Review: Cinderella (Blu-ray/DVD)

CINDERELLA BLU RAY PACKSHOTStarring Lily James, Helena Bonham-Carter, Cate Blanchett, Richard Madden

Directed by Kenneth Branagh

Disney, out now

Another tale as old as time retold in glorious live action…

Disney’s reworkings of their animated catalogue into live action versions are a bit of a mixed bunch – some stick to the original story, more or less; others, like Maleficent, seek to do something different. My personal preference is for the latter: after all, most of the stories that they told weren’t original to Disney in the first place, so let’s see what the 21st century creative minds can come up with.

That said, there’s always going to be a place for a sumptuous retelling of fairytales, such as Kenneth Branagh and his team have provided in this new Cinderella. It’s very traditional in its characterisation of the fairytale elements – albeit with Lily James’ Ella (Cinder-ella is her nickname) a little more challenging of the status quo than might normally be the case – with Cate Blanchett and Helena Bonham-Carter well-cast as evil stepmother (with cat Lucifer) and the fairy godmother. The music by Patrick Doyle (reuniting with Branagh after Thor) is suitably sumptuous and romantic while the special effects, which looked stunning on the big screen, are still very impressive on an HD television. There aren’t many surprises – but let’s be honest, that’s not what you’re looking for in this!

As far as the value-added material goes, there are short featurettes about elements of the production, but the one that most of the younger audience will go straight to is Frozen Fever, the continuation of the Anna and Elsa saga which has a new earworm song and a couple of laugh aloud gags even for adults.

Verdict: If you’re seeking glorious escapism, and happy ever afters, then seek this out. 8/10

Paul Simpson

Click here to read our interview with animal trainer Guillaume Grange


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