Tales From Cinderella's Castle
Monty Moonlight | TX | 02/27/2002
(2 out of 5 stars)
"I've often said that Cinderella 2's biggest problem, when you get beyond the fact that it was clearly made purely for kids and is really just another form of princess "merchandise," is that it was falsely advertised to increase sales. Disney does that quite often with their direct-to-video releases, and it makes it difficult to distinguish the good ones from the bad before buying or renting. And, make no mistake, Disney DOES make some very good direct-to-video releases. Cinderella 3, for example, is an excellent film. Cinderella 2... not so much. It's the title that's the biggest problem for the consumer though. "Cinderella 2: Dreams Come True" implies some grand, feature-length sequel to the classic Disney film. In fact, that is nothing like what you actually get here. Again, for something like that, I recommend "Cinderella 3: A Twist In Time." Cinderella 2 would have been better titled "Mouse Mouse Tales" or "Tales From Cinderella's Castle." See, that's all it really is. It's three tales from the mice that were Cinderella's best friends since before she became a princess.
In truth, the stories really aren't that bad. Okay, the first one is kinda weak, and it's the one that is the most about Cindy herself, but the other two are pretty interesting. The stories are introduced by the mice and the Fairy Godmother as they work to make a gift for Cinderella, a book she can read to them about their first experiences after moving into the castle. Something I found a bit odd in these sequences was how these storybook-period characters had access to Crayolas and number-two pencils. The first tale is about Cinderella struggling to do things right in the castle in preparation for a ball and finally realizing she must do things "her" way. The Second story is about Jaq the mouse making a wish to be a human so that he can be more helpful to Cinderella. Of course, by the end of the story, he learns that he's better off being a mouse. In the third story, Cinderella plays matchmaker for her apparently not so bad stepsister, Anastasia. Anastasia has fallen in love with the village baker, and he with her. It's probably the best story, but in the sad tradition of Shrek and OTHER films, in teaching its moral it also teaches that unattractive people belong with unattractive people, and beautiful people with beautiful people. I'll jump for joy when one of these films gets the anti-superficiality statement right! Oh, and Lucifer the cat makes a deal with the mice to help him win the heart of Pom Pom, the palace feline. Naturally, that doesn't work out.
While the film is watchable, depending of course on how much you love animation and how much quality is necessary in said medium to hold your interest, it all feels like a long episode of an animated series aimed at a very young, female crowd. The songs are atrocious. They're not good and they don't fit! The voices don't do much to recall those in the original film, especially Cinderella's and the Fairy Godmother's. The mice are fine but speak too clearly in comparison to the original film. Cinderella is out of character at times (seems more like the more recent Disney princesses), and the film does nothing to help us get to know Prince Charming more. As for the animation, well, while the characters are recognizable, they are extremely flat and without style. It all basically looks like TV animation. Sometimes good TV animation, sometimes bad TV animation. Overall, it's a cheap Cinderella experience to recruit younger consumers and maybe provide a little enjoyment for those fans of the original that aren't too particular about quality or substance. "Cinderella 2: Dreams Come True" isn't without its entertainment value, especially for small girls or fans of Cindy's mice, and surely it's a must for the completist collector, but if you're looking for something really good to compliment the original, go for "Cinderella 3: A Twist In Time." It's not perfect, and the very first moments might make you worry, but if you give it time, you'll find it to be a wonderful experience. Cinderella 3 succeeds nearly everywhere that Cinderella 2 fails.
As for the extras on Cinderella 2, they're nothing to write home about. There's a simple game that basically lets you experience what it's like to be Cinderella. You have to clean up parts of the castle. It's actually kinda fun, but I can't imagine playing it more than once. There's a DVD-Rom activity called "Cinderella's Doll House Game," but I don't bother with DVD-Rom stuff. You also get a music video of one of the horrible songs set to clips from the film and a featurette on the film's awful music. Finally, there's a pretty lame Cinderella story that you can have read to you or read by yourself. Yeah, the extras are pretty awful on this DVD. Still, as I said, it's okay if you just have a Cinderella fanatic in your home that doesn't require everything to be feature film quality. If you ever had the desire for a Cinderella animated series, this might be welcome in your DVD collection. Myself, I am a Disney fanatic, and I love their gorgeous princesses, so owning this is simply a must, even if it is disappointing on many levels.
Sandra Dee and Family, | Seattle, United States of America | 02/14/2002
(1 out of 5 stars)
"Have just watched this with my two children 4 and 7 and they were bored - it's unimaginative and an insult to people like my Grandfather who worked on the original. What a waste of money. Thank's for yet another rubbish title to collect dust in our homes. I'm very annoyed."
Dreams didn't come true...
R. Tan | London, United Kingdom | 02/23/2002
(1 out of 5 stars)
"Why haven't the Disney people learned to improve the storyline of all their sequels? Even though it is not a long featured cartoon demanding drawing that is not very detailed, that we can tolerate. But Cinderella doesn't look like the original classic at all!If Peter Pan II is going follow its example, I am never going to believe the Disney's people again!! Fans over the world have paid their price and it's time for sequels writers to get their act together."
Shame on Disney!
R. Tan | 02/27/2002
(1 out of 5 stars)
"Let's put it this way: My three year old has watched the original Cinderella about a thousand times. My three year old asked me to turn off Cinderella II half way through -- and told me to get my money back! Does no one at Disney have any imagination left at all?"