Cinderella (1950)


I’m a fan of many Disney animated features, but I find Cinderella to be one of the company’s stinkers. My problems are largely conceptual. I’m simply not a fan of a heroine who’s not strong or clever enough to punch her stepmother and evil step-sisters in the face, leave the house where she’s imprisoned, and get a job that pays. Worse still, this young woman does absolutely nothing to help herself. A magical fairy godmother gives her a dress and means to attend the royal ball, where a prince finds her attractive and decides to marry her outright. And Cinderella agrees to this marriage after just one dance? What a little floozie.

There are a few moments of beautiful animation, particularly during the “Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boo” number, when the godmother turns a pumpkin into a carriage and transforms farm critters into horses and attendants. The royal castle is nicely rendered in impressionistic shades of blue and white. And the animators make select shots of the wicked stepmother nicely sinister. But the animation, on the whole, is not quite at the level of Disney’s pre-war efforts. And far too much screen-time is spent with Cinderella’s mice friends, who in many ways are the real stars of the movie. And why not? They’re certainly more proactive.

Oscar Nominations: Best Score, Song (“Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boo”), Sound Recording

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