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.

Princess Smackdown: Who is the Best of Them All?

Princess Villains

Beauty is only skin deep. Although we’ve all heard that saying, we still appreciate and are attracted to a pretty face. And Walt Disney did little to correct that trend. His first three Princesses were heavy on the looks, light on true depth. But 30 years have passed and the final eight official Princesses have worn a different tiara.

So who would be the best Princess of them all if we added more than beauty into the equation? To find out, we will gauge each Princess on the following criteria: Independence; Judgment; Contribution; Personality; and of course, Physical Appearance.

Let’s start by meeting the contestants:

Snow White (1937) – SW

Cinderella (1950) – CIN

Aurora (1959) – SB

Ariel (1989) – LM

Belle (1991) – BEL

Jasmine (1992) – JAS

Pocahontas (1995) – POC

Mulan (1998) – MUL

Tiana (2009) – TIA

Rapunzel (2010) – RAP

Merida (2012) – MER

Independence

SW, CIN, and SB definitely lose this category. They were little more than bystanders in their own lives. LM, BEL, JAS, MUL, RAP, TIA, RAP, and MER all lived in restrictive times but were able to rise above that to find their own path. But most of them did rely on others to help them do it. In the case of MER, I think she went a little too far! So this round goes to Pocahontas.

Pocahontas

This Indian Princess was independent from the get go! She had a strong will and a determination to try new things which ultimately led to bridges being built between two very different cultures.

Runner Up: Mulan

Judgment

Again, our first three Princesses didn’t have many decisions to make. Others did it for them, or to them, in the case of CIN. When she decided to venture out, it was under the protection of her Fairy Godmother. But that’s not enough to win this round.

LM also loses this round because she went to an evil Witch to get what she wanted! RAP also loses for trusting a thief, although no one could blame her considering the situation! TIA was ready to put her dreams in the kiss of a frog. Again, MER made such a bad decision that it turned her loved ones into bears. Perhaps asking for something more specific than ‘change’ would have been a good idea!

So that leaves it to the final four Princesses. JAS snuck out from the safety of her palace, but was in no real danger, as she could always identify herself for protection. POC and MUL both risked a lot and put them themselves in great danger, but it was for a good cause.

Belle

But I’m giving this round to Belle. She decided to sacrifice herself, her freedom, and her future, to save her ailing Father. A nobler thing I can’t imagine!

Runner Up: Cinderella

Contribution

SW, CIN, and SB were all good housekeepers. They sang well and were kind to animals. For their times, those were good contributions.

LM, JAS, RAP and TIA were more about their personal journeys. They did touch others along the way, but their stories were more about them.

That leaves BEL, POC, MUL, and MER. BEL eventually left the Beast, although she did return. But I’m disqualifying her for that anyway. MER did finally contribute to her Father’s people by learning to be a peacemaker between the tribes without having to marry anyone. I like that! And although POC did make for peace too, I have to give this round to Mulan. Hey, she helped win a war!

Runner Up: Pocahontas

Personality

All of our contestants have good personalities. But let’s see if we can eliminate some in a lightning round. SW: Too sweet. SB: Not enough to go on. LM: Possibly a bit selfish. BEL: A tad condescending to her ‘provincial’ neighbors? JAS: Spoiled. POC: A bit too intense. MUL: Conflicted. MER: A wee bit bratty (but  read on).

I’m having a hard time placing TIA in this category. She was a feisty frog!

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But I’m giving this to Cinderella. No matter how horrid everyone was to her, she just kept singing and working and… loving! Even after her Prince came, she didn’t hold a grudge against her wicked stepfamily. Now that’s character!

Runner Up: Rapunzel/Merida

Physical Appearance

This is purely a matter of taste. Some of the Disney Princesses are more overtly sexual than others, even though that’s not something we’re supposed to notice. But come on, a clamshell bra? Who wouldn’t notice? But for me, Jasmine wins this round!

Runner Up: Aurora

And the winner is:

So if we add up the points, who is the ultimate Princess? The best of the best? Rating each Princess on each of the categories with a 1 for the least and 5 for the most relevant, the winner is:

P o c a h o n t a s

Runner Up: Cinderella. And hoping that both break a heel on the way to the podium: Belle

If you disagree, leave a comment and tell me why! And where do you think Elsa and Anna would fit into this contest? Winners, or would they get the cold shoulder?

It’s a Whole New World with Paparazzi Princesses

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Happily ever after. Every Disney movie seems to end that way, but especially if it’s a Princess movie! Of course, we don’t live in that kind of a world, do we?

Celebrities are constantly being maligned. Their lives are reported on and distorted beyond recognition. Sometimes it’s unbelievable the headlines we see!

So I wondered: What kind of headlines would the Disney Princesses make in today’s tabloids?

Well, let’s have a look…

Snow White

Teenage Girl Arrested for Polygamy With Seven Men

Aurora

Parents of Comatose Girl Decide to Remove Life Support

Cinderella

Lonely Woman’s Strange Hobby: Sewing Clothes for Mice

Ariel

Girl Found on Beach Half-naked, Fined, Defendant Speechless

Jasmine

Royalty Involved in Peasant Scandal, Loses Crown

Belle

Woman Turns Down He-man, Marries Man-Beast

Pocahontas

Young Lady Committed, Claims Tree is Grandmother, Talks to Raccoon

Mulan

Girl Charged With Tom-peepery, Found by Men’s Bathing Pool

Tiana

Family Disowns Daughter for Alternative Lifestyle After Kissing Frog

Rapunzel

Girl Arrested After Striking Man With Frying Pan, Claims Self Defense

Merida

Scottish Lass Turns Mother, Brothers into Bears (you can’t make this stuff up!)

Anna and Elsa

Ice Queens Put the Freeze on Mankind. Wait… what?

Bonus Princess: Alice

Little Girl Talks to Pet Rabbit, Eats Strange Mushroom, Parents Appauled

So I guess it’s for the best that these stories take place far, far away in a time long, long ago, and not in our modern world!