'Cinderella' [2-Disc Blu-ray + DVD + Digital HD]
(Cate Blanchett, Lily James, Richard Madden, Helena Bonham Carter, Nonso Anozie, et al / Blu-ray+DVD / PG / 2015 / Walt Disney Studios)
Overview: When her father unexpectedly passes away, young Ella finds herself at the mercy of her cruel stepmother and her daughters. Never one to give up hope, Ella's fortunes begin to change after meeting a dashing stranger.
DVD Verdict: As we all know, in general, 'Cinderella' is a fantasy that tells the well-known fairy tale - albeit here with no modifications or surprise. The film has good cast and special effects and is a great family entertainment. Lily James is not beautiful, sorry, but has a delightful smile. Cate Blanchett, Holliday Grainger and Sophie McShera are very funny and the cameo of Helena Bonham Carter is probably the best moment of the movie!
As for our 2015 version story line, once upon a time, a girl named Ella is the princess and pride and joy of her parents. When her mother (Hayley Atwell) gets sick and dies, Ella and her father (Ben Chaplin) grieve for many years. When Ella (Lily James) is a teenager, her father asks her if she would accept that he gets married again and she accepts. Soon her stepmother Lady Tremaine (Cate Blanchett) moves with her daughters Anastasia (Holliday Grainger) and Drisella (Sophie McShera) and the cat Lucifer to their house.
When Ella's father dies during a trip, Tremaine dismisses the servants and Ella is treated as a servant by her stepmother and stepsisters, living in the attic. One day, Ella is riding a horse and stumbles with the Prince (Richard Madden) that is hunting a stag with other men. He immediately falls in love with Ella, and poses of an apprentice called Kit, but he does not know her name. The King decides that the Prince shall marry a princess, and the Prince decides to offer a ball for all the ladies in the kingdom expecting to see the mysterious girl again.
Tremaine and her daughters get excited with the news and she forbids Ella to go to the ball. However, Ella's Fairy Godmother (Helena Bonham Carter) helps Ella to go to the ball using magic, but she advises that she must return before midnight when the magic will end. Ella and the Prince stay together and near to midnight, Cinderella leaves the ball but loses one her crystal shoes. The Prince orders his guards to find the maiden which the foot fits in the shoe and after many attempts, they find Ella that (of course) lives ever after with the Prince.
The screenplay is admirable and introduces some twists and surprises throughout the movie which manage to make this already well known story feel new. Helena Bonham Carter's (also the Fairy Godmother, as aforementioned) lovely narration makes the story more appealing and I loved her engaging narration style with just the right amount of voice modulation to elicit the right emotions from the viewers.
The dresses and costumes in the movie are absolutely gorgeous and kudos to the designer, Sandy Powell for designing such eye catching dresses which made me want to switch places with Cinderella and even the stepmother whose ball gown looked so lovely! The Prince made my heart flutter in his crisp, royal costumes in vivid colors that set him apart.
The lovely glass slippers yet again made me yearn to own one myself and hope for a fairy Godmother just like Cinderella's! The music and sound score by Patrick Doyle is melodious, if not very memorable. It had me enchanted throughout the movie and I felt like anything was possible while I heard the melodious tunes and watched the magical love story unfold on the screen! I absolutely adored this movie and I'm sure you, and your children will also. This is a Widescreen Presentation (2.39:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the Special Features of:
A Fairy Tale Comes to Life: Filmmakers and cast reflect on Cinderella's enduring power, along with the many joys and challenges of bringing this iconic tale to life.
Costume Test Fun: See the work of Academy Award-winning® Costume Designer Sandy Powell (The Aviator, 2004) and share some lighthearted moments with the cast.
Staging The Ball: You're invited behind the scenes for the making of the Palace Ball sequence, including its spectacular set, stunning costumes and more. It's a lavish and massive undertaking…and a magical day on set.
Ella's Furry Friends: Discover how the movie's animal stars honed their memorable performances.
Alternate Opening, Ella's Childhood: View moments from Ella's idyllic childhood that do not appear in the movie. Introduction by Branagh.
Frozen Fever: It's Anna's birthday, and Elsa and Kristoff are determined to give her the best celebration ever – but when Elsa catches a cold, her powers may put more than just the party at risk.
DMA Exclusive Special Features - Deleted Scenes with introduction by Kenneth Branagh:
The Mourning (4:24)
Getting to Know You (2:00)
The Search for Cinderella (1:14)
Dear Kit (2:57)