Disney’s Cinderella (1950)
To start off my first Review and Previews for this next month with #ChildhoodFavourties Series. I will be reviewing the much loved Cinderella by Disney.
Cinderella is an adaption of the european folk-tale Cendrillion, that is a moral tale of injustice and oppression and the result of enduring it with kindness and hope and the consequences of those who inflict suffering on others.
Now there are several variations to the tale, some gory others quite tame, but thanks to a little bit of research (on wikipedia I might add) Disney adapted the 1697 version by Charles Perrault.
Cinderella, A young ill-treated maiden is forced to live life as a hand maiden after her father dies. Constantly on hand and foot for her evil and incredibly spiteful step-mother and step-sisters, Cinderella the endearing and happy go lucky young woman, very suddenly finds her life turned around when a frustrated king decides it is time for his son, Prince Charming to get married.
Thanks to a couple of cute squeaky mice and the famous words bippity boppity boo, Cinderella is turned from maid to princess in a snap, and then she is whisked away in her iconic glass slippers to a night of love and dancing that she nor the prince will ever forget.
When I think of the story, Cinderella is a simple yet uplifting tell of good things coming to those who wait, but in the case of Cinderella to those who endure. Even though Cinderella’s dream, that one wish of hers wasn’t made quite clear in the actual story and seemed to be hijacked by her love for the prince, It still doesn’t negate the fact that it is a story of hope and belief. Ultimately not giving up on your dreams.
While the story of Cinderella, may not be every woman’s cup of tea due to the fact that, her happy ending comes from her getting married, I would still argue that there is still a lot of good in the story to teach young girls about kindness, enduring and never giving up.
Now some of my criticism actually lie in two things Gus, the mouse and the original story. I remember as a child, Gus being so stupid that it annoyed me a great deal and stopped Cinderella from being my most favourite disney classic, but then to be reminded just how infuriatingly stupid he was just never made me appreciate his character or really get into some bit of the story that involved him doing anything meaningful.
Second is the prince not remembering what the girl he fell in love with looked like, and it being decided by who could fit their feet in first rather than just finding the woman who had the missing slipper. Prince Charming were you really going to marry the red haired vixen over the blonde bun haired damsel you were dancing with the night before?
No? Of course not!
As always Disney have the trademark of outlining their characters design’s respective colours rather than outlining in black or brown. This gives for a more softer look and more appealing character designs that capture the eyes in a non-intrusive way.
The designs of characters are quite simple designs making use of basic shapes to introduce archetypes, opting for simpler character designs allowed for more detailed and extravagant backgrounds.
With the most stunning scene being Cinderella at the ball. The shift from a golden washed ballroom to the dazzling blue evening garden. This scene will surely carry you away to a dreamy state of romance.
The animator’s for Cinderella really showed off how well they can animate. The animation is masterfully done, the fluidity, the appeal, the essence of characters is all well captured.
Movements are lively and feel very real and this is due to the fact that a lot of the animation comes from studying real people interacting and moving.
Some of the best animation comes from the scene with Cinderella at the ball. I noticed that Disney really take their time with pacing the characters, when things slow down they really slow creating an almost tranquil moment of romance and life but as soon as things get hectic when that clock ticks twelve, Cinderella still keeps a certain poise and manner in her movement that is suitable for her personality and really heralds Disney as masters of their craft.
Music is always accompanying scenes, and no scene is left without background music for too long. It definitely creates ambience and sets the mood and it wasn’t until i openly looked out for music I saw how much it really sets a scene and builds up anticipation.
As a young girl the “chipmunk” singing from the mice was funny and cute and well… fun. Now at the lovely age of 22, I really found it annoying. After 15 years, 2 Alvin and the Chipmunks films and a generational wave of auto-tune, it was something that I was surprised to remember as not being too bad as a kid.
All in all the soundtrack for Cinderella is extremely catchy especially the main theme, “A dream is a wish your heart makes” this soft calming pick me up ballad will makes sure to inject a healthy dose of hope and positive thoughts before the story even begins, and it is a song that I reckon is unforgettable.
When watching Cinderella again I most definitely noticed that that stood out greatly was the animation and music to tell a story that is renowned as a classic in storytelling. Though design isn’t pixel perfect neither is it shabby, but when comparing Cinderella to a lot of Disney’s later works, Disney has improved a drastic amount setting the bar in its standards throughout the years.
As their studio has grown through the decades, so has their understanding of cinematography and storytelling. With Cinderella being one of their earliest feature lengths, in an industry that was still finding its feet artistically and commercially, Disney did an outstanding job for their time.
Nostalgia aside Cinderella presents a simple tale with a good moral attached to it and I did quite enjoy watching the film again, it never gets old no matter how many times I have seen it.
Now if you aren’t an owner of a DVD and if you have long lost your VHS copy of Cinderella, you’ll be glad to know that Cinderella is in fact free to watch on Amazon Prime, if you are a prime member and of course on Netflix.