Cinderella II is an interesting work of a sequel. It’s a sequel that both is and isn’t a sequel at the same time. There are those who have already had their say with this feature. And while many of the opinions on it have been anything but kind, it really isn’t that bad of a sequel. Perhaps the reason that this feature was surrounded by so many negative opinions was its setup. Rather than being a typical movie, Cinderella II was openly separated into three distinct acts. From the very get-go, the separation of the story into three distinct acts likely threw viewers for a loop. That’s not to defend the audiences who complained. Rather, it made it come across as just a grouping of three different shorts, instead of an actual movie. Take away the segment separation though, and audiences get what turns out to be exactly that.
While the first and third acts of Cinderella II work quite well together, the story’s second act seems to have no link to either the first or third on the surface. This also likely threw off audiences and in turn, made them not enjoy it. However, a deeper look at the story shows that its second act actually does indeed play a role in the near ninety-minute feature. It ties the story’s first and final act in that dreams came true even for the little mouse, Jaq. He found romance and learned a very valuable lesson at the same time. In connection, even Cinderella’s now not so mean step-sister learns how evil Lady Tremaine was. She even tried to keep Anastasia (voiced by veteran voice actress Tress McNeille—The Simpsons, Futurama) from having any romantic connection to a commoner. Through help ironically from Cinderella, Anastasia finds love with him and even learns her own valuable lesson. At the same time, even Cinderella herself learns another lesson in that now that she was gone from that house, both the sisters had seen for themselves how Lady Tremaine was. It put things into perspective for Cinderella, which led her to be so willing to help Anastasia. So it makes for a good conclusion to this story.
Just as the story ends solidly enough, its opening segment is a nice continuation of the original Cinderella, too. What critics of Cinderella II have overlooked with this story is that despite being separated into three separate segments, it really does continue the original story. What’s intriguing about the opening segment is that it shows Cinderella’s life after happily ever after. The lead older woman of the house comes across as another evil stepmother type. That is until Cinderella gets her and the King to loosen up. In turn, even her dreams of living happily ever after come true. So overall, dreams do come true for not just Cinderella, but for everyone in this largely underrated sequel to one of Disney’s most classic princess tales. Now that it has been re-issued in a triple-disc blu-ray/DVD set, perhaps those people who criticized this story before will have a different view on it and give it another chance. It’s available now in stores and online. It can be ordered direct online via the Disney store and at the official Disney DVD website at http://www.disneystore.com/cinderella-ii-and-cinderella-iii-3-disc-set/mp/1324153/1000316/ and http://disneydvd.disney.go.com/cinderella-ii-and-cinderella-iii-special-edition-2-movie-collection.html#48097.
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