Cinderella II: Dreams Come True
Cinderella II: Dreams Come True (also known as simply Cinderella: Dreams Come True) is a 2002 American direct-to-video fantasy comedy anthology film, and a sequel to the 1950 Disney animated feature, Cinderella. It is the first direct-to-video sequel to Disney's Cinderella (the second being Cinderella III: A Twist in Time), and the first in the series to use digital ink and paint.
The film consist of three connected segments from an unreleased television series: "Aim to Please" which is about Cinderella finds it difficult to adjust to her new life after marriage, "Tall Tail" which is about Jaq turned into a human and lives as Cinderella's page boy, and "An Uncommon Romance" which is about Anastasia, Cinderella's stepsister, finding true love in the form of a baker she met in town despite her stepmother's objections.
Between each of the film's segments is revealed to be Jaq, Gus and the rest of the mice, with a little help of the Fairy Godmother, creating new stories that take place after Cinderella married Prince Charming and lived "happily ever after".
- The first major problem is that the film came out 52 years after the original film. While this wouldn't necessarily be a bad thing given how they were a few instances of this being executed well, there were still few who have had a gap between their predecessor's release date this big. And needless to say, the fact that it took this long for a sequel of the original Cinderella film automatically makes the chances of the sequel being a great film relatively low. As many consider these many years way to long for a sequel of a film to be made.
- The plot is rather unoriginal, and feels more like a rehash of many of the previous Disney princess films than anything. As it's mainly just Cinderella learning how to adapt to life in the palace by dressing in intricate dresses, cooking only the most exquisite of meals, and looking down on regular citizens all because she happens to be royalty. And while it does make sense that Cinderella would have to get some time getting used to being a princess after spending most of her life as a servant for people in a similar amount of wealth, it's still not executed very well here due to how generic the story is.
- While the concept of redeeming Anastasia in this film is admittedly a pretty good one, it still felt like she was forgiven for her actions in the previous film too easily and quickly. Not only that, but she never showed any hinting of a redemption arc in the previous film so her all of the sudden redeeming herself here feels like it comes out of nowhere. She could've started off this film much like she was in the previous film but redeem herself as the movie went on, and by the end she would be fully redeemed. But instead, she just starts the film off as a nice person without much proper build up or development to it. Though thankfully, the following sequel was able to fix this issue by giving Anastasia the proper character development that was required for her redemption and made it feel all the more deserved.
- The film's already bland and uninteresting story is also incredibly boring and has lot of padding and filler, causing it to drag out and feel much longer than it actually is.
- Like Beauty and the Beast: Belle's Magical World and Atlantis: Milo's Return, this film is made up of several segments that were originally the pilot episodes for a spin-off television series that ended up being rejected (and were therefore patched up and released as a direct-to-DVD sequel). And as a result, the plot is divided into 3 segments with little to no connection to one another. It also isn't helped by the fact that the stories themselves are far from interesting.
- Misleading title: In spite of what the title states, the plot doesn't actually have many of the characters' dreams coming true, unlike the other two films. On the contrary, most of the plot is focused on Cinderella's struggles to adapt to what she had thought of to be her dream for so long.
- In fact, all three of the film's segments were originally planned to be three episodes which are part of the 1999-2001 Cinderella sequel TV series entitled "Cinderella Stories" which got cancelled, and when these three episodes are stitched together with interstitial wrap-around animation in the final film, for some reason the finished film doesn't retain it's original working title Cinderella Stories which is far less misleading than the actual title seen in the final film.
- Plot hole: In the film's first segment "Aim to Please", it is revealed that peasants (which the film refers to as "commoners") are never allowed in the King's castle, with the castle staff not even allowed to give any royal invitations to any of the peasants at all, hence heavily contradicting the first film where every peasant girl in Cinderella kingdom is given an invitation to the ball at the King's castle and the very fact that where Cinderella, a peasant girl, marries Prince Charming at the film's ending (which Cinderella herself is even aware of), hence making the King's decision to organize this ball for Prince Charming and the peasant girls and approving Cinderella and Prince Charming's marriage in the first film seem very hypocritical.
- Overall, this film has little to no impact on the Cinderella franchise. While the third film does have some references to this film and doesn't outright ignore it, it's still clear that it was made with the intention of being a sequel to the original film more, so skipping over this film wouldn't leave out any major plot details or anything.
- Great voice acting, especially from Jennifer Hale as Cinderella and Tress MacNeille as Anastasia.
- The animation is good and an arguable step-up from the previous film's (in spite of that film having great animation as well).
- The side plot of giving Anastasia more character exploration and a love interest is actually a good one, and easily the most interesting part of the film's story.
- The ending isn't too bad.
- Unlike another Disney Princess compilation movie, the characters aren't flanderized/dumped on and are mainly faithful to the original incarnations, especially Cinderella herself and are still likeable.
- Unlike both compilation films Beauty and the Beast: Belle's Magical World and Atlantis: Milo's Return, this film at least has a somewhat decent explanation on why all three of the film's segments "Aim to Please", "Tall Tail" and "An Uncommon Romance" do not connect with each other, which is revealed to be Jaq, Gus and the rest of the mice, creating these stories by themselves.
Cinderella II: Dreams Come True received mixed-to-negative reviews upon it's release and mainly negative reviews from critics. With many of the film's complains being directed towards it's story consisting of separate segments originally meant for a TV series, as with Beauty and the Beast: Belle's Magical World and Atlantis: Milo's Return. On Rotten Tomatoes, it currently holds an 11% approval rating based on 9 reviews while IMDb has a rating of 5.0/10.
- This film was Walt Disney Animation Japan's ninth feature. As the studio was closed in 2005 after Disney's decision to stop producing hand drawn animation in favor of their new computer animated projects.
- This was Holland Taylor's 2nd Disney film. Her first being George Of The Jungle as Ursula Stanhope's mother.