A couple of weeks ago, we saw the extended preview for Cinderella over at Hollywood Studios and thought the visuals looked really good. I was a little apprehensive as the preview looked and sounded great. There was no real way to determine if the movie was any good. I still think Maleficent looks amazing, and I enjoyed that score, but based on the reviews it did not fare that well. Maybe one day I’ll put the blu-ray in and actually see for myself. Anyway, sorry for the tangent… It is safe to say we all know the story of Cinderella in one form or another. Disney’s animated Cinderella has been around for about 65 years and the fairy tale has been around for centuries, but a spectacular sounding film with incredible visuals will not carry a weak screenplay. That’s enough of my rambling (I hope); moving on…
On Saturday, I had the opportunity to see the live action version of Cinderella at the Disney Parks Blog meet up. The original plan was to go with my daughter, but she opted to go to lunch with Emily and her friends. Overall, I thought the retelling of the classic fairy tale was really well done. I really appreciated the time spent on Ella’s background and the character development, which in turn gives you a better insight into why Lady Tremaine, Drisella and Anastasia treat Ella the way that they do. The film did not shy away from the emotional lows in Ella’s childhood, which helped amplify Cinderella’s message to have courage and to be kind. The story told was more of Ella’s real life story and with a moderate injection of Disney princess magic.
Patrick Doyle incorporated some of the memorable melodies from the animated version for this installment in place of the sing-along style of the classic. After one viewing, the score was not that memorable, but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t any good. It was not until my pre-order arrived and I had the time to listen to the score over and over and again that I realized it was a solid score. It is an excellent soundtrack to play as background music while you are working. The are plenty of subtle hints of Lavender Blue and Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boo through the elegant orchestra score. If you are curious about a bonus after the credits, there isn’t one; but I suggest hanging around for the credits to hear Helen Bonham Carter’s rendition of Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boo which is also included on the soundtrack. Even better is the fact the soundtrack contains about 72 minutes of actual score which is not bad for a film that runs 105 minutes! The digital download includes the instrumental tracks for Strong, A Dream Is A Wish Your Heart Makes and Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boo.
Overall, I’d have to recommend the Cinderella, especially if you are on the fence. I hope to take my daughter, as the film does have a great message which was taught to young Ella by her mother.
I am sure there will be a fair percentage of movie goers who are just headed out to see Cinderella for the new Frozen Fever short that is attached. Let’s be honest – Disney is using this to help drive ticket sales. Let me tell you that I enjoyed Frozen and still do, but over time I’ve been burned out with the over saturation. Pushing that aside, I went in with an open mind for Frozen Fever. I have mixed feelings on the Frozen short; on one hand was hilarious, but on the other hand, I felt the new song, Making Today a Perfect Day, with Anna & Elsa was not really necessary to tell the story. However, after repeated plays of the song that was released on March 12th, it is growing on me. Robert Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez incorporated some familiar cues from the original with background score provided by Christophe Beck. If you are interested, there is two minute sample of Beck’s Frozen Fever score on SoundCloud. I really just enjoyed the larger story that was being told and for the comedic elements surrounding the other characters.
Disney also released sing-a-long version of Making Today A Perfect Day.
So the question becomes, should you go out opening weekend, wait for a cruise to see it for “free” on the ship, or wait for home release. Well, that is up to you, but since I hope someone else, other than my wife cares about my opinion here it goes… I, for one, enjoy seeing movies in a theatre and I think the film deserves to be viewed on a big screen and should be seen in a theater. I will leave it up to you to decide if you if 1 hour and 45 minutes is worth giving up on a cruise to watch a movie, or would you rather shell out the cash on land.