Movie Review by Debbie Winkler
Series: Cinderella #3
Starring: Jennifer Hale, Susanne Blakeslee, Tress MacNeille, Christopher Daniel Barnes, Russi Taylor
Director: Frank Nissen
Release Date: 6 February 2007
Length: 70 minutes
Movie Rating: G
View Format: DVD
Cinderella and Prince Charming are celebrating their one-year wedding anniversary when disaster strikes – Cinderella’s Wicked Stepmother gets her hands on the Fairy Godmother’s wand! Cinderella’s Stepmother wastes no time turning back the clock to the Grand Duke’s visit and magically makes the glass slipper fit Anastasia’s foot. Now Prince Charming thinks he is in love with Anastasia! Will Cinderella be able to find her happily ever after with Prince Charming now that the past has changed?
Most Disney sequels suffer when compared to the original film that inspired them and Cinderella III is no exception. However, if you have a princess at home who loves the original, this sequel is solid and an entertaining movie in its own right. The storyline is actually creative and original. Instead of trying to continue with Cinderella’s life in the palace, Disney took the story back in time and imagined what would have happened to Cinderella’s happily ever after if the Wicked Stepmother got her hands on the Fairy Godmother’s magic wand. Now Lady Tremaine (voice by Susanne Blakeslee) has convinced Prince Charming (voice by Christopher Daniel Barnes) that he is in love with Anastasia (voice by Tress MacNeille). This was genius as it opened up the door for a lot of humorous moments. Anastasia and her sister, Drizilla (voice by Russi Taylor), are laugh-out-loud funny as they bicker in the palace. Anastasia is trying to impress the prince and his father, the king, while Drizilla spends her time making catty comments and making things much more difficult. Neither one of them have the manners of a lady and I couldn’t stop giggling at the antics of these two sisters, even though they are supposed to be the villains.
There are some really sweet messages that are contained in this movie, too. One of them discusses how do we recognize love. Is it by a look in their eyes or a touch of the hand? What does love mean to you? Anastasia has to think about these questions and other ones as she goes along with her mother’s scheme to get her married to the prince. Ultimately, it is Anastasia who wants to be loved so badly that she is willing to pretend that the prince loves her, even though it is only due to a magical spell. I loved getting to know Anastasia and Drizilla better in this movie and hope that Anastasia will one day find a happy ending of her own.
I was pleasantly surprised with the quality of the music in Cinderella III: A Twist in Time. The original songs in the movie are good and I even found myself singing along to a few of them. “At the Ball” was by far my favorite song and it is just adorable! Jaq (voice by Rob Paulsen) and Gus (voice by Corey Burton), Cinderella’s mice friends, are trying to explain to Prince Charming what really happened the night of the ball and they have to act out the story while singing this cute little song. This was my favorite scene in the movie and well worth watching the movie for! “I Still Believe” is a sweet, romantic anthem about believing in love despite, or because of, what has happened in your life. Even though I have never found love for myself, that doesn’t mean I don’t believe in it! Cinderella (voice by Jennifer Hale) has a different perspective to the song as she knows what it is like to be in love and then had it cruelly ripped away from her. Everyone will have a different feeling about this song, but that is what I loved about it.
If you enjoy the Cinderella story, you will want to watch this sequel. The animation is quite good, aside from a serious issue with Cinderella’s nose that really bothered me, and the music is almost theatrical release quality. The story is solid and there are some really fun little subplots that viewers of all ages will enjoy. Make sure that you watch the credits, too! There are some clever paintings that show the Cinderella characters in famous portraits and landscapes. If you keep watching through to the end, you will get to see what happens to the Wicked Stepmother and her equally wicked daughter, Drizilla. There is only one bonus feature and that is a music video of Hayden Panettiere performing “I Still Believe.” Though the video is charming, I which was a bit disappointed that there were no other special features available. Again, Cinderella III: A Twist in Time is not as magical as the original (and, really, what is?), but there is still a great deal to enjoy in this movie. If you have little princesses at home, you will definitely want to add this movie to your DVD collection.
This movie contains some scenes of mild peril and violence. There are scenes of verbal arguments and disagreements. This movie is appropriate for viewers of all ages. Recommended for ages 2 and up.