Directors: Clyde Geronimi, Wilfred Jackson, Hamilton Luske
Writers: Charles Perrault, Bill Peet, Erdman Penner, Ted Sears, Winston Hibler, Homer Brightman, Harry Reeves, Ken Anderson, Joe Rinaldi
Voice Cast: Ilene Woods, Eleanor Audley, Verna Felton, Rhoda Williams, James MacDonald, Luis Van Rooten, Don Barclay
Synopsis: When Cinderella's cruel stepmother prevents her from attending the Royal Ball, she gets some unexpected help from the lovable mice Gus and Jaq, and from her Fairy Godmother.
MPAA Rating: G
Note: In honor of my upcoming review of the live action remake, I decided to review the original animated classic as well. Enjoy.
8.7 / 10
- Great animation
- Songs are fairly decent and memorable
- Characters are developed and written well
- Nicely paced
- Cinderella is a great protagonist, and she's a very relatable character to follow.
- Voice acting was great
- Forced romance that relies on the gimmicky "love at first sight" nonsense.
Bibbidi Bobbidi Boo! On with the review!
Like most of America, I too grew up on a lot of classic Disney films over the years. Some were good. Some were bad, and some fell right in the middle. Although "Cinderella" is considered an animated classic by a lot of people, I'd be lying if I said the movie itself wasn't a tad dated by today's standards. Don't get me wrong, it's a good movie. In fact, I would still consider it miles ahead of "Sleeping Beauty" and "Snow White" in terms of it's writing.
However, the romance still relies on that cliché "love at first sight" nonsense, which allows the writers to substitute character development with cheap lazy writing to move the story along. It's because of this cheap writing device that the romance between Cinderella and Prince Charming seems a bit forced. And as a result, Prince Charming is essentially nothing more than "Gary Stu" kind of character.
But then again, we have to remember the romance wasn't the whole basis of the story itself. As the great Walt Disney himself once put it, we all struggle at some point in our lives, and we often wish for a chance to catch our big break. In some ways, "Cinderella" plays upon that theme quite well. And on that merit, it makes her character highly relatable.
"Cinderella" isn't a particularly well written for animated feature, but it's fairly entertaining for what it is. Granted, Cinderella isn't as developed as some of the recent Disney princesses like Mulan, Anna and etc, but she was one of the first that didn't rely on the cliché archetype of a man to save her at every whim.
Sure, she had some help along the way, but throughout most of the film, she was shown to be quite resourceful, and independent. And unlike the bland protagonist that we saw in "Sleeping Beauty", Cinderella was certainly no "Mary Sue" type of character either. For instance. When her step sisters tore up the dress she was wearing in an earlier scene, we saw that she was capable of being hurt and heartbroken. When we see her bursting into tears after working so hard on her chores, we couldn't help but feel sad for her. Not to mention how she was able to save herself around the ending, which already makes her one of the most independent Disney princesses of all time.
Granted, the ending is kind of cheesy, and the romance between Prince Charming and Cinderella seems forced. And by that, I mean they literally don't say a freaking word to each other. See each other from a distance for the first time. Both seem to find each other attractive, and they magically fall in love. Oh boy...if only real life was that easy....
Needless to say, this is one of the biggest problems that I've always had with some of the earlier Disney princess movies because it supports the whole "love at first sight" shtick, which could be very dangerous for kids to pick up on for obvious reasons.
However, it's mostly harmless though for what it is. As I mentioned earlier, "Cinderella" is a decent fairy tale story full of charm and wit. Like most of the earlier Disney films, the supporting characters tend to overshadow the main protagonist quite a bit, and "Cinderella" is certainly no exception.
The mice serve as the comic reliefs of this picture, and they provide a third person perspective on Cinderella's horrendous situation. It's through the mice's point of view, we're able to hear commentary on Cinderella's character throughout the movie, which gives the audience a clear understanding of what kind of character she is.
I especially loved the evil stepmother, Lady Tremaine, as her conniving cynical attitude plays the perfect contrast to Cinderella's unbridled optimistic charm. And the ugly step sisters are deliciously evil and funny as heck at times. Often straddling the line of being portrayed as moronic clowns to being straight up b****** half the time.
Overall, I wouldn't say that "Cinderella" is a bad movie. Sure, the writing for it isn't that great compared to today's standards, but the overall themes and morals of the story still holds up to this day. The supporting characters are portrayed well, and Cinderella is portrayed as being a highly relatable character.
Whether your a Disney fan or not, "Cinderella" is worth checking out.
Bibbidi Bobbidi Boo (The Oscar nominated song by Walt Disney Pictures)
© 2015 Steven Escareno