Animated Movies, Blu-ray/DVD, Disney, Reviews

[Blu-ray Review] Cinderella (Walt Disney Signature Edition)

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Walt Disney’s Cinderella is being re-released on Blu-ray today as part of the Walt Disney Signature Collection. With some brand new bonus features for 2019, and plenty of old ones, if you don’t own this film yet, now is the perfect time to buy it.

The Film

 Cinderella is a classic Disney movie, beloved by millions. This story has been made and remade countless times, but Disney’s version will always be the definitive version for so many people. From the animation, to the music, to the characters, good and evil; everything about this movie is absolutely iconic.

Personally I love the characters in this film. Cinderella’s Fairy Godmother is one of the best non-mother, maternal characters of early Disney. She’s funny, cute, she has a great musical number, and really, if you want to get right down to it, she’s the one who saves Cinderella. She just used the Prince as kind of a fortunate byproduct of Cinderella’s desire to escape her awful family for a night.

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Lady Tremaine is one of Disney’s best villains, and not because she has powerful magic and wants to rule the kingdom, world, sea, or universe. No, her brand of villainy is subtle, manipulative, and human. She is a very human version of evil, and to me, that makes her more terrifying than your Maleficents or your Ursulas, any day.

Even the side characters are great. Cinderella’s animal friends are cute and fun, the royal family is entertaining, even if the prince isn’t developed as much as some would like, and Cinderella’s step-sisters are perfectly, and hilariously, horrid.

Cinderella herself is such a great character, even if she has gotten a bad rap in recent years. People like to criticize her for not standing up for herself, being too subservient, and just not having any admirable qualities in general for kids to look up to. However if you actually watch this film, you’ll realize that none of this could be further from the truth!

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Cinderella is such an admirable character in so many ways that no one seems to give her credit for. Her family is awful, but she can’t just pull a Mulan and fight her way out of a bad situation. In her day and age, she really doesn’t have many options of where she can go if she did leave her family, so she’s kind of caught between a rock and a hard place.

Cinderella chooses to make the best of a bad situation, which is arguably harder than leaving. She is kind and loyal to her friends, and all of this, at least to me, is definitely someone I would aspire to be like. Cinderella has the kind of attitude I can only wish I had some days, and my job is nowhere near as degrading as hers!

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Aside from the characters, this movie is just a masterpiece on so many levels. The backgrounds, animation, and design, based on the great Mary Blair’s artwork, is all top-notch, classic Disney. Just gorgeous to look at. And the music in this film is so well written, so memorable, so catchy, and just so good, that it is used to this day, almost 70 years later, even more than so many of the other movies that have come after it.

There’s not much more I can say about the film itself that hasn’t already been said, though I will add, for animation purists, it is worth noting that the version presented in the Signature Edition, is the same restored version included in the Diamond Edition from 2012. Some fans felt that the transfer was too bright, and some of the subtler details were being washed out, so if you were looking for an original, untouched version of the film, sadly, you’ll have to keep looking.

If you would like more Cinderella content, check out our previous review of the film, in addition to our review of the Cinderella Diamond Edition Blu-ray.

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Bonus Features

Since we’re here to talk about the Blu-ray, let’s take a look at the list of everything that’s included. There are two new bonus features made exclusively for this set, so let’s look at those first.

  • In Walt’s Words: The Envisioning of Cinderella
  • Try This Trivia on for Size

These two new features are almost polar opposites of each other. At almost an hour and a half, “In Walt’s Words” is a rather substantial bonus feature. This is a very different kind of commentary, using photos, concept art, and dramatic recreations with voice actors to tells the story of how the film came to be. Definitely worth a watch.

However, the second one is… skippable. This featurette features stars of the Disney Channel series Sydney to the Max, Ruth Righi and Ava Kolker, doing a trivia style back and forth, comedy feature all about the movie. Unless you have children familiar with the kids in the short, this is a very meh feature. It’s definitely made for the Disney Channel set, and I didn’t really find it interesting or funny.

The rest of these bonus features are ones that have been made for previous releases, which we’ve reviewed here. There are so many that I won’t do a deep dive into what they all are but, I’ll include a list so you know what you’re getting. Like all bonus features, there are bound to be ones that are more substantial than others, but everything here is definitely interesting.

  • Diane Disney Miller Introduction
  • From Rags to Riches: The Making of Cinderella
  • The Cinderella That Almost Was
  • The Magic of the Glass Slipper: A Cinderella Story
  • The Real Fairy Godmother
  • Alternate Opening Sequence
  • Cinderella Title Song
  • From Walt’s Table: A Tribute to the Nine Old Men
  • The Art of Mary Blair
  • Behind the Magic: A New Disney Princess Fantasyland
  • 1922 Laugh-O-Grams: Cinderella
  • Excerpt from The Mickey Mouse Club with Helen Stanley
  • Radio Program excerpts and interviews – Village Store, Gulf Oil Presents, and Scouting the Stars
  • Theatrical Trailers – The Original 1950 Trailer, as well as trailers from the re-releases in 1965, 1973, 1981, and 1987.

As you can see, this set has a lot to offer. If you have an older copy, there’s probably not quite enough to entice you to upgrade, but if you’re like me, and you don’t own this movie yet, then now is definitely the time to grab Cinderella on Blu-ray or Digital HD!

Purchase Cinderella (Walt Disney Signature Collection)

An advance copy of the ‘Cinderella (Walt Disney Signature Collection’ Blu-ray was provided by Walt Disney Home Entertainment.

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Edited by: Morgan Stradling

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About Jonathan North

Jonathan North is writer, photographer, video editor, and animation fan from Iowa. He studied advertising and design at Iowa State University, and also has degrees in multimedia and art. His favorite movie is Fantasia, and his favorite cartoon is Gravity Falls. Or maybe Steven Universe. He can’t decide. You can find more of his work on his blog, as well as his Podcast and YouTube channel, where he reviews animation, movies, TV, or whatever else his guests feel like talking about. You can find him on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, @jonjnorth.