Bad for Television, Better on Video?
With the video for The Hunchback of Notre Dame II out on the shelves, imagining the existence of a more insipid Disney animated sequel would be difficult, but here is Cinderella II: Dreams Come True.
This one is an atrocious sin made manifest. Partway through watching this saccharine, Easter-egg-colored concoction, you realize that it is made up of three episodes of a rejected TV show. The episodes are connected by an outer story -- no doubt produced especially for this video version -- and are each the standard 21 minutes long to allow for commercials. You can even detect the moments where commercials would have been inserted. The horror of this is that while Disney's original idea was to have advertisers pay for the project while letting its target audience watch it for free, its new idea dupes that same target audience into dishing out twenty bucks a copy for this monstrosity.
The episodes of this show are so bad that it is obvious why they were never aired. Guess what? They make for an even worse video to sit through. Instead of half-hour doses with commercials, the viewer is made to endure 73 minutes worth of extremely lazy writing, like when one of the ugly stepsisters, upset that she is not allowed to be courted by a baker, whines to Cinderella something to the effect of, "you were always the pretty one. Everything was easy for you." Right. The quiet girl who was forced to be the scullery maid always had it good. How quickly they forget.
There is only one place that Cinderella II -- the aborted TV show and the video -- belongs: on a dark shelf in a back room, forgotten and gathering dust.
©Jeffrey Chen, May 23, 2002
(Released by Walt Disney Pictures and rated "G" for all general audiences.)