Cinderella Story line
In a far away, long ago kingdom, Cinderella is living happily with her mother and father until her mother dies. Cinderella’s father remarries a cold, cruel woman who has two daughters, Drizella and Anastasia. When the father dies, Cinderella’s wicked stepmother turns her into a virtual servant in her own house. Meanwhile, across town in the castle, the King determines that his son the Prince should find a suitable bride and provide him with a required number of grandchildren. So the King invites every eligible maiden in the kingdom to a fancy dress ball, where his son will be able to choose his bride. Cinderella has no suitable party dress for a ball, but her friends the mice, led by Jaques and Gus, and the birds lend a hand in making her one, a dress the evil stepsisters immediately tear apart on the evening of the ball. At this point, enter the Fairy Godmother, the pumpkin carriage, the royal ball, the stroke of midnight, the glass slipper, and the rest, as they say, is fairy tale.
Studio/Year: Walt Disney Animation | 1950
Directors: Clyde Geronimi, Wilfred Jackson, Hamilton Luske
Voices: Ilene Woods, James MacDonald, Eleanor Audley
Genre: Adventure, Family, Fantasy, Musical, Romance
When I first saw ‘Cinderella’, I found it surprising that the mice had so much to do whereas in the fairy tale they were just incidental creatures. But Disney saw that giving them a big role in the main storyline was the key to providing all the humor and suspense needed to spice up the predictable story. The leading mice, Gus and Jaq are delightful creations and the valiant band of mice are given amusing bits of business.
Artistically, the animation art has a rather glossy modern look despite the fact that it’s an old, old story from 1697, a classic children’s fairy tale that has been done countless times as either a film, a play or a ballet. But this version will charm Disney fans young and old with its imaginative use of animation and a splendid collection of tuneful songs.
A highlight is the ‘Cinderella Work Song’ in which the mice make a dress for the mistreated Cinderella, full of inventive comic touches and accompanied by the intricate blend of song and animation. Add to that ‘So This Is Love’, ‘A Dream Is A Wish Your Heart Makes’ and ‘Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boo’ and you have a charming version of the Charles Perrault story.
For villainy, the stepmother and her black cat (Lucifer) are two of the most brilliantly animated creatures in the film. The cat reminds me of a naughty black cat I once owned. The scene where the stepmother is stroking the cat as she gives Cinderella a list of chores is striking in its use of shadow and menace. Along with some dark touches, there is always a bubbling sense of humor, particularly in this sequence.
Cinderella herself comes across as a pleasant heroine with a sense of humor herself, lifelike in her movements and one of Disney’s more successful human figures. Disney’s artists did greater art work in other films but this is a well-structured work, a great combination of music and clever animation. The pace is fast, even allowing for extended scenes of the mice and their shenanigans for the sub-plot. And Lucifer, the cat, makes a wonderful foil for their tricks.
The Disney touch is evident in every scene and makes this charming blend of comedy, music and romance a film with timeless appeal.
Written By: Neil Doyle (IMDB user review)
Review by Brandon at Latest Animated Movies is coming soon.
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