DVD Review: Cinderella & The Secret Prince

If you’re a parent, odds are you’ve seen Cinderella at least twice… a week with an occasional marathon repeat day when your child has discovered how to use the DVD remote control. The tale of the orphaned girl forced to be a servant for her evil stepmother and stepsisters only to emerge a princess rings true to a child who swears cleaning up their toys is cruel and unusual punishment. After a few days, you ponder if there’s anyway you can alter the child’s viewing habits while still giving her a daily dose of Cinderella action. Cinderella and the Secret Prince alters the story of the future princess by going beyond the Disney version of the events. This time we see the events from the perspective of the mice and learn a dark secret.

Everything starts out according to the normal story as three mice arrive and see the young Cinderella being forced to do all the chores for her stepmother and ungrateful stepsisters. They are all getting ready to go to the Royal Ball being held for all the eligible women in the area to meet the Prince. Cinderella doesn’t get to go and wishes so hard that the mice step in. One of them knows of a fairy Godmother that lives in the forest. They meet Crystal, the fairy Godmother’s apprentice. This slightly magical woman with a big furry hat transforms the mice into horses and Cinderella into near royalty. They head off to the Ball. While Cinderella is dancing away, the mice get to search the basement of the castle. It is here that they discover that the Queen is more than she appears. She practices dark magic. This leads to the second big identity exposure when Alex the Mouse tells his backstory. The team of Cinderella, Crystal and the three mice must put things right to restore the kingdom.

Cinderella and the Secret Prince is not a Disney take on the fairytale. The film goes a bit darker than even the alternate Cinderella‘s Disney have released in their cinematic alternate takes on the tale. There’s quite a bit of action during the film when the characters have to expose the giant fraud being pulled on the kingdom. The CGI animation keeps the pace moving even when the story twists away from the normal telling. The ending goes beyond the usual Disney happy wrap up. There’s a strong sense of sacrifice. Cinderella and the Secret Prince is a fine switch up for kids who are about to hit the 1,000 time club for the conventional Cinderella.

The video is 2.35:1 anamorphic. The transfer brings out the CGI work on the castle and magical forest. The audio is 5.1 Dolby Surround so you can hear the magic swirl. There’s also a 2.0 Dolby Stereo mix in case you don’t have surround sound. There’s also a French dub in 2.0 Dolby Stereo. The subtitles are in English.

Trailer (2:01) promises a different Cinderella.

Shout! Factory presents Cinderella and the Secret Prince. Directed by Lynne Southerland. Screenplay by: Alice Blehart, Stephanie Bursill, Russell Fung & Francis Glebas. Starring:
Cassandra Lee Morris, Chris Niosi, R. Martin Klein, Tony Azzolino, Kirsten Day, Wendee Lee & Stephen Mendel . Rated: PG. Running Time: 90 minutes. Released: November 5, 2019.

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