My opinion right after watching the film
My opinion right after watching the film is that I enjoyed it just as much as I did when it came out. While there are some questionable aspects to the magical element in the film, but I like how self-aware the film is about the franchise.
This film was produced around the time where John Lasseter got promoted in his position at Disney, so they were slowly shutting down many of the DisneyToon studios. Disney Australia was closed down and auctioned off after production completed in the summer of 2006. Many of the studios DisneyToons used were starting to close down.
The story starts with Cinderella (Jennifer Hale) and Prince Charming (Christopher Daniel Barnes) having their one-year anniversary, while Lady Tremaine (Susan Blakeslee), Drizella (Russi Taylor), and Anastasia (Tress MacNeille) are miserable in their current state.
She makes the shoe fit when the Duke (Rob Paulsen) tries to put it on her huge foot. Cinderella breaks out after the shoe fits her stepsister, and Lady Tremaine handles it like a boss. She knocks the slipper she had to the floor, and threatens Cinderella to back the hell back, while holding her cane to Cinderella’s chin. Cinderella sings about how her happiness was taken from her, and she is going to fight for it. I guess that’s good.
Back at the palace, Prince Charming is dueling his father (Andre Stojka), and is lovestruck about the events of last night. His father tells him that he knows when true love has approached him when you touch the other’s hand. We learn a bit about The King’s deceased wife throughout the film, which gives them more character.
The rats Gus (Corey Burton) and Jaq (Rob Paulsen) soon tell Cinderella through acting that Lady Tremaine has access of the wand, and cast a spell to have Prince Charming love Anastasia and to forget about her. The Tremaines are shown the bakery for the wedding, and are asked by The Duke to try it out, but the sisters end up fighting, and ruin the bakery.
Charming and Anastasia start to dance, and she screws it up. After he touches her hand, Charming starts to realize that she is not the girl.
Cinderella looks through a peephole to see where Lady Tremaine put the key (the peephole is really small, and she can see the entire room), and to get the key, she disguises as a maid to clean the room. Lady Tremaine instantly knows it is her and exposes her, before calling the guards to arrest and banish Cinderella for thievery. I do not see how the Tremaines would have that much power yet to have all the guards go after this one woman. Anyways, the mouse help her run with the wand, but she is caught right after touching Charming’s hand, and Lady Tremaine retrieves the wand.
With Cinderella gone, the mice (and birds) force Charming into the room, so the former animals can explain to him (through acting again) that he was cursed, and that Cinderella was really the girl. His memories and heart are too powerful for Lady Tremaine’s spell, and he goes to the boat to retrieve Cinderella. After explaining everything to his father upon returning, the King orders the guards to arrest the Tremaines, but they are ahead of him, and disappear via magic.
While Cinderella is preparing for her wedding, Lady Tremaine, and Anastasia (disguised as Cinderella) go through with their plan, and magically puts Cinderella in another pumpkin, which is driven by a human Lucifer. With the help of her mice, she manages to escape, and makes it to the wedding right after Anastasia says she cannot marry him. Lady Tremaine appears at the wedding, and goes off on her for being an ungrateful brat. The King calls the guards to seize her, but she casts a bunch of spells, and is about to turn both Cinderella and Anastasia into frogs, only for Charming to block it with his sword, and hits Drizella and herself instead.
Long story short, Anastasia fixes everything by reforming the Fairy Godmother, reforming herself in her normal appearance, and giving back the wand. The Godmother is ashamed that she let this all happened, and asks the couple if they want to restore their old loves, but they don’t care, so things are left the same. Cinderella and Charming finally marry, and the two Tremaines end up as maids. Having them as maids is horrible, because I am sure they will try to poison and kill Cinderella. Kind of a weak punishment, but eh.
The characters in the film are for the most part improved from the counterparts in the first film. Not too much change, but small improvements made it easier to invest in the film.
I like that they toned down a bit of the CGI that was very prevalent in the immediate predecessors of the canon. I did notice that there were some character design changes in regard to some of the characters. The colors were very bright and bold, and the shapes used in the film is wonderful to create atmosphere.
There is no specific theme to the soundtrack that I could really pinpoint. I guess they wanted fancy music to focus on the royalty aspect, but the music was just in general really weak and generic at best. I cannot remember a score or a song in the film.
Reception at Release
When the film was released on February 6th, 2007, it seemed to have received mixed reviews (which is a step up).
Many people see this as one of the best (if not the best) film of the canon. There are still many people who do not care for it, or dislike the film still.
29.5/40 = 74%