(The Disneycember logo is shown, before showing clips from Cinderella III: A Twist in Time)
Doug (vo): As I get closer to the end of watching all these Disney sequels, I can say that, honestly, the most entertaining out of all of them is Cinderella III. Yeah, I know, right? The third Cinderella movie? That's ridiculous. Look at this opening. It doesn't even look like it's gonna be anything. It looks like a sequel even worse than the previous sequel! But, when I was telling people I was gonna do all these Disney sequels, what I kept hearing over and over is that Cinderella III is good. "Wait till you get to Cinderella III. That's a good one." And...for the most part, they're kind of right. Are there problems? Yeah, I guess that's sort of to be expected with any of the Disney sequels. Is it my favorite? No. But...again, it's...how do I put this? Easily the most fun.
Doug (vo): Like I said before, it opens up kind of corny and chintzy, with a goofy little song, not really that impressive. But suddenly, the villains return, the Stepmother and the stepsisters. They come across the Fairy Godmother's magic wand, turn her to stone, and start going back in time to make it that the stepsister (Anastasia) is the one that has the shoe that fits. Thus, everything is altered, Cinderella is left in the dust, and she doesn't have her happily ever after. The villains are taken to the palace, they hypnotize the Prince into thinking that the sister was the one that he fell in love with, and it's up to Cinderella to sneak in there and convince him what's really going on without getting caught by the guards or the Evil Stepmother.
Doug (vo): On the one hand, this sounds incredibly forced and silly, and...yeah. I guess it kind of is. But, for such a forced and silly idea, they do everything that they can with it.
(Clips focusing on the villains are shown)
Doug (vo): They realize that the most interesting characters are the villains, and there's a lot of time focused on them. Look at the drawings on them, look at these close-ups. They are just so devious, and they love every second that they're onscreen, and so do we. I remember there's a scene where Cinderella sneaks in as a servant, and she has her face covered, and the Stepmother is sort of looking in this reflection on the water, and she can kind of see her face, and I actually went, "Oh, no!", which...is amazing. I actually said "Oh, no!" during a Cinderella film, let alone a sequel! That's insane!
(Several other characters are shown)
Doug (vo): But on top of that, they actually give a lot of characters who didn't have much development in the other films a lot more development. The King, for example, is more than just a guy who's bouncing up and down, saying, "Ah, get me grandchildren!" They make him this really sentimental guy who lost his wife years ago, and so, he's passing on this piece of jewelry to the now daughter-in-law, and it's actually really sweet. One of the stepsisters is given a lot more development, too, and what makes this so clever is that it actually ties into the second film, Cinderella 2. Yeah, that stupid sequel that nobody cared about, they actually have some things that tie into it. Not only is her character given a lot of depth in the story arc, but they even have characters from the second film that were introduced in this one as well. Remember the woman in charge of the servants? Of course you don't, because nobody remembers the second film. But she's in this. What an incredible touch of detail! Even the Prince, who had maybe one line of dialogue in the first movie and, I don't know, maybe two in the second one...he was clearly just the eye candy...has a lot more character in this. Well, okay, not a lot more character, but certainly, there is a personality there. He's general, nice and charming, but you do get to know him a little bit more, enough that you want to see him get with the right person.
(Scenes mostly focusing on the animation are shown)
Doug (vo): The animation is fantastic, and what's so great about it is that it doesn't necessarily try to recreate the same animation from the first film. Bambi II kind of fell into that trap, and while it wasn't really bad or anything, you're just constantly reminded that this isn't its own thing. This, even though it's a sequel, does feel like its own thing. The imagery gets a lot more creepy and a lot more creative. There's a scene where she throws Cinderella into this giant pumpkin, and it's all gross and disgusting inside, and these vines just grab this horse and wrap around him, and then she turns the cat into this evil servant who's laughing maniacally as he's gonna ride it off a cliff, and it's just crazy! It's something that you want to see in a fairy tale sequel. It gets a little darker, it gets a little crazier, and it gets a lot more fun. It's like half-Cinderella and half-Tim Burton. It's just so enjoyable to view.
(Clips mostly focusing on Cinderella are shown)
Doug (vo): So, okay, this movie sounds great. Is it great? Well, there are a few little problems that hold it back from being a complete piece, and I don't think it's just nitpicking. The biggest one is Cinderella herself, which is not to say the character is done horribly, I mean, they actually animate her very well and the pacing is good and there's even a scene when she finds out that everything's been changed, where you don't even see her reaction. You just see her place her hand on the door, and that's kind of all you need. Little moments like that are really, really good. But the problem is, in the story, it's kind of like The Little Mermaid. She doesn't learn anything, she doesn't go through an arc, she just kind of wants to get something, and she gets it. I guess it's just kind of a distracting contrast when you see what these other characters are going through and all the changes that they have going on. On top of that, some of the morals are a little weird, like there's this ongoing thing that when you touch a person's hand, you immediately know if you're in love, and, yeah, I know. Disney, fairy tales, they kind of teach even weirder lessons than that if you really think about it. But I don't know. That seemed particularly odd. For a movie that's really trying to fix the dated problems of the first film, it seems like that was something that was clearly really distracting that they maybe should've taken another look at.
(The movie's climatic scenes are shown)
Doug (vo): On top of that, this movie has three climaxes. Yeah, there's one where the Prince saves her, then there's one where she saves herself, and then there's one where she saves him, and it's just kind of all over the place. But they're all kind of fun, too. It's, like, all this green stuff flying everywhere, and this choir going "Ohhhhhhhhh!" It's something you can clearly tell the animators and the writers and the directors were having fun doing, and we feel that fun.
Final thought Edit
Doug (vo): The hard work and effort is clearly there, in a project where it didn't need to be there. They went 110% on something that clearly was just meant to be thrown out really fast, but they really tried, and you can tell they really tried. But, yeah, those problems I mentioned before are still legitimate problems. They do kind of focus a little too much on the side characters, and, yeah, I know the first film, you could argue that, too, but the center was still around her need, her want, her going through this endurance to get what was needed, working hard and finally getting that reward. Here, I guess it's just kind of the same thing, working hard and getting that reward, but we already saw that, so why is that interesting? But in my opinion, the rest is so much fun and so crazy and so enjoyable that I can kind of overlook it, and I think a lot of other people overlook it, too. All I can say is, what everyone's been saying about it is...strangely right. It is really entertaining, and I highly recommend it. I can't say it's perfect, I can't say it's a Disney classic or anything, but it's just a ton of surreal joy. I like how they took something that was pretty pointless and even kind of a dumb idea and turned it into something that was just kind of cool, and focused on the elements that were the most enjoyable from the first film. If you want a Disney sequel that doesn't need to exist but is still really, really neat, Cinderella III is, bizarrely enough, the one to check out.
(The final scene of the movie is shown)