Cinderella: Platinum Edition

Cinderella: Platinum Edition (1950)
Buena Vista Home Entertainment
Cast: Ilene Woods, Eleanor Audley, Verna Felton, Rhoda Williams, James MacDonald
Extras: Deleted Scenes, "Cinderella" Stories, Documentaries, Featurettes, Games & Activities, Trailers

This simple and yet quite charming story, based on the world's greatest fairytale that has captured the imaginations of audiences, both young and old for countless generations, "Cinderella" makes a grand entrance as it premieres on the DVD format as a 2-Disc "Platinum Edition" from Walt Disney Pictures and Buena Vista Home Entertainment. Combining breathtaking traditional animation and remarkable musical performances throughout, this limited edition of an ageless classic should not be overlooked.

Walt Disney has pulled out all of the stops by granting a full-restoration of their original classic "Cinderella" and it truly shows throughout the impeccable presentation. There really is nothing mediocre to mention about this awesome post-restoration transfer as colors are so deliciously vivid, with a gorgeous black level that showcases every detail imaginable. This transfer of "Cinderella" is simply the best this film has every looked, period. No visible compression artifacts or even the slightest visible spec of dust could be found anywhere within the presentation, just a complete treasure that waits to be experienced.

The sound options include an all-new Dolby Digital 5.1 "Disney Enhanced Home Theater Mix", which comes available in your choice of English, French or Spanish.
The soundtrack is quite pleasant overall, with vocals and the rather abundant song inspired presentation sounding crisp, clean and natural in reproduction. Good use of all available channels, as well as rich deep bass that further enhances your listening experience in the home theater setting.

"Cinderella" is the latest featured "2-Disc Platinum Special Edition" DVD set (for those of you not aware, Disney releases grand editions of their treasured classics to the DVD format only twice a year, typically in the months of October and February) Disney has added everything you could dream up to include in this special "limited time only" edition.

Accompanying the feature presentation on disc one is a featurette titled "Cinderella Stories: Presented by ESPN Classic", this was an unexpected addition that made a nice touch; I mean who would think that "Cinderella" and sports had any connection whatsoever? Well, if you decided to check out this feature, all will be understood. Also on disc one is the first portion of the feature "Music and More" that delves into music from the film, some utilized and some left out of the final presentation, with performances and behind-the-music perspectives. Completing this disc is a nice "Sneak Peeks" section, featuring some Disney DVD trailers, which also happens to include a trailer for the upcoming February 2006 fully-restored presentation of "Lady and the Tramp: 2-Disc Platinum Edition"

Loading up disc two will quite possibly overwhelm your senses in your quest for more. Separated into four sections, we are first treated to a "Deleted Scenes" portion of the extra features that showcases 9 minutes and 50 seconds of omitted footage from "Cinderella".

The second portion of the "Music and More" section features "Cinderella and Perry Como", performance of the "Cinderella" title song, radio programs from the era and a total of 7 unused songs, all presented in audio only while displaying a static background. Moving into the "Games and Activities" section, there is a feature titled "The Royal Life" that is also split into three sub-sections containing; how to "Look like a Princess", "Live like a Princess" and "Act like a Princess". Here, a young female host takes you on a tour of what aspiring young princesses could wear, while shopping in some of the coolest areas of New York City in the "Look like a Princess" featurette. Joined by two cast members from ABC's "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition", the section titled "Live like a Princess", focuses on the remodeling of a typical young ladies bedroom that is sure to pose a threat to some parents wallets after viewed by some of the younger females that are the intended audience for this section of the special features. Rounding out this department of the special features is "Act like a Princess" that has the young host interviewing real-life princess, Catherine Oxenberg, as she dishes pointers to young ladies on how to act more royal-like.

Disney has also included an extensive behind-the-scenes area for more technical information on the making of "Cinderella" in an area titled "Backstage Disney". There you will find the terrific 38 minute documentary "From Rags to Riches: The Making of Cinderella", which will give you a great insight into the production. The featurette titled "The Cinderella That Almost Was" examines old documents, photos and drawings that were unearthed from the Disney vaults, showing just how different the original conception of "Cinderella" really was from the presentation we have all come to admire, some really interesting material is exhibited for aspiring film historians and purists to enjoy.

"From Walt's Table: A Tribute to Disney's Nine Old Men", hosted by Joel Siegel, features interviews with some of the leading animators working in the field today. With discussions about the impact still felt by Disney's early contributions in the industry, thanks in part to the creative minds that made up Disney's animation department, some time ago. "The Art of Mary Blair" showcases some of the drawings and artwork that she contributed to the final presentation of "Cinderella". "Storyboard to Film Comparison" features a look at the opening sequence from the film, "Cinderella Galleries" offers viewers a peek at early sketches and drawings from the film that gives you the option of viewing in still mode or as a slideshow presentation. A "1922 Laugh-O-Grams: Cinderella" feature and an extensive "Theatrical Trailers" section help to complete this very well presented 2-Disc "Platinum Edition" from Walt Disney and Buena Vista Home Entertainment.