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Cinderella is now firmly established in the palace. In these three stories, we find out that putting on the glass slipper wasn't the end of her tale. In the first, Cinderella is given the task of organising her first royal ball; but the strict protocols in place make her job much more difficult than she imagined. She decides to simply be herself and sidestep the protocols. In the second, feeling left out, Jaq the mouse decides he wants to be human, so he can go back to helping Cinderella. The fairy godmother obliges, but life in the human world isn't everything it's cracked up to be. And in the third, Cinderella teaches Anastasia, one of the ugly step-sisters, how to smile. This leads her to find a love of her own.

Review by David Edwards:
Cinderella II (Dreams Come True) is a fine example of just what Disney does best. In this charming DVD squarely aimed at the under-10 market, it starts with a classic story which is taken further, broadening children's ideas about the story in an accessible way.

Of course, the original Cinderella (made in 1950) was a considerably sanitised version of the traditional tale. Where Cinderella II stands out is that it urges children to consider what might have happened after the "happily ever after" in the original. I guess for adults it's not too much of a stretch to work out that despite some tribulations, she does indeed live happily, but for youngsters, it's a welcome challenge for them to think about such things. The approach leaves children with the original fable intact, while they have the opportunity to go further with it.

Parents will also welcome the "storybook" feature on this DVD. Basically, it's an interactive story in which the words appear on the screen, and children have the choice to either read it themselves, or to read along with a narrator. The game provided, Cinderella's Enchanted Castle, may prove a little difficult for younger viewers, but those over school age shouldn't have too much difficulty with it.

The three stories are quite charming in their own way. None of them result in anything that could be called a surprising outcome, but they clearly kept the interest of my two very able junior critics (aged 5 and 7). The third story is probably the most emotionally powerful, as it's essentially a reworking of the original tale; but it's disguised enough that children will find it sufficiently different. The first instalment focuses on being yourself and remembering your friends; while the second is a fish-out-of-water tale with Jaq the mouse becoming human.

The animation follows closely the line and colour approach of the original film, with the crispness of the vibrant palette transferring perfectly to DVD. It is presented in 16:9 format, with Dolby 5.1 stereo sound; making the experience all the more entertaining for youngsters.

Along with the storybook and game, the DVD features a "behind the scenes" look at the music in the film, and a music video clip. I must admit neither of these particularly fascinated my expert commentators, but they were much more excited by the game at that stage.

For those with younger children, Cinderella II (Dreams Come True) will undoubtedly prove to be a worthwhile investment. The classic Disney conventions will keep kids entranced for hours. And, thankfully, in this case, they might just learn something as well.

Published July 4, 2002

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You can buy it HERE - next day delivery within Australia


VOICES: Jennifer Hale, Tress MacNeill, Rob Paulsen, Corey Burton

DIRECTOR: John Kafka

RUNNING TIME: 70 minutes

SPECIAL FEATURES: Story book - "A Little Misunderstanding"; "Cinderella's Enchanted Castle" interactive game; "Musical magic" featurette, "Put it Together" music video.


DVD RELEASE: March 20, 2002

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