Bil’s rating (out of 5): B.
USA/Germany, 2006. Lionsgate, Vanguard Films, Odyssey Entertainment, BAF Berlin Animation Film, BFC Berliner Film Companie, Vanguard Animation, Nitrogen Studios Canada. Screenplay by Robert Moreland, additional writer Douglas Langdale. Cinematography by David Dulac. Produced by Avrill Stark, John H. Williams. Music by Paul Buckley. Production Design by Deane Taylor. Film Editing by Ringo Waldenburger.
Just how many revisionist versions of Cinderella do we need before we’ve had enough? This abysmal animated film is a sad attempt to capture the persnickity joy of Shrek that is neither funny nor clever. In this version, Cinderella lives, along with all the other fairy-tale standards such as Sleeping Beauty and Snow White, in Fairy Tale land. The land is, unbeknownst to its inhabitants, watched over by a wizard (George Carlin) whose scales of justice keep good and evil at equal measure and ensure that each fairy tale plays out the way it’s supposed to. Unfortunately, on the night that Cinderella (Sarah Michelle Gellar) is meant to go to the ball and fall in love with the brawny but air headed prince (Patrick Warburton), her stepmother (Sigourney Weaver, having a wonderful time voicing the badass villainess) discovers the lay of the land and takes over the wizard’s powers herself. This puts Cinderella in the way of the ignored kitchen boy (Freddie Prinze Jr.,) who is not as popular but much more worthy of her. It’s no crime that an animated film for children is predictable, but even the small tots will roll their eyes at how pedestrian the plotting is. The animation is stilted and unattractive, the voice work about two rehearsals shy of perfection–Gellar is particularly unconvincing–while the direction is clunky.