Alan Smithee

Daddy Time – The Cinderella Trilogy

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Did you know that Disney actually made three movies in this series? I sure as hell didn’t until recently, and guess who watched all three?

Before you get up in arms about letting my kid watch 5 hours of solid television, don’t worry because we didn’t actually see them in sequence in one sitting. Instead we split it up over a couple of days, or was it weeks? Time is a strange thing when you’ve got a three year old and a new set of twins.

Let’s get down to business shall we? I’ll go from worst to first.

First up is one of the biggest pieces of poo that I’ve ever watched with the name Disney attached to it, Cinderella II: Dreams Come True. One of the rare holders of a 0% fresh rating from Rotten Tomatoes, this film is less of a movie sequel than a series of shorts set in the Cinderella universe.

I won’t focus on the crappy sections because they’re just terrible…in fact the whole movie is terrible and didn’t even hold the interest of my oldest daughter at all. There really isn’t much to talk about with this one besides the potentially interesting segment involving one of Cinderella’s stepsisters and her falling in love with a lowly baker and the redemption that comes from her finally understanding what it’s like to be a sister and to be in love.

I wouldn’t mind this sequel so much if it were actually pretty well done, but the story that interlaces each chapter is of the mice (with the Fairy Godmother’s help) creating a book for Cinderella, and is so hackneyed that even my little lady was more interested in what daddy had to suddenly get up to cook.

Seriously, avoid the second movie at all costs, there’s nothing good about it for fans of the original.

Second on the list is the third movie in the series titled Cinderella III: A Twist in Time which begins one year after the marriage of Prince Charming to Cinderella. As they head to a picnic one day, one that just happens to be near the property owned by the Wicked Stepmother and the stepsisters, Anastasia (the redhead) notices that the Fairy Godmother is adept at magic and that the source of her power is her wand, which she steals and from there, hilarity ensues.

Take the plot of the newest Star Trek movie and you have Cinderella III, or close enough at least. There are no black holes or red matter (at least as I recall) involved, but an alteration of the storyline and the fun that new universes being created as a consequence of time travel is always a good time.

Without getting lost in the details, this movie engaged both me and my daughter due to the high tension moments of Cinderella being put in mortal peril on multiple occasions, a few chase scenes, and some generally crazy moments in the story. The one bit that I really appreciated was the scene with a call back to the original carriage scene only this time the pumpkin carriage was created by the Stepmother to send Cinderella to her death and appeared just as sinister.

This is going to be a repeat offender in my house because of the emotion that my daughter displayed toward the ending as she had tears in her eyes, not from sadness, but from being happy for the storybook ending of ‘finally, a happily ever after’. Stuff like that sticks with dads as it’s one of those moments where we discover that even at early ages, our girls are more in touch with their emotions than we are.

Finally, we have the original Disney classic Cinderella. Really, what more can be said about this masterpiece of animation and film making that hasn’t been said already? The only thing that I’ll even bring up is that for weeks after watching the movie, my little princess would walk around asking her daddy to slip on her glass slippers and exclaim that “I FOUND YOU, MY PRINCESS!”…and the dancing, boy she was crazy about daddy ballroom dancing with her, complete with waltzing and dips. The giggles I got for doing that were absolutely priceless.

Disney isn’t wrong for wanting to profit off of old movies, in fact the trend is so ubiquitous these days with the trends of making movies that number into 7 or 8 iterations or even the filming of sequels and trilogies before even screening the original. It happens and it’s more accepted in 2011 than it was originally in 2002 when the first sequel came out for Cinderella. Call them insane but the fact that a $5,000,000 investment by Disney flipped around 24x to magically become $120,000,000 is no laughing matter.

As long as I have kids I will continue to like the Disney brand, no matter how money hungry they seem. For the most part I can at least say that for all three movies I was SLIGHTLY entertained…even with the 0% abortion that was Cinderella II. It made great background noise while I was making Thanksgiving desserts and thankfully made my daughter not care about the boob tube for a few minutes, which shows me that her sense of taste when it comes to media consumption is starting to fine-tune.

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