Walt Disney’s Cinderella Special Edition DVD Gift Set

I’d like to start by saying that the promises of Blu-ray have been overstated and under-realized. The claim of better picture quality and sound along with increased storage capacity were supposed to bring a whole new world to home entertainment.

The reality has been a marginal increase in presentation quality and, in most cases, less extras than we previously enjoyed on DVD. Much less if you compare today’s Blu-ray releases with yesterday’s Platinum 2-disc DVD Editions! And as you will see in this post, there simply is no comparison when you look at the Collector’s DVD Gift Sets:

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Cinderella Collector’s DVD Gift Set

  • 2-disc Special Edition DVD (Platinum Edition)
  • 8 Exclusive Character Portraits
  • Collector Book
  • Film Frame from the movie

I have three of these Disney collectible DVD sets and I continue to be amazed at the value they yield. Let’s start with the Platinum Edition DVD:

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Remember when the DVD case came in a cardboard sleeve with an opening cover? Remember that once you opened the DVD, you found a booklet inside describing what was on the discs, with navigational flow charts? Remember when ‘hours of extras’ meant hours of extras, not just 2 hours, if you were lucky? Then you remember the Platinum series of DVD’s!

The gift sets gave you this version of the DVD along with exclusive extras, like:

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A Dream Come True ‘making of’ Storybook

As you can see from the picture above right, the illustrations in this publication are amazing! You’ll also find behind-the-scenes pictures and stories of production.

Next, this set has something truly special:

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Film Frame: Cinderella on the staircase

But wait, that’s not all! You also get:

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8 Exclusive Character Portraits by:

Ollie Johnston and Andre Deja

This set sold for upwards of $50.00 CAN when it first came out, and they are hard to find today, even on eBay. And when you do, the price is usually quite high. I’m glad I picked this up when I did!

So the next time you hear a commercial extolling the virtues of Blu-ray, remember this post, and the great Platinum DVD and Collector’s Gift Sets of yesterday.

ABBA the Movie featuring… Mickey Mouse?

As many of my readers know, I have varied tastes. But I’m always on the lookout for that elusive Disney tie-in in whatever I’m watching! And just recently I was watching ABBA – The Movie and found a familiar Disney star waving to the camera.

But before we get to that, here is the aforementioned movie:

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I’ve always enjoyed ABBA’s music, so I knew I would enjoy this movie! But the Disney fan in me just couldn’t help but geek out when I saw this:

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The Moomba Festival Parade, Melbourne, Australia (1977)

In the movie, ABBA comes out onto the balcony of the Mayor’s office to overlook the parade and the crowds. In an interview segment on the disc, I learned that the vast majority of the people were there, not to see ABBA on the balcony, but because of the parade! OH fame, how fickle thou art!

But Mickey wasn’t the only Disney character to ride past the four Swedes:

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Cinderella riding a Fairy Godmother float

Moomba’s musical performers have included international acts such as ABBA, Neil Diamond and AC/DC as well as a number of smaller local acts.

You owe it to yourself to follow the link above to the Wikipedia site about the Moomba Festival. The word ‘Moomba’ is supposed to mean “let’s get together and have fun!” But… it is based on an Aboriginal word that actually (may) mean “Up Your Butt Hole!” Again, follow the link above if you want a good laugh!

Hmmm… it’s hard to believe Mickey Mouse would attend such a festival…

Disney Royalty Aren’t Very Nice to their Subjects!

So you’re living in a Disney fairy tale. Good for you! Actually, not good for you. For living in a Disney fairy tale is only good for a few main characters while for everyone else it’s just plain horrible.

How is that possible, you ask? Let’s look at a few examples:

Cinderella

So you’re living your humdrum peasant existence, minding your own business, when the King of your land decides his son needs a woman. So if you’re female and breathing you have no choice but to show up at the castle and strut your stuff… or else! What if you have already found your one true love? Irrelevant. Show up and suck it up, buttercup.

Cinderella

At least they’re happy!

Now you may think that living in a palace is better than living in poverty and filth, even if it means being married to an idiot, but shouldn’t it still be your choice? Granted, the Prince in this story was good-looking and a great guy, but again: choice!

Let’s move on to our next example:

Sleeping Beauty

She sleeps – You sleep!

This example is even worse, on so many levels. So an evil Fairy shows up just after the birth of the Royal baby and puts a curse on it: She will prick her finger on the needle of a spinning wheel on the eve of her sixteenth birthday and fall into a death-like sleep. Solution? Destroy all the spinning wheels in the Kingdom!

This qualifies as a knee-jerk reaction of epic proportions. First, why destroy all the spinning wheels right away? Why not wait until she’s 15 1/2 years old, and then destroy them? Second, many of the peasants use these spinning wheels to make their clothes, but no sweat really, because peasants don’t need dignity and can walk around in rags or naked. Third, how about the merchants? I guess if you had a business making garments you could always have a big closing sale before switching your occupation to street beggar!

But this Royal Family wasn’t through with the rank and file yet! After their darling daughter pricked her finger and took a snooze anyway, three good Fairies decided that the pain two parents were feeling over just one child was way too much grief for the entire Kingdom to bear. So they put every living thing into a deep sleep until the Royal daughter could be saved from the sleeping curse. Um, don’t I, as a lowly peasant, get a vote in this? I think I could live with that pain! Goodnight, Royals! I’m staying up for a while.

Now the Royals didn’t order the Fairies to do this, but it was done on behalf of them, so I still call it their bad! One guard even got put to sleep while leaning on a spear. Imagine how messed up this palace grunt will be after years of standing outside in all kinds of weather! And what about those poor merchants again? If their businesses relied on out-of-Kingdom trade, bankruptcy is inevitable when every business contact they had moves on after not hearing from them… for years!

Beauty and the Beast

We all know that the sins of the Father can be visited on the Son. Also, if the captain of a ship decides to steer the ship into an iceberg, everyone is going down! But no one can mess with the future of others quite like a Disney Royal.

So the Prince in the Beauty and the Beast story is a raging idiot. Insensitive. Boorish. Just not a nice guy all around. So when an Enchantress stops by his castle one night to ask for a small act of kindness, he callously blows her off. And does this Enchantress just punish him? Of course not! Why not cast a curse on every living thing in the castle while she’s at it?

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Yay! I’m a Candlestick! No, wait…

So the Prince’s dedicated staff, a group of top-notch professionals who only live to serve, are also cursed. So to sum up: Master is a Jerk. I get to be a feather duster… perhaps for eternity. Thanks!

Conclusion

So do you think you’d like to live in a Disney fairy tale? If so, and by that I mean you’re insane, be sure to be one of these two characters: A Royal Parent, or the Royal Child that the whole world revolves around. You’ll be a bit upset, briefly, but not as screwed as the rabble you rule over!

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Sure, you’re dancing now, but just wait!

If you’re just determined to be in a Disney fairy tale, but don’t want the responsibility of ruining millions of lives, you will have to accept being this supporting character: Hapless Victim. As such, be prepared to be treated like you don’t matter. Be ready to enjoy long naps. And as a worse-case scenario, enjoy finding out what it’s like to be a mop.

Yes, Disney Royals are harsh!

Where Have All the Disney Princes Gone After the Movie?

The camera pans to a large leather-bound book. It has gold leaf edges complete with a hand-painted scene on the cover. It depicts a beautiful maiden in the arms of a handsome Prince. The music swells as the cover of the book is opened to reveal the immortal fairy tale words: ‘Once upon a time, in a Kingdom far, far, away, lived…’

Sleeping Beauty Book

You know the rest. Snow White; Sleeping Beauty (above); Cinderella; they all got their start this way. Along with just about every other cartoon soon-to-be Princess! But this storybook opening isn’t the only constant to be found in feature-length animated fairy tales.

The other constant is the minimal role of the Prince himself. Usually he is a handsome young man (unmarried, this is very important) who just wants to find true love. He happens upon a peasant girl who sings beautifully, talks to animals, and is drop-dead gorgeous! Oh, and some very powerful person hates her and is bent on destroying her. If I was a Prince looking for my lady fair, I’d want to know this going in, but that’s just me.

Next comes the duet (how do they both know the words?) the loss, the chase, the harm/death sequence, all concluding with a kiss. Oh, and a marriage with the obligatory ‘Happily ever after’ tagline! But this entire plot manages to take place with the Prince getting about 10 minutes or less of screen time. When all is said and done, the Princess is in our hearts and the Prince is all but forgotten.

Until Disney decides to include the Princess in a parade or stage show in the Parks. Then she needs some eye-candy on her arm and our Prince is resurrected for a brief cameo. When a new Princess appears, her Prince fairs a little better. He gets to stick around for the Meet-and-Greet, but only for the first few months. Then he is ‘fired’ and sent back to the pages of the storybook he came from.

Parade Prince     Parade Prince 2     Enjoy it while you can, boys!

Why does Disney DO this?!?

I first started to ponder on this when I heard about the ‘firing’ of Flynn Rider from the Rapunzel meet-and-greet. When that happened, I tried to remember if there were any real Prince meet-and-greets. Answer: None. Nada. Zip. Not even one.

Well, Aladdin manages to hang on over at EPCOT, but usually on the arm of Jasmine. So we’ll call him Mr. Exception for now (but that’s still Prince Ali A Bu Bu whatever-whatever to you).

Aladdin was posing alone at Disneyland in 2013

AladdinWith the popularity of the Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boutique and it’s propensity for pumping out little Princesses by the carriage-load, am I the only one who sees the marketing and photo-op potential of a Prince meet-and-greet right next to the exit? And I don’t think it’s too much of a stretch to believe that a few of the little Princesses’ mommies would get a kick out of snuggling up to Prince Eric or Prince Charming themselves = Girls Day Out at the Prince Meet-and-Greet!

Come on Disney! Give the old Princes a new lease on life. Let them have their day in the sun. After all, some of them had to fight long and hard to get their lady fair (albeit, mostly off-screen), so the least you could do is give them some face time! OK, it’s true the ladies can find some beefcake to pose with while running the Princess Half Marathon, but making women run for miles until they’re hot and sweaty before you let them pose with gorgeous men might not be as appreciated as you think!

Of course, I’ve never heard a Prince complain about this. Maybe they’re at home in their Man Cave in the basement of the castle enjoying Pay-Per-View wrestling events and drinking mead. Maybe they’re laughing at how their Princess is out there getting mauled by long lineups of strangers for nothing but a ‘Thank You’. Maybe they’re thinking to themselves: “It’s good to be the Prince!