After direct-to-video animated sequels for nearly every one of their films, Disney is now on "III"'s for some films, and the treasured "Cinderella" is one of the first to get the second sequel treatment. The third film opens a year after the original, with Cinderella (voiced by Jennifer Hale) happily married to the Prince (CD Barnes.)
However, things become less cheery for Cinderella when stepsisters Anastasia (Tress MacNeille) and Drizella (Russi Taylor) find out about the Fairy Godmother's magic wand. When they get a hold of the wand and accidentially turn the Fairy Godmother into stone, Cinderella's nasty stepmother (Susanne Blakeslee) decides to turn back time before the Prince put the glass slipper on Cinderella's foot. Instead, she shrinks Anastasia's foot down in order for it to fit and she takes Cinderella's place with the prince.
Cinderella, working with her mice pals Jaq and Gus, has to find a way to outwit the evil Stepmother and work her way back to her rightful place with the Prince. For a story that's simply a different take on the classic tale, "Cinderella III" is moderately entertaining. Certainly, it doesn't compare to the beloved original, but as direct-to-video sequels go, it works.
The film's animation is about on-par with most of the other Disney animated efforts; it's not remarkable in terms of detail, but it is certainly watchable. The voice acting is actually a bit better than most of these productions, as the voice actors all fit their characters well and gave enjoyable efforts in their roles.
Overall, "Cinderella III: A Twist in Time" certainly doesn't compare with the original, but the picture certainly has some laughs, some emotional moments and a pretty engaging story (not to mention a surprisingly exciting action sequence - well, for a movie like this - towards the end.) This is one of the better Disney direct-to-video animated efforts.
VIDEO: "Cinderella III" is presented by Disney in 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen. Picture quality is pleasing, as the animation looked crisp and detailed throughout the majority of the show. No edge enhancement, pixelation or other flaws appeared, and the image seemed consistently clean. Colors looked bold and bright, with nice saturation and no smearing. Overall, this was a lovely presentation of the material.
SOUND: The film is presented here in Dolby Digital and DTS 5.1 on this release, although both options essentially sounded the same. Although not particularly aggressive, the film's audio did put the surrounds to fine use to deliver ambience and the occasional sound effect during the more intense sequences. Audio quality was just fine, with clear dialogue and effects.
EXTRAS: Hayden Panetierre music video, interactive games and promos.
Final Thoughts: "Cinderella III" isn't going to compete with the original, but as Disney's direct-to-video animated efforts go, this is definitely one of the better ones. The DVD offers very good audio/video quality and a few minor extras. Recommended.
The Film B