When Cinderella was released in 1950 it cost an astronomical amount of nearly $3 million bucks. Its success was necessary to avoid the collapse of Disney Studios. Luckily, it was a monster hit producing cash, again and again, in theater release. Not to mention the associated products and recordings that padded the profits. If it had not been a colossal success there would probably not have been more animated Disney features or TV shows or Disneyland and no fun for anybody, anywhere from 1950 on.
The newest release is a completely restored Blu-Ray edition that looks as spectacular as it did in 1950, but with some pretty neat extras. While normally selling for $30, it can be found in various places for under $20. What a Christmas treat. For those with young ladies who have never seen this classic, it is a chance for them to see it in the same glory as when it was released.
There is a new hero in the part of Prince Charming. The term “Prince Charming” is never voiced in the film so it is assumed he is charming. He seems like a nice guy unless crossed. Since no name is ever mentioned, for all we know his name was Orville. PC was voiced by actor William Phipps who was born in 1922 and is still going strong. He last acted in 2000, but don’t count him retired until he makes the announcement. When the Prince sings, it’s the voice of Mike Douglas who is best remembered for his daily TV show from 1965 to 1975. The voice of Cinderella is that of Ilene Woods in her only screen credit. She reportedly beat out 309 others who auditioned for the part. Veteran movie and TV actress Eleanor Audley voices the evil stepmother. She also voices Maleficent in Disney’s Sleeping Beauty (1959).
This film was said to contain Walt’s personal all-time favorite animated scene when Cinderella’s torn dress is transformed into the white ball gown. Listen for Goofy’s voice hollering when the King and Grand Duke fall from the chandelier.
When people visit any of the Disney theme parks they carry guidebooks which help them find “hidden Mickeys” at various places and on rides throughout the parks. In Cinderella you can find them on the wedding carriage in the coat of arms and when she sings “Sing, Sweet Nightingale.” The Mickey appears in three bubbles. I have never revealed where my hidden Mickey is located. You probably didn’t want to know anyway.
Also on the BR DVD is a great slapstick, short-subject follow up to the Disney film about Rapunzel Tangled (2010). The raucous short is all about what happens at the wedding ceremony between Rapunzel and her beau, Flynn Ryder. There is also a nice intro by Walt’s daughter, Diane Disney Miller, about the Disney family museum and the Cinderella movie.
Other than the intro at the beginning of Cinderella explaining how she came to be involved with the evil stepmother and the two evil stepsisters, the entire Cinderella story takes place in just a little over 24 hours. Makes the story seem action packed.
Rated 4.0 out of 4.0 reasons anybody who watches this classic will live happily ever after for at least 24 hours.