When lighting, textures and scenery pop on a screen – especially in a familiar tale that we’ve envisioned ourselves – we can be transported. In the case of Disney's "Cinderella," we feel like we are there, interacting with the characters at the royal ball, waiting for the clock to strike 12 times.
The live action version of the film was released on Blu-ray, DVD and digital HD download on Sept. 15.
Known for her work on "Downton Abbey," actress Lily James lives by courage and kindness to bring Cinderella to life. We feel her agony at the loss of her mom, then her dad, and how she tries to endure even as her stepmother and step sisters come to see her as merely their servant.
What director Kenneth Branagh brings to films like this – the same way he did in the first "Thor" film – is that the fantastic world seem livable with characters we are able to endear ourselves to.
Can mice turn into horses and a pumpkin to an ornate coach for a ride to the castle? In the magic presented here, we can believe it.
Cate Blanchet dons classic looks to bring a different sinister yet believable woman scorned as the stepmother. Well-known character actors Stellan Skarsgard and Helena Bonham Carter seem to enjoy delving into make believe, a well-worn land where they get to play animated characters of the Grand Duke and the Fairy Godmother respectively. As a nice aside that never was more than one dimensional in the classic animated version of the tale, "Game of Thrones" actor Richard Madden rounds out the Prince. Here, he’s more rounded out as a full character as he tries to learn from his father, wonderfully portrayed by Derek Jacobi, before sickness takes its final toll.
The dynamic between the King and his son make the need to find a bride at the ball actually make more sense … if that is even achievable in a fairy tale.
The extras included on the Blu-ray will delight those who like to know how a movie is made. The small features show how the production was made, including the costuming and set design of the ball inside the historic James Bond studio in London.
Also, "Frozen Fever," the Disney animated short that appeared with the film in theaters, can be found in the special features.
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