“Once upon a time…In the West!”
Cinderella, as told in the Wild West. It’s an interesting idea, but what about the execution? If you’re going to call a story “Cinderella,” there are things you expect. For the most part, Cinderella (2012) hits the typical notes. There’s Cinderella, of course, and her evil stepmother. Throw in a couple of evil stepsisters and a handsome prince, and you indeed have the bones of the story.
That’s where the similarities end. For starters, Cinderella isn’t exactly the shy, dutiful servant we are familiar with. In fact she’s a brawler. She has the ability to be a lady, sure, as we see during the saloon scene, but she’s a pretty snarky woman. Or I should say a pretty snarky cow. Or possibly dog, I honestly couldn’t tell. Cinderella is a film populated by anthropomorphic animals.
Then instead of a ball there’s a sort-of dance in the saloon. Like in the classic story, Cinderella isn’t going to go. However, she doesn’t have a fairy godmother, she has a shaman, who disguises her for the event. Just when you think there will be a magical night, it soon turns into a kidnapping. In a somewhat bizarre turn, there’s a gang of thieves who kidnap the prince and his mother. Cinderella springs into action and fights the thieves, losing a tooth in the process, but gaining the prince’s freedom. Cinderella’s costume disappears in the fray but that doesn’t stop her. The missing tooth becomes the proverbial glass slipper when the prince joins Cinderella on a quest to rescue his mother. And then he’ll find his mystery princess by matching the tooth to the gum it belongs to. Um, eww?
This may actually have been a decent movie if it was live action, but the deviations from the traditional Cinderella story are a bit jarring in an animated format. Add in the fact that (SPOILERS) not everyone makes it out alive, and it’s just not a Cinderella story I’m likely to recommend.
Just because I couldn’t discern what animals the characters were supposed to be doesn’t mean they weren’t pretty to look at. In fact, this is above-average video for a direct-to-video release. It was originally a 3D release and there are definite moments where that is evident in the extreme foreground. The palette is very rich with a beautiful pink patina to it during the day scenes and a lovely soft blue glow at night. I’m not a fan of the mariachi music which pervades the film, but the Dolby 5.1 Surround track does it justice.
The only bonus feature is a digital copy available through Walmart’s streaming service, VUDU.
Cinderella (2012) is a Walmart exclusive, so if you want to track it down, that’s where you’ll find it. Personally, I say pass. It’s got too much violence and not enough romance for me. However, if you have a kid who likes animal stories, Cinderella stories, and the Wild West, this is perfect.