Sunday, October 14, 2012

Cinderella: Diamond Edition Blu-ray Review

As we’re doing our final preparations to record our milestone 100th episode, I look back and realize that it’s been almost a year since the Disney Film Project reviewed Cinderella back in Episode 51 of our Podcast.  I’ve always borrowed or rented this movie over the years, as for some reason as I had just never gotten around to purchasing a copy.  Now Disney has released their Blu-ray Diamond Edition of Cinderella, and provided me with a copy for review, and let me tell you this is an amazing release of the movie.  

It is chock so full of extras I can’t even cover them all here.  Not only did they provide great new bonus features, they also included all of the original DVD bonus features that have been collected over the years.  I’ve spent literally hours going through these features alone. Including several play options, one of the simplest, yet most interesting is the DisneyView option.  This is a feature that’s been around a few years now, and exists so that movies in older aspect rations can be displayed on newer HD televisions without having a letterboxing effect on the left and right of the screen.  What is done is that special artwork is displayed in those areas instead.  It’s a nice way to enjoy your movie.

You can also start the movie off with an introduction by Diane Disney Miller.  She talks about Walt’s involvement with the movie as well as the Walt Disney Family Museum.  She tells us about all the Cinderella related artwork you can find there, and how important the movie was to him.  Looking forward to go there someday and look around.  Also, for those of you who like to break out their iPads while watching, Disney also has provided a Second Screen App to bring an interactive element to watching.  Having sat through a few movies this way in the past, they are great fun.

One of my favorite features on the Blu-ray has to be the piece about Mary Alice O’Connor who you might recognize as the woman who was the inspiration for Disney’s Fairy Godmother.  We learn that when Disney was in the pre-production stages of the movie they were having a designing a look and feel for Fairy Godmother.  Layout artist Ken O’Connor and husband to Mary Alice took a stab at it by envisioning how she might look when she was older.  When Walt saw his sketches he approved it immediately and the rest is history. We also learn about how the Mary Alice O'Connor Family Center came to be.

There is a feature on the Blu-ray where actress Ginnifer Goodwin who plays Snow White on Once Upon A Time takes us through “new” Fantasyland. It’s a little odd watching it as the footage is many months old and feels dated considering that park guests have been walking through these changes to Fantasyland for the past few days now, and there is much more up to date information online.  If you’ve been keeping up to date with the expansion you can skip this feature entirely.

Tangled fans will be excited to find a copy of the short Tangled Ever After on the Blu-ray.  This short was originally released back in January 2012 and was shown in front of the 3D release of Beauty and the Beast.  Without spoiling too much, Maximus and Pascal have to rescue the royal wedding of Rapunzel & Flynn and mayhem ensues.  There’s also a short feature about designer Christian Louboutin’s journey to create his own interpretation of Cinderella’s glass slippers.  It’s an okay though drawn out short that was produced by Disney.  Animation fans may enjoy finding some unique characters created for this short.

There are also several of what I like to call “adjusted media” pieces hidden throughout the Blu-ray.  Including an alternate opening for the movie that only ever existed as storyboards and sketches.  What we get is a run through of these sketches and a voiceover that acts them out for us.  We also get some deleted musical pieces that are introduced by Don Hahn.  These include “The Cinderella Work Song” and “Dancing on a Cloud” and there are a number of other unused songs on the Blu-ray as well.  

There are a number of previews on this Blu-ray as well.  Fans will find most interesting one for the upcoming Peter Pan Diamond Edition Blu-ray release.  This Blu-ray will be released on February 5, 2013 to celebrate the 60th Anniversary of the movie. I’m looking forward to it as it’s one of my favorite of the animated classics.

Overall I found this to be one of the most solid Blu-ray releases that Disney has put out to date.  There’s something for everyone who loves Cinderella.  History, nostalgia, and trivia with a very modern touch you can’t go wrong owning this Diamond Edition release. It is a welcome addition to my collection.

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