Cinderella: The Signature Collection – Blu-ray Review

Cinderella: Walt Disney Signature Collection Blu-ray Cover
In terms of Walt Disney’s animated princess films, Cinderella is easily one of the most beloved. Then again, it’s easy to see why. Cinderella is the heroine who is kind, warm, and gentle. Basically, she’s someone you can easily sympathize with and root for. She’s also a smart and capable character who isn’t naive enough to accept everything around her.

Not to mention, the movie features stellar and realistic character animation. Then again, it’s easy to see why. The Disney animators’ use of live reference models was a revolutionary idea back then. Now, it’s almost common practice for animators to use a live-action reference in their animation. Yet admittedly, I’m not a fan of some of Cinderella’s facial expressions. Some of them do look creepy.

Then there the beautiful and iconic music of the movie. Ilene Woods’ lovely voice hypnotizes you when she sings “A Dream is a Dream Your Heart Makes”. In addition, “Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boo” is a happy-go-lucky toe-tapper of a song. But if you really think about it every song in this film is absolutely perfect.

In terms of the villain, the evil stepmother, and her evil step stepchildren nothing memorable. There really isn’t anything that sets them apart from the other villains. Basically, all they’re known for is being entitled brats. Needless to say, some of us encounter these types of people every day.

Walt Disney has a knack for entertaining audiences and keeping the movie running along at a nice brisk pace. There are zero lull moments and every scene is earned. As a result, the film flies by and is over before you know it.

Overall, Cinderella is Walt Disney’s ultimate fairy tale film. It’s a simple tale that appeals to all genders and all ages. It isn’t just a princess film. Everyone can relate to this kind of rags to riches movie. Maybe that’s why Walt Disney loved this story so much. His life parallels the Cinderella’s in almost every single way.

Movie Rating: 5/5 atoms

Video

Cinderella

Cinderella hits Blu-ray with a 1080p MPEG-AVC with a 1.35:1 aspect ratio. For a film that’s 69-years-old, it’s clear that great care was done to restore the look of the film. There’s not a lot of imperfections or signs of age in this video transfer. The brightness is even all around and the black levels are a deep black.

Mary Blair’s fantastic color palette is perfectly represented in the rich color saturation. But the best part of the video transfer is the clarity of the video. From the characters to the artistic backgrounds, the video looks so pristine. However, there is a softness around the edges if look closely at the video. Overall, this is a fantastic video transfer.

Video Rating: 5/5 atoms

Audio

Cinderella hits Blu-ray with a 7.1 DTS-HD Master Audio track and the “original” DTS-HD Master Audio Mono track. Although the release says 7.1, the fact of the matter is that this is not a true 7.1 audio mix. Much of the surround sound aspect comes from the layered music enveloping the sound stage. Thus, all of the dialogue and sound effects come from the front three channels.

So don’t expect to hear a playful audio mix here. Then again, it only makes sense since the original audio track was a monaural audio track. It wasn’t even done in stereo. Regardless, this audio track is clear and devoid of any crackles and hiss from the vintage source audio.

Audio Rating: 4/5 atoms

Special Features

Cinderella has the following special features on the regular Blu-ray disc:

  • DisneyView
  • In Walt’s worlds: The Envisioning of Cinderella
  • Try This Trivia On For Size
  • Classic Bonus
    • Diane Disney Miller Cinderella Film 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
    • Storyboard to Film Comparison: 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 Helene Stanley (Original Air Date: January 24, 1956)
    • Radio Programs – Original radio shows from the 1940’s/50’s
      • Village Store Excerpt (Original Airdate: March 25, 1948)
      • Gulf Oil Presents Excerpt ca. 1950
      • Scouting the Stars (Original Airdate: February 23, 1950)

As you can see, there are a TON of special features in this release. “In Walt’s Words” is a different and fantastic way to watch the film. As the movie is playing, photos, concept art, and dramatic recreations give us an inside look at the making of the movie. This is easily light-years better than the typical audio commentary. Sadly, “ Try This Trivia On For Size” is a typical and generic Disney Channel bit.

“Film Introduction” is simply an advertisement for the Disney Museum in San Francisco. “Rags to Riches” is a lengthy vintage behind-the-scenes featurette. Here a variety of people cover a wide array of subjects about the movie. “The Cinderella That Almost Was” is a bit of an interesting look at what was cut from the film. Basically, it’s similar to the deleted scenes where you can see that none of these things would add anything to the film.

Unfortunately, “Glass Slipper” is a cheesy short film where Christian Louboutin struggles to design a glass slipper. “The Real Fairy Godmother” tells of the inspiration for the Fairy Godmother. In addition, it talks about real-life parallels between Mary Ellis and the character. The “Alternate Opening Sequence” is another skippable featurette. Sadly, this scene is somewhat similar to the opening scene in the film. However, “Storyboard to Film” is a good complementary piece to the “Alternate Opening Sequence”.

“Title Song” plays the original demo recording of the title song. It’s a wonderful version of the title song. “From Walt’s Table” is a fun roundtable where current big name Disney animators talk about their time with the Nine Old Men. Next, “The Art of Mary Blair” talks in-depth about Mary Blair. She’s basically the unsung hero of Disney Animation in the 40s and 50s. Not to mention, her artwork is so vibrant and special that it’s nice to see a documentary about her work.

“Behind the Magic” gives us an early tour of New Fantasyland at Walt Disney World. With “Laugh-O-Grams” actually shows us Walt Disney’s animated short for Laugh-O-Grams. If you’ve seen the behind-the-scenes featurettes, this short comes up a lot. So it’s nice to see the short in full. “Mickey Mouse Club” is a nostalgic excerpt where the live-action model for Cinderella visits the show. It’s short but it does take you back. Finally, “Radio Programs” is a trip down memory lane. It gives you a look at how radio shows were like back in its heyday.

Special Features Rating: 5/5 atoms


Overall, Cinderella is one of Walt Disney’s finest fairy tale films. It’s an animated classic that essentially saved the studio. The video looks stellar but the audio mix is a bit lackluster. The special features are a treasure trove of special features that’ll entertain and inform everyone.

Overall Rating: 5/5 atoms

This Blu-ray was reviewed using a retail/advance copy/unit provided by Walt Disney Home Entertainment.

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Mark Pacis
Mark Pacis 1471 posts

Self-proclaimed "Human IMDb" and comic book geek. Biggest Iron Man fan you'll probably ever meet.