Prince Cinders (Animation)
Sound: C+ Extras: C- Main Feature: B-
In a throwback to purposely-simple yet elegant animation, Prince
Cinders (1994) pulls on the mythos of fantasy storytelling with some wit,
if not the outright mockery and deconstruction of the Shrek
franchise. Staying within the classical
fantasy storybook world, the title character has three mean brothers, then is
turned into a funny-looking ape. He too
lands up with a fairy godmother, but she is as inept as Carol Kane in Scrooged
(1988), so his order to become a bodybuilder built backfires and she cannot
undo the spell.
Though it runs a mere 30 minutes, the piece has a kindness
and refinement that makes it more child-friendly than the usual that we see in
such programming, which explains why a company like First Run would want to add
it to its growing stable of such titles.
It goes out of its way to respect the younger audience above what we
usually see and that it is a quality production is a plus. Babette Cole’s book is adapted by Robert
Llewellyn, and is consistent, making this a nice if shorter than desired
addition to any children’s library.
The full frame 1.33 X 1 image is drawn in soft, broad
strokes to retain a book like feel.
Even with that, the definition is not bad under the circumstances, with
a color palette that we do not see enough.
The Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo has no Pro Logic surrounds to speak of, but
is clear enough to get all the jokes.
Dirk Higgins music enhances things nicely as well. The only extras are 10 stills of cel art and
previews for five other First Run DVDs aimed for family viewing. This one holds its own.
- Nicholas Sheffo