (Tiana from Princess and the Frog at least spent several days with Naveen before marrying him).

Next Up:
(Should be) Alice In Wonderland (but because of the vault, things will be out of order)


1 comment:

janice said...

Cindy's Fairy Godmother comes, makes mischief with the animals and turns Cindy into a beautiful princess.

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