“CINDERELLA in 4K Ultra HD” is not a phrase we ever thought we’d be uttering and yet in 2023 this is exactly where we find ourselves. With the upcoming restoration of the film making its debut on Disney+ on August 25, we have the advance preview option of sorts with this new home release of the film on 4k Ultra HD Blu-ray.
Available now, this re-issue includes no new bonus features but it does feature the 1950 animated classic in full 4K picture. We had the chance to screen a complimentary review copy to see if this latest way to own the film is a wish your heart makes or if it’s just a bunch of bibbidi bobbidi boo.
To appreciate the new, it really bears comparison with the old. There’s many means of drawing comparisons but we opted for what would be the most accessible to everybody and that’s the version currently on Disney+. We were viewing on a Samsung 43″ NU6900 Smart 4K UHD television and so the comparisons? Results were mixed. We jumped back and forth several times between the 4K Blu-ray and Disney+ and while the image is certainly more crisp, we’d be remiss say the difference is terribly huge. However, what is definitely noticeable is the color grading.
The back of the box for the Cinderella 4K release promises not just 4K resolution but also wider color spectrum and high dynamic range. What was definitely noticeable with the 4k release is a much more natural tone to the picture overall. In general, the colors on Disney+ were far more saturated giving the film a more colorful vibe but the 4K’s more subdued approach lets the film shine through in its original splendor. Watching in high dynamic range is always a polarizing experience — we usually have it turned off but it does give an interesting new life to the feature with unprecedented smoothness.
The following images are HARDLY to be considered definitive means of comparison, they are photographs from a Samsung Galaxy S22 phone taken from the above mentioned television. The freeze-frames are not exactly the same but we did the best we could pausing at the same-ish moment. What IS obvious aside from the crispness are some of those subtle changes in color. Cinderella’s dress is less of a periwinkle and more of a silver while her hair is less of a lemon yellow and more of a dusty blond as originally envisioned for the character. The blues in the background are also less exaggeratedly saturated which is also an overall improvement.
There’s no new bonus features included on this roundup, the point here is the restoration of the film. We do want to give a special call out to the “In Walt’s Words” immersive viewing experience of the film that returns once again bringing actual transcripts, audio recordings, photos, renderings, concept art, and more to craft a narrative of Walt and his talented assembled crew creating everything we’ll come to see on the screen.
For some reason, the Try this Trivia on for Size featurette from the 2019 reissue is prominently featured and then all the classic materials are lumped together as classic Bonus Features. The returning features include Diane Disney Miller “Cinderella” Film Intro, The Real Fairy Godmother, The art of Mary Blair, Behind the Magic: A New Disney Princess Fairyland, and The Magic of the Glass Slipper plus THE ART OF CINDERELLA celebrated with features including Concept Art, Character Model Sheets, Story Sketches, Live-Action Reference, Pencil Animation, Behind-the-Scenes Stills, and Feature Stills.
See it for Yourself
CINDERELLA Disney100 edition in 4k Ultra HD Bly-ray is available now.
MORE INFO: Purchase the film on Amazon