Wednesday, August 1, 2012

My Summer of Sequels: "Cinderella 3: A Twist in Time" (2007)

In case you were wondering, there's a reason why I am doing My Summer of Sequels. It took me a while to realize it but here it is.

You can't fairly call the time period of Disney that roughly covers the 2000's the Dork Age without covering the DTV sequels.  Because when you get right down to it, they are an integral part of the reason why this was the Dork Age for Disney.  Make a seemingly endless string of direct-to-video sequels (nearly all of which could be subtitled, to borrow a phrase, "The Search For More Money") to your classic films and your classic films start to lose their special-ness. I've mentioned this before in an earlier post, and no, I will not be covering the sequel that prompted it ("The Fox and the Hound 2"; "Dumbo 2" never happened, thank the gods old and new).  Even though I briefly considered doing so.  Even though it was right there in the queue ready to go.  Chronologically, it's review would have gone right about here.  But I caved.  You win, Disney DTV Sequels.  You broke me.

And anyway, if I covered the sequel (actually a midquel so that, once again, the characters can be shown in their more marketable forms) where Patrick Swayze voices the leader of an evidently very popular country band consisting of one human playing guitar and five dogs barking and howling and yapping along (by the way, writer who came up with that plot point, what the f**k?), I'd obviously have to cover "Tarzan 2", the midquel where George Carlin voices a crazy old hermit gorilla.  And the midquel where Belle rescues a baby bird and Beast goes out of his mind over that.  And the sequel where Quasimodo falls in love with a chick and shows her a bell that is very literally beautiful on the inside (Get it?  Get it?)  And the sequel where Princess Kida reveals her people to the outside world for... reasons.  And the sequel where Stitch basically becomes the Pikachu equivalent to 625 other Stitch-like creatures.  And the one where... why am I even bringing these up?

I hope covering the sequel where Cinderella's wicked stepmother gains magic powers and alters history makes up for all this.

On to the terrible horrible no-good very bad task at hand.  If anything positive is to be said about "Cinderella 3: A Twist in Time," it's that it is at least one of the more conceptually complicated sequels in the pack.  Cinderella and Prince Doormat are celebrating their anniversary and the Fairy Godmother is there to do... absolutely nothing important except accidentally set the plot in motion.  See the action here very wisely shifts right to Lady Tremaine and the stepsisters.

Side-note: during my last trip to Walt Disney World, I realized that if I am ever a Face Character (Characters who show their real faces, can speak to the guests, and can never break character ever), I want to be a stepsister.  They have the best job out of all of the female Faces.  Every other Face has to be polite and nice and happy to see all the children.  The stepsisters, on the other hand, *have* to be rude and nasty and bratty.  That is awesome!

Another side-note: I cannot even imagine all the important plot points I must have missed out on by skipping "Cinderella 2: Dreams Come True".  I can't.  Seriously, you guys.

So anyway, Anastasia and Drizella are whining and moaning all day and Lady Tremaine is seething over the fact that she could be the absolute worst and scariest of all the Disney Villains since she is just so needlessly cruel to every living thing within line-of-sight - but she doesn't have powers.  Shortly thereafter, Anastasia stumbles upon the anniversary party and poor dingbatty Fairy Godmother drops her wand right in her hiding spot.  Tremaine in turn nicks it from Anastasia, and now we are all well and truly f**ked.

Here's where things get... ehhhh... mildly interesting in a badly-written fanfiction way: Lady Tremaine uses the wand to travel back in time to when the whole Search For the Girl Who Fits the Shoe business happens (the most genuinely brilliant aspect of this movie is its acknowledgement that, again to borrow a phrase, strange magical women distributing transparent footwear to depressed girls is no basis for a system of government).  She makes the shoe fit Anastasia, deletes Cinderella from the Prince's memories, and we suddenly find ourselves in a genuine "What If...?" Disney movie.

At a certain point, I realized that this movie was just turning into Megamorphs: Back to Before (stay with me).  Somehow, Cinderella remembers what happens, so she has to spend the tedious bulk of the movie convincing the Prince that something is terribly wrong.  Couple problems here: The DisneyToon studio just was not equipped to handle Silver Age style character designs.  Cinderella and the Prince are onscreen an awful lot and the TV studio budget does not do them any favors.  It's a little like watching Barbie and Ken court each other (and not in the fun "Toy Story 3" way).  Furthermore, while Cindy at least gets a little bit of character development, the Prince appears to have all the awareness of a houseplant.  Actually, given what I've seen of my houseplants, less awareness.  It takes him way too long to finally figure out what's up.

And some time after he finally does figure things out, he jumps right out the window.

Like you do.

I have to give credit to this scene, as it actually woke me up.  Like, did I really just see that?

Yup.  Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, I am very proud to present you with DisneyDirectToVideoSequels.gif (Note: Not actually labeled as such and you can blame the Photobucket Apocalypse.)

Just trust me when I say that yes, this actually happens, and no, context will not help you in the least.  It's also way funnier in the film because as you see, it is animated on ones, even though it happens so fast you could blink and miss it.  So whoever was in charge of this little scene of WTF really put their heart into it.

After this scene, the only interesting aspects of "Cinderella 3: Electric Boogalee" are some honestly poignant character development in Anastasia, and a Dark Pumpkin Coach which is way more metal than it sounds.

Next up, our very last sequel ever!  Seriously, I am not even acknowledging that Disney DTV Sequels are even a thing after this.


Sketch of the Day!

Really Old Heraldry Studies, fit for a much more interesting Princess:

Heraldry Animals


raptor_044 said...

I've heard 1 reviewer refer to Cinderella 3 as the least awful DTV sequel. Out of curiosity, which 1 is the least awful in your opinion?


Trish said...

Ah, good question. I remember "Aladdin and the King of Thieves" being really good, but I haven't seen it in a while. During this project, "Lion King 1.5" was the best.

Incidentally, the next (and last) sequel is, by far, the worst one I have ever seen.

raptor_044 said...

Worse than the "Beauty and the Beast" midquels? That's really bad!


Trish said...

Oh jeez, I had "BATBEC" nicely repressed.

OK, it's the SECOND-worst sequel after "Beauty and the Beast's Enchanted Christmas."