True Disney Devotees Will Appreciate Studio’s Latest ‘Cinderella’ Re-Issue

Courtesy: Walt Disney Studios

Walt Disney Studios is set to re-issue its animated adaptation of the timeless fairy tale Cinderella again later this month.  This latest re-issue comes roughly five years after the company last re-issued the movie, and for audiences who are attentive to movies’ bonus content, is certain to generate plenty of discussion.  They are collectively, both a pro and a con in one.  While the movie’s bonus content is certain to generate its own share of discussions, the movie’s central story will create just as much discussion among viewers today as it did when it debuted so many decades ago. It will be addressed a little later.  The movie’s average price point proves just as important to discuss in examining its upcoming re-issue as the other noted elements.  Each item is important in its own way to the whole of this latest re-issue.  All things considered, Disney’s forthcoming re-issue of Cinderella proves to be an interesting offering from Walt Disney Studios and its home entertainment arm.

Walt Disney Studio’s upcoming re-issue of Cinderella will come just a year short of the 70th anniversary of the movie’s original debut when it is re-issued later this month on DVD and Blu-ray.  The movie originally debuted – according to information from IMDB.com – on March 4, 1950.  In terms of the movie’s story, nothing has changed since it made its theatrical debut some 60 years ago this year.  Now in terms of the extras featured in the movie’s home release, they have changed over the years.  The movie’s upcoming re-issue, scheduled for June 25, is no exception to that rule.  This latest issuance features some of the bonus content featured in the movie’s 2012 BD re-issue, but also features a variety of new extras.  Brought over from the 2012 re-issue are “The Real Godmother,” Behind The Magic: A New Disney Princes Fantasyland,” the movie’s alternate openings and the vintage radio broadcasts.  Not carried over into this re-issue are the Tangled short Tangled Ever After and the personalized digital storybook.  In place of those extras are “From Rags To Riches: The Making of Cinderella,” “The Cinderella That Almost Was,” “Try This Trivia On For Size” and the new featurette “In Walt’s Words: The Envisioning of Cinderella.  “From Rags To Riches: The Making Of Cinderella” is an intriguing look at the history of Cinderella, how it went from vision to storyboard to big screen.  It even features discussions with the famed Sherman Brothers about the movie’s songs.  “The Cinderella That Almost Was” envisions the original Cinderella concept and discusses Walt Disney’s role in the changes that led to the final product.  The trivia featurette is just two current Disney stars who talk about some trivia connected to Cinderella.  It is really the least of the new re-issue’s bonuses.  The making of featurette and the history on the Cinderella that almost was are more engaging, on the other hand.

Now, the lack of the Tangled short and the personalized digital storybook might upset some viewers.  In Disney’s defense, Tangled Ever After is featured on Disney’s Walt Disney Short Films Collection (2015).  Also featured in that collection are shorts, such as Frozen Fever, Prep & LandingOperation Secret Santa and John Henry.  Keeping this in mind, the fact that Tangled Ever After is not featured in Cinderella’s latest re-issue is not that much of a negative since it is still available on another, separate Disney release that features a variety of other Disney shorts.  The movie’s new and old bonus content forms a strong foundation for its upcoming re-issue, and is not its only important element.  The story at the center of the movie is just as notable as its collective bonus content.

The story at the center of Cinderella is, at its core a fairy tale about true love.  Of course, it is also a story that has been quite contentious throughout history.  Some argue that it’s just a fairy tale while others argue it creates unreal expectations for women – that prince charming will come in on his white horse and sweep them up off their feet instead of teaching the invaluable lesson of self confidence.  On the other hand, one could just as easily argue that this possible message aside, it also teaches a lesson about the last being first.  Cinderella was that classic underdog figure, and she was the “last.”  Because of her kind heart, she became the first in the end.  Now considering the source material for Disney’s take on Cinderella – the Brothers Grimm tale, which is actually quite gruesome – that argument actually holds some water.  The original tale tells a story about what happens to people who goodness versus wickedness.  Again, it is rather rough in terms of its content, but makes no bones about its lesson.  To that end, the story at the heart of Disney’s Cinderella may be different from its source material in terms of its overall content, but the original lesson is still there.  It just has been covered up by the more saccharine sweet take crafted by Walt Disney and his staff.  Keeping in mind the importance of the movie’s story and the discussions that said story is certain to generate, and the overall bonus content featured in the movie’s upcoming re-issue, the re-issue proves just as interesting in its latest re-issue as ever before.  Those elements are not the movie’s only notables.  Its average price point is notable in its own right.

The average price point of Cinderella (Signature Edition) is $26.42.  That price is achieved using prices at Disney’s official store, Amazon, Target, Best Buy, Walmart, Barnes & Noble Booksellers and Books-A-Million.  Books-A-Million’s price listing was the most expensive at the time of this review’s posting, at $39.99 while the majority of the movie’s listings sit at $24.99, including the listing at Disney’s official shop.  Amazon’s price for the movie via streaming is the least expensive at $14.99.  Considering that the average price is almost $30, but that most of the individual price listings are actually below that price and are on par with almost every other Disney release across the board, that is not an extraordinary price to pay, especially for the most devoted Cinderella fans.  Add in the importance of the movie’s combined new and old bonus content and the discussions that they will bring along with the movie’s story (and its source material), the whole proves to be a relatively affordable price that – again – the most devoted Cinderella fans will certainly appreciate.

Cinderella (Signature Edition) is a presentation that the most devoted fans of the classic Disney flick will certainly appreciate.  Even classic movie buffs who maybe are not as devoted to the movie, will appreciate it partly because of the movie’s bonus content.  Its story adds to its interest when compared to its source material.  When all of that is considered along with the movie’s average price point and listed prices, the whole proves to be a work that Disney’s most devoted audiences will enjoy.  It is scheduled for release June 25 alongside a re-issue of the movie’s live action reboot.  More information on the movie is available online now at:

 

 

Website: http://movies.disney.com/Cinderella-1950

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/Cinderella

 

 

 

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Shout! Factory, GKids Partner To Release Updated Take Of Classic Brothers Grimm Story

Courtesy: Shout! Factory/GKids

Shout! Factory’s partnership with GKids is producing yet another home release for both companies this winter.

The Girl Without Hands is currently scheduled to be released Tuesday, Feb. 20 in stores and online.  The movie, based on the classic tale from the Brothers Grimm, will be available on DVD and Blu-ray/DVD combo pack.  It follows a young girl who is being chased by the devil yet is protected by the grace of God.

The story is not one that would be suitable for younger viewers, despite being released via GKids as it deal with the girl’s hands being cut off and being pursued by the devil, but rather for older audiences.  It does have a positive ending, though.

This take on the Grimms’ classic story debuted at the ACID section at the most recent Cannes film festival and was nominated for Best Animated Feature at the Cesar Awards, a French film honors festival.  It won the Jury Prize at the Annecy International Animation Festival, which is a French festival celebrating animated films.  It features the voice talents of Anais Demoustier (ThereseThe Snows of KilimanjaroSweet Evil) and Jeremie Elkaim (Declaration of WarHand in HandMarguerite & Julien).

Along with its main feature, The Girl Without Hands will also feature a handful of bonuses including an interview with director Sebastien Laudenbach and some of his own short films.  It also features a “making of” featurette and a trailer for the movie.

The Girl Without Hands will retail for MSRP of $22.97 on DVD/BD combo pack and $16.97 on DVD, but can be pre-ordered now at a reduced cost of $18.97 (DVD/BD) and $13.97 (DVD) via Shout! Factory’s online store.  More information on this and other titles from Shout! Factory is available online now at:

 

Website: http://www.shoutfactory.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/shoutfactoryofficial

Twitter: http://twitter.com/ShoutFactory

 

More information on this and other titles from GKids is available online now at:

 

Website: http://www.gkids.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/GKIDSfilms

Twitter: http://twitter.com/GKIDSfilms

 

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Blancanieves Presents Snow White Like Never Before

Courtesy:  Cohen Media Group/mpi media group

Courtesy: Cohen Media Group/mpi media group

The Brothers Grimm’s classic fairytale, Snow White is one of the most beloved of all classic literary works.  It has been imagined and re-imaged so many times both in books and on the big screen that it would seem impossible to count just how many times the story has been adapted for every new generation.  Regardless, the story has stayed largely the same from one rendition to the next.  But never has the story been told as it has been in the recently imported silent Spanish film, Blancanieves.  This Spanish import takes the timeless tale and turns it completely on its ear.  Yet ironically enough, it somehow manages to entertain in its own right.  It does so first and foremost with a wonderfully written script.  Secondly to the movie’s credit, the acting of the cast was just as impressive as the story itself.  And the fact that audiences have only been re-introduced to the beautiful world of silent films once in recent years makes this movie even more of a treat for fans of not just classic films, but films in general.  All these factors together make Blancanieves a must see for anyone that has yet to see this love letter to the golden era of film making.

Blancanieves is the story of Snow White as it has never been seen before.  Whereas most renditions of the classic Brothers Grimm fairytale take place in a land of kings and queens, this updated take on the story places young Snow White in 1920s Seville, Spain in the world of professional bullfighting.  It seems, on the surface, like a rather unbelievable setup for this rendition.  But somehow, writer/director Pablo Berger has managed to make it work, tying together the Brothers Grimm’s original literary work into his own rich story.  Audiences will appreciate that despite the change of setting and other differences from the original fairytale, Berger maintains most of the original story’s elements, including the dwarves, the evil stepmother, and even the poisoned apple.  Speaking of the dwarves, Berger actually pokes fun at himself in a way when the dwarves paint on their wagon that there are seven dwarves.  He then has one of the dwarves point out that there are in fact only six dwarves.  It’s such a small moment.  But the laughs that it adds to the story make it such a welcome addition to the script.  It was just one of many wonderful moments included throughout the story that make the whole work such a pleasure to watch.

So many directors have tried to update classic stories with their own takes on said classics.  Most have failed.  But Pablo Berger is one of the rare directors that have succeeded in his task.  His success is directly tied into another factor that makes Blancanieves a success.  That second factor is the acting on the part of the movie’s main cast.  Macarena Garcia, Daniel Gimenez Cacho, and Maribel Verdu (Pan’s Labyrinth) are wonderful as Snow White, her father, and her evil stepmother, Encarna.  The bond between Snow White and her father is touching to say the least.  By contrast, it makes Maribel Verdu’s take on the evil stepmother character that much more vile.  Audiences will love to hate her and will love just as much to root for Snow White and her father.  The dwarves are just as wonderful an addition to the cast.  They along with Verdu, Cacho, and Garcia expertly interpret Berger’s script and pull audiences into the story with ease.  They pull in audiences so easily that they won’t even realize that nearly two hours have passed by the time that the story has ended.  That is the sign of both an expert acting cast, and an equally expertly written script.  Even Berger himself notes in the bonus “Making of” featurette just how difficult it is for actors to do their jobs in a silent movie because of how they can hide behind dialogue in regular movies.  Obviously this movie’s cast wasn’t afraid to drop their proverbial security blankets.  Their acting was spot on.  And it shows throughout the entire story.  Together, they make for two of the most important factors in the success of this movie.  There is one other factor to be taken into consideration when examining Blancanieves’ success.  That remaining factor in question is of the story’s originality.  It brings the entire presentation full circle.

The writing and acting involved in Blancanieves make it an unsuspecting success.  The fact that the last time a studio—independent or major—released a silent film was in 2011 makes it even more of an unsuspecting success.  It was that year that Sony Pictures and The Weinstein Company released the mega-hit, The Artist.  Few studios if any have tried their hand at making a silent film since save for this release from The Cohen Media Group.  Keeping that in mind, it makes Blancanieves even more special.  And thanks to the combination of Pablo Berger’s writing and directing, and the cast’s acting, it’s even more special of a film.  As a matter of fact, those factors come together to make Blancanieves one of the year’s best independent movies.  It is available now and can be ordered direct from the Cohen Media Group website at http://cohenmedia.net/blancanieves/synopsis/.  More information on this and other titles from Cohen Media Group is available online at http://www.facebook.com/CohenMediaGroup and http://twitter.com/cohenmediagroup.

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