Cinderella III: A Twist in Time appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.78:1 on this single-sided, double-layered DVD; the image has been enhanced for 16X9 televisions. The film boasted a strong transfer typical of Disney’s animated efforts.
Across the board, sharpness looked good. Very little softness appeared, as the flick seemed concise and accurate at all times. The movie came with no signs of jagged edges or shimmering, and edge enhancement also seemed absent. Don’t expect any source flaws, as the film was consistently clean and smooth.
Colors looked terrific. The film showed a wide variety of lovely and accurate hues that always seemed warm and vibrant. They never betrayed any bleeding, noise or other flaws, as they appeared clear and distinct. Black levels also came across as deep and rich, while shadow detail was clean and appropriately opaque. I found no reason to complain about this excellent transfer.
Cinderella III provided both Dolby Digital 5.1 and DTS 5.1 soundtracks. Twist showed virtually no differences between the two mixes; I thought the Dolby and DTS versions sounded identical.
To my surprise, Twist went with a fairly active soundfield. In fact, I thought it was a bit too active at times. In terms of music, the audio tended to use the back speakers in a way that almost overwhelmed the mix. I think the rears should reinforce the score but not dominate it. I noticed the back speakers display of music a little more than I’d have preferred.
However, this wasn’t a real problem, and effects were more satisfying. They used all five channels well as they spread the material smoothly across the spectrum. Storms and action sequences opened up the action well, and the package fit together nicely. This was a strong multichannel mix.
Audio quality was very good. Speech sounded natural and concise, while music seemed lively and dynamic. The score boasted crisp highs and deep lows. The same went for the effects, as those appeared full and dynamic. No distortion appeared, and bass response was tight. I didn’t think there was quite enough on display here to merit “A”-level consideration, but I liked the track quite a lot anyway.
A few minor extras fill out the set. We find a music video for “I Still Believe” by Hayden Panetierre. The forgettable tune comes accompanied by a mix of movie shots and clips of Panetierre as she wanders a neighborhood. It’s not as cheap as some of these videos – at least it looks like the Panetierre shots boast an effects budget – but it’s still boring.
Two “Activities” come along for the ride. Biddidi-Bobbidi Choose is a game that forces us to hunt down a magic wand and then use it to find a secret room. This is an easy game that forgives mistakes. It may entertain little ones but I doubt many over the age of seven will dig it, and it comes with no kind of interesting reward.
Cinderella’s Ballroom works only on DVD-ROM drives. This allows us to access the “Ballroom Scene Designer”. During that activity, you can create your own little party pictures. Those in the target audience may enjoy it, but that’s not me.
Under “Backstage Disney”, we find two pieces. First comes an Exclusive Sneak Peek of Disney Princess Enchanted Tales. In this two-minute and 47-second clip, we simply see an excerpt from the DVD due in September 2007.
The Making of Twice Charmed lasts four minutes, 59 seconds. In this show, we learn about the production that plays on the Disney Cruise ships. We get comments from Disney Cruise Line Entertainment director Jim Urry, Disney Creative Entertainment executive vice president Anne Hamburger, songwriters Michael Weiner and Alan Zachary, Disney Creative Entertainment director Shelby Jiggetts Tivony, and Disney Cruise Line president Tom McAlpin. This amounts to a long promotion for the show and nothing more. Blech!
As usual, ads open the DVD. We find promos for Peter Pan, Ratatouille, Disney Princess Enchanted Tales: A Kingdom of Kindness and Tinkerbell. These also appear in the Sneak Peeks domain along with clips for The Little Mermaid III, Mickey’s Great Clubhouse Hunt and Blu-ray discs.
If you expect Cinderella III: A Twist in Time to even remotely merit comparison with the original flick, you’ll leave your screening disappointed. While Twist improves upon the detestable Cinderella II, it doesn’t manage to offer much real entertainment. The DVD features very good picture and audio but suffers from negligible extras. Skip this forgettable piece of product.