CINDERELLA II: DREAMS COME TRUE
Review by Michael Jacobson
Jennifer Hale, Rob Paulsen, Corey Burton, Tress MacNeille, Holland
Taylor, Russi Taylor
Director: John Kafka
Audio: Dolby Digital 5.1, DTS 5.1
Video: Anamorphic Widescreen 1.66:1
Studio: Walt Disney
Features: See Review
Length: 73 Minutes
Release Date: December 18, 2007
matter how your heart is grieving,
If you keep on believing,
The dream that you wish will come true.
earliest movie memory is being seven years old and going with my parents to see Cinderella.
It was actually the second part of a double bill with the God awful
live action film One of Our Dinosaurs is Missing.
I couldn’t forget that one fast enough.
But Cinderella was an entirely different story.
was a picture that captured my heart like very few have in my life.
It was a movie that made me believe in magic.
It was filled with wonderful characters, like Cinderella, her valiant
mice friends Jaq and Gus, the delightful Fairy Godmother…it was also filled
with horrible ones, to, like the Stepmother, the stepsisters Anastasia and
Drizella, and the awful but funny cat Lucifer.
And, of course, there were characters with NO character, like the
handsome but undeniably bland Prince.
of me viewed the direct-to-video sequel Cinderella II:
Dreams Come True with a bit of distrust.
After watching it, part of me still thinks I should.
But some films charm you in spite of their flaws, and before long, I
realized Cinderella II was really like sitting down with a bunch of old
friends I hadn’t seen in far too long…along with the rare delight of seeing
how little they’ve changed.
gang’s all here, in other words. Cinderella
may be a princess now, but she’s still just as sweet as ever.
Her mice friends are still the plucky stalwarts we remembered.
The Stepmother still sends a cold chill up the spine. And the Prince still has no character.
is a three part story, each one probably angled toward young girls, and each
repeating the worthwhile moral of just being yourself. Cinderella
learns this in the first story, when the royal banquet is left in her charge for
the first time, and she and her friends find themselves stifled by countless
years of tradition. Taking a
chance, she decides to throw the party her way, which means open curtains,
better food, better music, and the presence of commoners as well as royalty.
The result, as you can guess, is the best bash the castle has ever
seen…and a newfound appreciation for the princess’ abilities to do things
her own way.
the mouse learns the valuable lesson about being himself in the second story.
Convinced that he can no longer help Cinderella the way he used to since
she’s become a princess, the Fairy Godmother grants his wish to become a
human. But humans don’t have all
the answers either, and when a crisis erupts, it turns out only Jaq the mouse
and NOT Jaq the human can save the day for Cinderella.
final story has the most heart and humor. Cinderella’s
wicked stepsister Anastasia finds herself falling in love with a simple baker,
much to the chagrin of her vain mother. To
make her dream come true, Anastasia not only has to go against her mother for
the first time, but she has to learn to believe there’s something inside
herself that’s worthwhile…and Cinderella sets out to help.
“You’re beautiful,” Anastasia complains at first.
“It’s always been easy for you.”
“That’s not how I remember it…” Cinderella replies.
Anastasia’s story is the story of our favorite evil feline Lucifer, who falls
in love with the mice’s new nemesis, the cat of the castle Pom Pom.
The mice agree to help their old enemy, IF he’ll promise to stop
chasing mice. Can he do it, folks?
WILL he do it?
most direct-to-video releases from Disney, there is a noticeable let down in
quality. The animation appears
flatter, and some bits, like when Cinderella climbs a staircase, are so lazily
done as to be inexcusable. But the
characters all look like we remember them, thank goodness, and even sound the
parts as well thanks to a talented voiceover cast.
The music is fine, but the songs don’t come close to the magic of “A
Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes” or “Sing Sweet Nightingale”…though
fans are treated to a chorus or two from “Bippity Boppity Boo”.
for all the critiques I could make against it, I have to say, I still found Cinderella
II to be charming despite its imperfections. It was great seeing these characters again, and meeting the
new ones, too. In fact, I got the
biggest, longest laugh I’ve had in a long time when Anastasia’s beloved
baker was introduced…he looks EXACTLY like me!!
(Sorry…requests for autographs must be sent through my talent
characters and a good message make this a film worth sharing with your
kids…and if there’s going to be a Cinderella III, I say, more power
pleased that Disney offered an anamorphic widescreen transfer for a
direct-to-video release…had they gone with full frame, no one could have
really complained. Like most
animated films, it’s a bright, colorful offering that translates well on
DVD…the only complaint, as mentioned before, is that it’s a bit flatter
looking than the normal Disney fare (read:
theatrical release). That
being said, this is still a quality offering that suits the subject matter
choice of Dolby Digital or DTS 5.1 tracks for Cinderella II?
Dreams DO come true! This
is a pleasant, vibrant listen from start to finish with good dynamic range and
clear dialogue, and terrific sounding musical orchestrations from beginning to
end. The rear stages don’t get
much discreet use, but they along with the .1 channel make the music sound even
fuller. A good effort.
The features are mostly aimed at the kids, starting with a storybook that lets you either read along with Fairy Godmother or by yourself. There is also an interactive game that lets you help Cinderella get ready for the big banquet in three different ways. There is a short featurette on the music of the movie, plus a video for “Put it Together” as sung by Brooke Allison. Rounding out are some DVD ROM extras for the kids, and a slew of coming attractions.