Toon Talk: Cinderella III
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by Kirby C. Holt
CINDERELLA III: A TWIST IN TIME
MPAA Rating: G
What If ...?
Back in the day, there was a Marvel comic book enigmatically titled "What If ...?â€? Hosted by the celestial "Watcherâ€?, a bald-pated Rod Sterling stand-in, the series played with the labyrinthine mythology of the so-called "Marvel Universeâ€?, offering up such "alternate realityâ€? tales as "What if ... Spider-Man joined the Fantastic Four?â€? and "What if ... Magneto led the X-Men?â€? The series played off the basic human instinct to wonder about "what might have beenâ€?.
Learning of the premise to Disney's latest direct-to-video sequel, Cinderella III: A Twist in Time, I was intrigued by the idea and reminded of those old "What If ...?â€? comics. Sure, the concept has been present in various forms in numerous movies from It's a Wonderful Life to Sliding Doors, but this would be the first time such a premise was applied to a Disney fairy tale chestnut. As it turns out, it was a novel idea. After all, the story of the "little cinder girlâ€? has been told and retold so many times (in fact, Cinderella is the most filmed character in cinematic history), any fresh spin on it is welcome. Moreover, what a great springboard for a new take: "What if ... the shoe didn't fit?â€?
The new film (available today on Disney DVD) picks up a year after Cinderella (now voiced by Jennifer Hale) wed her charming prince (C.D. Barnes, a.k.a. Christopher Daniel Barnes, the voice actor formerly known as The Little Mermaid's Prince Eric). The Fairy Godmother (Russi Taylor, who also voices Drizella) throws them an anniversary party ... and accidentally throws her magic wand into the hands of ugly stepsister Anastasia (Tress MacNeille), who promptly turns it over to her mother, our wicked stepmother (Susanne Blakeslee, impressively stepping in for the late great Eleanor Audley). Without hesitation (she and her bad seeds have had to - horrors! - do their own housework since the help went and climbed the social ladder), the Lady Tremaine turns back time to that fateful visit by the Grand Duke (Rob Paulsen, who also voices Jaq) and a certain slipper. With one well placed "bibbidi-bobbidi-booâ€?, the shoe does fit ... Anastasia.