A Little Old Fashioned

Demeaning Cinderella for its simplistic depiction of romance – that of a woman who exists solely to find a male suitor – isn’t entirely unfair, even if there’s other merit to Disney’s adaptation. Cinderella’s love is secondary to that of a young woman seeking any escape from a tormented life under an archetypal cruel stepmother, remaining steadfast in her belief that she will, someday, be rescued.

Mostly, this is told via a literal cat & mouse affair, delightfully charming in its cartoon whimsy, extending the original fable to proper movie length. It’s not only the romance, but everything in Cinderella adheres to a childlike understanding of the world. Cinderella retains an absolute colorful purity, while her stepmother sticks to shadows, and her whiny stepsisters pout, shout, and demean their housemate. Everything in Cinderella exists in dramatic, exaggerated shades of light and dark, even the talking animals. It’s only logical that love is likewise reductive.

Everything in Cinderella exists in dramatic, exaggerated shades of light and dark

Cinderella smiles through most of this movie, happily accepting her position as an overworked maid rather than family member. Yet Disney imbues her with an internal monologue, not empty submissiveness, carefully crafting songs around dreams and her hopes that eventually, she’ll be given anything she wants. Given the late ‘40s/early ‘50s time period (and the original fairy tale’s older still origins), that’s a studly prince, horses, and clothes. That doesn’t diminish Cinderella’s majesty.

Staged marvelously, the animation keeps giving iconic scenes, and the art drives this story. Not content with giving her a typical rundown room, Cinderella must climb rickety stairs, underlit, to arrive in her chilly bedroom. She deals with an appropriately named cat – Lucifer – with a genuine smile, and when that feline nearly costs her a chance with the prince, rather than scold, she merely pleads for the cat to do what’s right. Anger isn’t in her blood; she’s everything her father raised her to be before his passing.

Splashed with color, moody when needed, Cinderella exists in a persistent glow, defined by its protagonist’s own personality. If she’s a charmer, than so is the movie. It’s clear Disney and the animators recognized as such, imbuing this classic with among their best work.


Jaw-meet-floor gorgeous, Disney’s brilliant 4K master for Cinderella is the best work the studio ever did for their classic animation (until the next one hopefully). Simply marvelous clarity finds paper texture when the storybook opens the film, impeccable line work, and background paint reveals every tiny nuance created by the brushes. Sharpness brings every line to life, making a fine case for what 4K is capable of when at its best.

Marvelous color makes tremendous leaps over the Blu-ray. bolder, richer, and better saturated now than on Blu-ray. Plus, with the added resolution, paint strokes in the animation become completely visible, giving Cinderella the purest possible handmade aesthetic.

Disney also used noise reduction in their animation previously, but that’s not the case here. Rather than preserve the look of the cells, Cinderella convincingly looks like pure film projected onto the screen. It’s dazzling to see, and impossible to imagine this ever looking better.


No, Cinderella doesn’t provide a bombastic home theater audio mix, but it does, however, present the film with the utmost care. Clarity is substantial. Each line jumps from the center channel as if recorded yesterday. Even the sound effects function as such. Slight extensions into the rears (a cat roar) do bring a modern flair, but a minor one that merely accentuates rather than distracts.


Disney keeps everything on the Blu-ray, which is all recycled from their previous standalone 1080p release. Things open with a trivia segment with Disney Channel kids. An introduction from Diane Disney Miller follows, with a great 38-minute making-of next. A look at an earlier Cinderella treatment and a 10-minute look at the making of a glass slipper promo runs 10-minutes. Storyboards, a Nine Old Men tribute, Mary Blair’s art, a vintage Mickey Mouse Club episode, promo for Disney World, a 1922 animated silent adaptation, and radio shows fill the classic bonuses menu.

The movie can also be played as a pop-up feature showing storyboards, behind-the-scenes photos, commentary, and more. It’s superbly done, and doesn’t even need the movie playing alongside it.

Cinderella (1950)
  • Video
  • Audio
  • Extras


Marvelously told with Dinsey’s classic flair, Cinderella remains a lavish achievement in American animation.

User Review
5 (4 votes)

The following six screen shots serve as samples for our subscription-exclusive set of 37 full resolution uncompressed 4K screen shots grabbed directly from the UHD:

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