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Another Disney animated classic, another must-own Blu-ray edition....
Buena Vista / 74 Minutes / 1950 / Rated G / Street Date: October 2, 2012
Having to stand up for Sleeping Beauty upon its release a few years ago was girly, but calling Cinderella a wonderful film - I might as well put on some lipstick and head for the nail salon.
Oh, screw it - DVDFile isn't about dictating gender roles, so I'll just be honest about it. Even though this new Blu-ray edition of Cinderella is specifically (almost myopically) directed at young girls who love to dress up in tiaras and have slumber parties, this writer continues to find the film an endlessly enjoyable gem, a veritable cavalcade of color and stunning animation prowess.
Everybody and their iguanas have heard the story - pretty girl with nasty siblings goes to the ball in magical style to find Prince Charming but is in jeopardy of being exposed as a fraud at midnight - and the main reason behind that can be tied to this film. Not only did we grow up on these Disney animations of classic fairytales, but also our parents did - Cinderella's over a half-a-century old at this point. It's not just a popular animated film; it literally and irrevocably has become part of our pop culture lexicon.
But the thing that staggers viewers on this BD is the same thing that wowed audiences with the releases of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs and Sleeping Beauty: how the Hell did these people do this? We look at Pixar and all its cutting-edge styles and computer-savvy bravura, but colors and shapes were being manipulated with marvelous results in 1950's Cinderella (and before it, in Bambi and those other titles I mentioned). Pixar always talks about how it's not technology that drives a movie, it's the movie's story; and, that sentiment obviously was part of good ol' Walt's modus operandi as well.
At seventy-four minutes, it's barely even a movie, but Cinderella does what classic Disney does best. It fuses color, music, and fun in ways that are still palatable today. Contemporary animations, like Shrek and Madagascar, will play well for a while, but their cultural newness will age them seriously in coming decades. The movie may have a rather tame narrative, especially for those who love their movies edgy and off-the-cuff, but as far as solid, traditional storytelling goes, one can't find too many examples more prescient and impressive than Cinderella.
I don't care how girly that makes me sound.