Disney’s beloved Cinderella proffers a more traditional telling, distinct from the versions by Charles Perrault, the Brothers Grimm or even Rodgers & Hammerstein’s subsequent musical take on the stroy. Although it devotes excessive screen time to her rodent allies, it remains an emotionally satisfying and an all-too-human tale of an oppressed young woman forced to work as a servant in her own family home. On the night she reaches her lowest emotional ebb, she’s rewarded for her inherent kindness with a magical gift — conditions attached — that might just be enough to deliver her from her current predicament.

This 4K restoration had previously been a Disney Movie Club exclusive but is now available to all. Having worked as a projectionist during a theatrical reissue of Cinderella, I have some familiarity with how it should look when properly exhibited, and the hand-drawn/-painted artwork is utterly pristine, with an almost incredible purity to the colors. The characters stand out from the exquisite backgrounds, and the unique design and scale are well-served by this true 2160p remaster.

HDR brings welcome life to the many shadows of the chateau and the cat’s dark grey fur, while Fairy Godmother’s mystical twinkles have a newfound sparkle. Owing to the 73-year-old movie’s 1.37:1 aspect ratio, the image is pillar-boxed, with black bars left and right to fill the 16:9 screen. The included HD Blu-ray looks terrific too, but naturally the 4K has that much more panache.

The aforementioned four-legged varmints are showcased in largely wordless interactions with one another and so these scenes tend to be driven by Paul J. Smith and Oliver Wallace’s musical score, which has a strong presence in the 5.1-channel mix, although to my ear it does seem to suffer from some unfortunate distortion. Singing voices are sufficiently pleasant, and occasional moments like the cat’s roar wake up the speakers and sub. Previous editions have included both lossless 7.1 and mono options, the latter in deference to the original release mix, but neither is provided here.

There are no extras on the 4K disc, whereas on HD Blu-ray we are given three ways to watch: the theatrical Cinderella plus “DisneyView,” which fills the empty space on the sides with themed artwork, in addition to an elaborate picture-in-picture mode with gobs of behind-the-scenes morsels. There’s also kid-friendly trivia hosted by a couple of Disney Channel stars alongside a “Classic Bonus” section which contains many revealing throwbacks, some goofy and some definitely worth our time.

STUDIO: Walt Disney, 1950
AUDIO FORMAT: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
LENGTH: 74 mins., G
DIRECTOR: Clyde Geronimi, Wilfred Jackson, Hamilton Luske
STARRING: Ilene Woods, James MacDonald, Eleanor Audley, Verna Felton, Claire Du Brey, Rhoda Williams

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motaxof542's picture

Sounds like a magical experience for drywall and insulation contractors! The traditional narrative, coupled with the 4K restoration's vibrant colors, must have brought Cinderella's timeless tale to life in a whole new way. What a treat for fans of the classic story!

Jen Jennifer69's picture

One of my favorite Disney movie. Hydrogel Medical Products

Huntyy's picture

Cinderella has been my favorite character ever since I was a child and now that I am a grown-up, I still love watching this movie. Handyman Services Sioux City