Cinderella 4K Ultra HD

Featured In Issue 268, July/August

WSR Score5
Basic Information on new release titles is posted as soon as titles are announced. Once reviewed, additional data is added to the database.
Walt Disney Home Entertainment
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Clyde Geronimi, Wilfred Jackson & Hamilton Luske
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DTS HD Lossless 5.1
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"Cinderella" is the ninth title to join the Walt Disney Signature Collection, which includes groundbreaking films created or inspired by the imagination and legacy of Walt Disney, featuring timeless stories and characters that have touched generations. Recently added to the prestigious Nation Film Registry, the animated classic centers on kind and hardworking Ciinderella, who is ordered around by her cruel stepmother, her awful stepsisters ––even the big clock in the church tower tells her when to start another day of drudgery. But they can't stop her from dreaming, and Cinderella has faith that someday her wishes will come true. When an invitation to the royal ball arrives, Cinderella is sure her time has come––until her stepsisters, with the encouragement of Lady Tremaine, tear her gown to shreds. Just when Cinderella believes all is lost, her Fairy Godmother appears, and with a wave of her wand and "Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boo." transforms an ordinary pumpkin into a magnificent coach and Cinderella's rags into a gorgeous gown, then sends her off to the Royal Ball. But Cinderella's enchanted evening must end when the spell is broken at midnight. It will take the help of her daring animal mice friends and a perfect fit into a glass slipper to create the ultimate fairy tale ending. (Gary Reber)

Special features include the original theatrical version and "the envisioning of Cinderella, six featurettes: "From Rags To Riches: The Making Of Cinderella," "The Cinderella That Almost Was," "Try This Trivia On For Size," "Behind The Magic: A New Disney Princess Fairyland," "The Magic Of The Glass Slipper", "The Art Of Cinderella: Concept Art," "Character Model Sheets," "Story Sketches," "Live-Action Reference," "Pencil Animation." "Behind-The-Scenes Stills" and "Feature Stills," Music And More; and a Movies Anywhere digital copy.

The 1.37:1 2160p HEVC/H.265 4K Ultra HD HDR10 picture, reviewed on a VIZIO Quantum X P85QX-JI UHD/HDR display, was photographed digitally and sourced from an upconverted 4K Digital Intermediate. This Ultimate Collector's Edition release of "Cinderella" features the same 1080p transfer as found on the Diamond Edition and Signature Edition releases. Picture quality is stunning, preserving all of the nuanced classic hand-created animation cells characteristic of other Golden Age Disney animated classics. In this restoration, grain has been removed without damage to the underlying principal animation. In the process, color and contrast adjustments have been made to create a pure state of animation that was not possible at the time of its original creation on film. While purists may object, the resulting technical quality can be appreciated by every fan of the film. Color fidelity is vividly gorgeous, delivering rich primaries and pastel hues. Blues are beautiful, along with lush greens and incredible pure blacks. Contrast is well balanced and appealing. Resolution is excellent, though, some may object to the lost or subdued brightly hued original line art. Still, every line is sharp as far as the original line art will permit. The hand-painted backgrounds retain their brushed texture and characters that are nicely hued. This "Cinderella" Diamond Edition makeover is simply gorgeous throughout and definitely deserving of reference status. (Gary Reber)

Both the 1080 and 4K Ultra HD discs in this package offer only a DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 soundtrack. There is not original monaural presentation in 1.0 DTS-HD Master Audio as in other editions. The previous Signature Edition had a repurposed DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1-channel soundtrack. The monaural presentation was faithful to the original compressed and distorted soundtrack. The sound was undistinguished, though, ADR dialogue was clear as well as sound effects and the orchestral score, as in this 5.1 presentation. Like the previous 7.1 remix, the 5.1 remix is far more engaging and enveloping but retains the essential character of the 1950's Cinderella's sound design. Surround energy on this soundtrack is limited, and most of the soundstage is resolutely front, but occasional spaciousness is at times heard. The entire track still has a noticeably narrow frontal sound that is most evident in some of the close harmony vocal work, but music, dialogue and sound effects are all delivered nicely. Dialogue is distinct and intelligible. Likewise, chirping birds and scampering mice and other ambient atmospherics and sound effects have been repurposed and are heard throughout the soundfield. The result is an experience that respects the original sound design. The 5.1-channel soundtrack presentation nicely crafted and deliver a rewarding sonic experience. The experience make for an enchanting fairy tale that will please all ages. (Gary Reber)