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Once Upon a Mattress
and Rogers & Hammerstein's 
Cinderella

Cinderella (Wide World of Disney)

 


5 of 5 stars Completely Charming October 25, 2001 

This movie floats like a rainbow in the sky sprinkled with fairy dust. It is the most visually stunning, spectacular feast for the eyes I have ever seen. The messages are wonderful and wholesome, the plot perfect and the singing...magical. I can't find one single thing wrong with this movie.

Brandy brings a sweet innocence to Cinderella, and in my mind, she is the most beautiful Cinderella ever. Her voice lacks a certain maturity, which was perfect for the role. It breathes innocence and a human spirit into Cinderella like never before. She is sweet, mysterious and very feminine. She presents women in a very positive way.

When Cinderella and the Prince meet in the market, you just can't imagine it happened any other way. Paolo Montalban: wow...he is the perfect prince and so handsome. I was so impressed with his voice. When Brandy and Paolo sang together it gave me shivers and one time almost made me cry. It was like two souls mingling in the sky with longing. The choreography was stunningly original. The scenes in the market with all the food will just delight every cook.

The story starts in a market with Cinderella and her two sisters shopping. She meets the Prince, and is then told not to talk to him and is whisked home. Almost immediately, plans are being made for a Royal Ball to find the prince a wife so he can produce an heir for the kingdom. Whoopi Goldberg is hilarious as the Queen, and Victor Garber comes across as a loving father who wants the best for his son. I was amazed when the King and Queen were actually in love, which was not the case in other movies.

As in all the Cinderella stories, Cinderella is left at home and then when she wishes to go to the Ball, the fairy godmother magically appears.

Whitney Houston plays a fairy godmother just as you would imagine her to be, ethereally floating next to the horses and carriage, sparkling, singing...wow, what more could you ask for. It was amazing. Then, the humor was also there as she tries at first to turn the pumpkin into a carriage and fails on the first try. She mumbles something about how she should be able to do this after 600 years of practice. What she does with a pumpkin, well...baby, get ready. This woman can cook! She turns the pumpkin into the most stunning carriage. The pastel blue dress Brandy wears is simply gorgeous.

When Cinderella arrives at the ball, her sisters have already had their chance to um, impress the prince and have failed. The costumes and sets are so incredibly gorgeous and the ballroom dancing almost makes you dizzy because they keep spinning and spinning and spinning. There is a scene at the ball that will make you laugh out loud when her sister is on the staircase. Oh, my that was funny.

Cinderella of course makes it to the end of the stairs at midnight as her beautiful gown changes back to her regular clothes and she loses her glass slipper. When she gets home, more fun awaits. Her sisters are very suspicious of how much she knows about the ball. One of the funny things is that Bernadette Peters looks younger than one of her daughters, but still manages to pull off the step mother act with great flair. We cannot say the same for her daughters. They are quite funny and bumbling, just as we want them to be.

When Cinderealla's stepmother says something about remembering to hide flaws until after the wedding, Cinderella comments as to how a man should love a woman for who she is. A great message to women who sometimes try to be all things to men and fail to find true happiness in being just who they are.

I've always adored the story of Cinderella, and the fact that in this adaptation Cinderella is African American was delightful. Anyone who says Brandy can't act is really lying. She brings a wonderful spirit to this movie and does a wonderful job, she is a much better actor than eighty percent of the actors in movies today. The warmth she pours into this story is so needed in our world today.

I am literally SHOCKED at the poor reviews this movie has received. I have never seen anything this beautiful and heartwarming in my life! This is now my favorite version of Cinderella besides Ever After, which also makes Cinderella so much more human. They are both on my list of favorite movies.

The message of having a wish and then making it come true shows that everything starts with a wish. This message of hope and eternal optimism is so needed in society today. The multicultural actors added so much to the story; and it sends a wonderful message.

You will totally fall in love with this movie!

 

If you love new versions of Cinderella,
 I think you may also enjoy: 

 EVER AFTER

 

Once Upon a Mattress

 

Extravagantly Nonsensical, April 16, 2006

"I want some happily ever after to happen to me." ~Princess Winnifred

Tracey Ullman and Carol Burnett acting in the same movie seems to create an especially hilarious comedic chemistry. Based on the hit Broadway show from the 50s, this retelling of the "Princess and the Pea" is a delicious dance through fairytale land.

The castle set is magical and filled with cherry trees, roses trailing over the tower walls and dreamy moonscapes viewed from the top of the castle. The cinematography is especially clever, causing even scenes that would be a normal interaction to suddenly turn into an occasion for laughter. The camera angles are very creative.

Tracey Ullman plays Princess Winnifred and her physical comedy is filled with a mixture of childlike wonder and adult comedy. She alternates effortlessly between gazing at the moon and dancing in complex choreographed sessions that show a high sense of artistic precision. Candles throughout the set create an appealing romantic mood. The sets and especially brilliantly designed costumes could not be more entertaining.

As Queen Aggravain attempts to get rid of Princess Winnifred through a variety of tests, Prince Dauntless becomes more and more amused by the challenge between his mother and his love interest. I have to say one of the scenes I laughed over the most was Queen Aggravain feeding Prince Dauntless chocolate cake.

~The Rebecca Review

 

A Story with Fairy Dust Sparkles

Unicorn Races

 

Magical Illustrations, April 6, 2007

Linda Crockett's magical illustrations create a comforting environment in which to escape from the pressures of reality. Unicorn Races is an enchanting story about a girl named Abigail who is transformed into a princess. As if in a dream, she is transported to a land of cookies and ice cream sundaes in a beautiful forest. The strawberry icing on the cupcakes looks delicious and everyone is eager to start the races so they can attend the party.

"In a flash, the six majestic unicorns quickly bolted from the clearing. Like a rainbow after a midsummer's shower, the colorful beasts stretched across the shadowy skyline. The princess watched in astonishment as they gracefully took flight."

As the unicorns race through the sky and run through the ocean waves, they finally run past the finished line and the party can begin.

This beautiful book features a padded cover, sturdy binding and page after page of lavender, rose and sapphire illustrations. The coloring used in the art creates a magical setting filled with sparkles like each page has been sprinkled with fairy dust.

~The Rebecca Review

 

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