More is not necessarily better. A glitzy Hollywood cast and a big budget did not improve the wonderful 1957 teleplay (or its equally charming 1964 remake) upon which this version is based. This is partly because Brandy, ca... more »st in the title role, cannot act. Not helping matters are Whoopi Goldberg as the prince's mother and Jason Alexander as his valet. Their shtick wears thin very quickly. However, Paolo Montalban is charismatic as the prince, and Whitney Houston plays a fairy godmother with pizzazz. The production cost millions, and is certainly lavish, but the whole affair feels forced and overdone, reminding one of a prom queen wearing too much makeup. It does deserve credit for a multi-ethnic cast, the addition of two new songs and a hip attitude. However, the 1964 version (the original was not taped) is much sweeter and more romantic. Originally released as Rodgers and Hammerstein's Cinderella. --Rochelle O'Gorman« less
"I watched this movie when it first aired and loved it so much that I bought the video. I have since watched it numerous times.Brandy does not have near the voice to do a Rogers and Hammerstein. I still don't understand why she was cast as Cinderella. I hope she will not attempt another musical in the future. Whitney was Whitney. She succeeded in turning the fairy godmother into her image.Fortunately, the rest of the cast more than make up for them. Overall, the acting was good. The singing (beside Brandy) was excellent. Whoopi Goldberg and Victor Garber were great as Queen and King. Whoopi was hilarious, but I wish she didn't have to sing. I agree with the other reviewers that Bernadette Peters stole the show as the wicked stepmother. Her singing and acting were superb. Jason Alexander was OK as the Prince's Valet, but why did he need that accent??? The two stepsisters were funny.The real fairy tale is newcomer Paolo Montalban. He was exceptional in his TV debut and what a fantastic voice. I hope to hear him sing again. His prince was perfectly charming, and he could dance too.Lastly, the mutlicultural casting is ingenious. All the actors and actresses were cast by their singing (except Brandy) and acting (except Whitney) ability. Disney didn't make this an all-white or all-black Cinderella so children of all races can enjoy it. For the people who think that this is not realistic, remember THIS IS A FAIRY TALE. If mice can change into horses and pumpkins into coaches that fly then why can't a white king and a black queen have an asian son. We don't need an scientific explanation to everything. Just enjoy the movie. ~"
Pure musical perfection
Byron Kolln | the corner where Broadway meets Hollywood | 09/23/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Bernadette Peters, Natalie Desselle, Paolo Montalban, Brandy, Veanne Cox, Whoopi Goldberg, Victor Garber and Whitney Houston all sing and dance up a storm in this glittering new mounting of the Rodgers and Hammerstein classic CINDERELLA.This time however, the score is augmented with three new songs, written by Rodgers and Hammerstein in their seperate early careers.They include 'The Deepest Love In All The World', sung by Brandy and Paolo Montalban, 'The Music In You', sung by Whitney Houston, and, my personal favourite, 'Falling In Love With Love', sung by the incomparable Bernadette Peters, with additional vocals by Natalie Desselle and Veanne Cox.The entire production is flawless, and I loved every minute of it.It has previously been recorded live on television with Julie Andrews and again with Lesley Ann Warren. Both of those cast albums are still available."
Rebecca Johnson | Washington State | 10/26/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This movie floats like a rainbow in the sky sprinkled with fairy dust. It is the most visually stunning, spectacular feast for the eyes I have ever seen. The messages are wonderful and wholesome, the plot perfect and the singing...magical. I can't find one single thing wrong with this movie.
Brandy brings a sweet innocence to Cinderella, and in my mind, she is the most beautiful Cinderella ever. Her voice lacks a certain maturity, which was perfect for the role. It breathes innocence and a human spirit into Cinderella like never before. She is sweet, mysterious and very feminine. She presents women in a very positive way.
When Cinderella and the Prince meet in the market, you just can't imagine it happened any other way. Paolo Montalban: wow...he is the perfect prince and so handsome. I was so impressed with his voice. When Brandy and Paolo sang together it gave me shivers and one time almost made me cry. It was like two souls mingling in the sky with longing. The choreography was stunningly original. The scenes in the market with all the food will just delight every cook.
The story starts in a market with Cinderella and her two sisters shopping. She meets the Prince, and is then told not to talk to him and is whisked home. Almost immediately, plans are being made for a Royal Ball to find the prince a wife so he can produce an heir for the kingdom. Whoopi Goldberg is hilarious as the Queen, and Victor Garber comes across as a loving father who wants the best for his son. I was amazed when the King and Queen were actually in love, which was not the case in other movies.
As in all the Cinderella stories, Cinderella is left at home and then when she wishes to go to the Ball, the fairy godmother magically appears.
Whitney Houston plays a fairy godmother just as you would imagine her to be, ethereally floating next to the horses and carriage, sparkling, singing...wow, what more could you ask for. It was amazing. Then, the humor was also there as she tries at first to turn the pumpkin into a carriage and fails on the first try. She mumbles something about how she should be able to do this after 600 years of practice. What she does with a pumpkin, well...baby, get ready. This woman can cook! She turns the pumpkin into the most stunning carriage. The pastel blue dress Brandy wears is simply gorgeous.
When Cinderella arrives at the ball, her sisters have already had their chance to um, impress the prince and have failed. The costumes and sets are so incredibly gorgeous and the ballroom dancing almost makes you dizzy because they keep spinning and spinning and spinning. There is a scene at the ball that will make you laugh out loud when her sister is on the staircase. Oh, my that was funny.
Cinderella of course makes it to the end of the stairs at midnight as her beautiful gown changes back to her regular clothes and she loses her glass slipper. When she gets home, more fun awaits. Her sisters are very suspicious of how much she knows about the ball. One of the funny things is that Bernadette Peters looks younger than one of her daughters, but still manages to pull off the step mother act with great flair. We cannot say the same for her daughters. They are quite funny and bumbling, just as we want them to be.
When Cinderealla's stepmother says something about remembering to hide flaws until after the wedding, Cinderella comments as to how a man should love a woman for who she is. A great message to women who sometimes try to be all things to men and fail to find true happiness in being just who they are.
I've always adored the story of Cinderella, and the fact that in this adaptation Cinderella is African American was delightful. Anyone who says Brandy can't act is really lying. She brings a wonderful spirit to this movie and does a wonderful job, she is a much better actor than eighty percent of the actors in movies today. The warmth she pours into this story is so needed in our world today.
I am literally SHOCKED at the poor reviews this movie has received. I have never seen anything this beautiful and heartwarming in my life! This is now my favorite version of Cinderella besides Ever After, which also makes Cinderella so much more human. They are both on my list of favorite movies.
The message of having a wish and then making it come true shows that everything starts with a wish. This message of hope and eternal optimism is so needed in society today. The multicultural actors added so much to the story; and it sends a wonderful message.
You will totally fall in love with this movie!
~The Rebecca Review"
Cinderella, The Best One Yet
A. Southwick | Wisconsin | 11/18/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Cinderella beats the best. This remake from 1965 and 1954 was excellent. It has an all-star cast, including Brandy as a marvelous Cinderella, Whitney Houston as the eccentric Fairy-Godmother, Paolo Montalban as a very charming and (unlike the others) caring prince, Whoopi Goldberg and Victor Garber as a great and hilarious royal couple, Jason Alexander as the overlooked/overstepped harold, Bernadette Peters as the flirtatious/evil Stepmother, and Veanne Cox and Natalie Dessette as a wonderful combination of Stepsisters. The costumes and sets were just breathtaking. That, along with the technology, put it way above the previous remakes. It was romantic, with an upbeat feel, and plenty of humor. My favorite scene is the totally redone "The Prince is Giving a Ball". It gave you that feel-good music, mixed with the humouruos exasperation from the Prince's valet. It had just exellent choreography, and colorful costumes and props. The ballroom scene was also great. Especially the "Stepsisters Lamade". And I loved the new songs, including "Falling in Love With Love", and "Waiting Somewhere for Me". I think the Step-units stole the show, as they had a right to, with their brilliant acting and singing. This is a must-see film (again and again and again...)"
A word from one of the musical staff...
Martin Erskine | New York, NY | 10/19/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Just a little note on the comments stating that this version "was not what R & H had in mind":1. Oscar Hammerstein was passionately against racism, (note his song "Carefully Taught" in South Pacific) and I was told by his daughter, Alice, at the premiere that he would have been overjoyed with this production.2. Early on in the process of re-realizing this score, I felt skeptical when I was asked to tailor the music to the talents of R. & B. recording artists. In the midst of production, I received correspondence from both the R. & H. organization, as well as from Mary Rodgers herself (Richard's daughter) that they were "ecstatic" at the updated sound of the score. "My hero," were her words to me upon being introduced to her. Imagine my delight at hearing the above, being that I was an AVID R. & H. fan as a child AND adult. I watched the 1965 version religiously year after year until it was no longer aired. I feel very privileged to have had the honor to have been able to tailor this magnificent score to a new generation of listeners. It was an experience I will not soon forget!"