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Western Animation / Cinderella III: A Twist in Time

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All spoilers for Cinderella and Cinderella II: Dreams Come True will be left unmarked.
If the shoe doesn't fit...

"I can't live in dreams if my dreams are to come true."

Cinderella III: A Twist in Time is a 2007 Direct to Video sequel to the Disney Animated Canon hit Cinderella and Cinderella II: Dreams Come True. It bears a resemblance to Twice Charmed, and was made after it.

Cinderella is living her happily ever after with her friends and her prince, while her despicable stepfamily have fallen on hard times. But then Lady Tremaine gets ahold of the Fairy Godmother's magic wand. She uses it to turn back time to the day the Grand Duke arrives with the slipper and has it pan out perfectly—for her.

Suddenly, Cinderella doesn't escape the tower in time, the shoe fits her stepsister Anastasia, and Prince Charming is brainwashed to think she's the one he danced with. Now Cinderella has to fight for her happy ending, or she might lose it forever. Not to mention, Anastasia finds herself swept in her mother's plans, and marrying a man who doesn't really love her soon becomes a wake-up call...

Cinderella III stands as the last full-length DTV DAC sequel released before Walt Disney Animation Studios CCO John Lasseter's ban on DTV sequels and prequels took effect.*

The film provides examples of the following tropes:

  • 2D Visuals, 3D Effects: Some wedding bells and the pumpkin carriage.
  • Abusive Parents: Lady Tremaine. Not only with her stepdaughter but her own biological daughters as well — she's the one to blame for Drizella and Anastasia being jerks, and she verbally and emotionally abuses Anastasia when she begins to question her, whisks Cinderella away to be killed off by Lucifer, and even attempts to attack Anastasia when she finally refuses to marry the Prince, exposing to Cinderella how indiscriminately abusive her stepmother really is. When Cinderella tries desperately to protect Anastasia, Tremaine decides to take her revenge on both of them, forcing the Prince to step in.
  • Actionized Sequel: The movie features a lot more action set pieces than the prior two movies, and Cinderella herself undergoes a degree of Xenafication.
  • Agony of the Feet: Anastasia attempt at dancing results in her doing a number on Charming's feet.
  • All Animals Are Dogs: Lucifer (the cat) sniffs and acts like a bloodhound.
  • …And That Little Girl Was Me: Cinderella's opening narration.
  • Apologetic Attacker: When Anastasia accidentally turns the Fairy Godmother into a stone statue with the magic wand, her immediate reaction is to ask if she's OK before panicking and starting to apologize, having not wanted to actually hurt her.
  • Armor-Piercing Question: Cinderella gives two to Anastasia, after she discovers Lady Tremaine's plot to have her marry the Prince while magically disguised as a false Cinderella. This ultimately pushes Anastasia to complete her Heel–Face Turn in the climax.
    Cinderella: What have you done? The prince won't be fooled.
    Lady Tremaine: The prince will never know. He'll be perfectly happy.
    Cinderella: But will you, Anastasia? Will you be happy?
    Anastasia: I... I want what you had.
    Cinderella: But... do you even love him?
  • Armor-Piercing Response: At the very last minute, Anastasia says this line when she realizes that trying to process beauty isn't worth pretending to be something she's not or marry someone she doesn't truly love, which is why she genuinely refuses to marry the Prince.
    Anastasia: I...don't.
  • Art Evolution: The animation looks more on-model and less stiff than it did in Dreams Come True.
  • Art Imitates Art: The end credits imitate at least two famous paintings: Edvard Munch's "The Scream" and Thomas Gainsborough's "Little Boy Blue". The other works are not as clearly parody, but imitate Rococo works such as Fragonard's "The Swing", a classic war hero's portrait, a still life (ruined by the mice), and a photo booth strip.
  • Ascended Extra: Prince Charming. In the first film, he's onscreen for less than ten minutes, and his only dialogue is with Cinderella. He wasn't even the one who went around getting girls to try on the slipper. In this, he plays a major role and gets an actual personality, which is actually quite... well, charming.
  • Award-Bait Song: "I Still Believe", sung by Hayden Panettiere.
  • Badass Adorable: Cinderella becomes this.
  • Bait-and-Switch: Cinderella is eyed suspiciously by one of the servants handing out supplies, but he lets her go after she smiles at him. However, the next man in line has to force a smile out as well, implying that it's part of the job and Cinderella's initial lack of a smile is what made her suspicious.
  • Because You Were Nice to Me: Heavily implied with Anastasia. Though she initially goes along without hesitation with her mother's scheme, she is clearly taken aback when the Prince, without any influence from Tremaine's spell, reassures her after their disastrous dance, and is further surprised when the King — instead of reprimanding her — gifts her a special Tragic Keepsake from his late wife. Their unconditional kindness, coupled with Tremaine and Drizella's cynical dismissal of it, is clearly the first major step to Anastasia's Heel–Face Turn.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Turns out even a Disney Princess has her limits. Lucifer learns this the hard way when Cinderella sends him crashing off of the pumpkin carriage into the lake.
    Cinderella: Bad kitty!
  • Big "NO!": Lady Tremaine has only enough time to yell "No" when her magic gets deflected back at her before she gets hit with it.
  • Book Ends: The end credits bring Cinderella's trilogy full circle, by reusing the font from the first movie's opening credits.
  • Brainwashed: Lady Tremaine uses the wand to do this to Prince Charming, when she realizes he wants to marry the girl that wore the slipper that night, not just any girl that fits it.
  • Bride and Switch: After her spell on the Prince is broken, Lady Tremaine tries one last time to ruin Cinderella's happy ending and marry her own child into the throne by teleporting Cinderella away and having Anastasia take her place in the wedding, magically disguised to look exactly like her stepsister. Fortunately, Anastasia turns down the vows last-minute.
  • Character Development: Anastasia gets not only the spotlight, but focus on her thoughts and her actually quite complicated relationship with Lady Tremaine.
  • Chekhov's Gun:
    • The Fairy Godmother's magic is deflected by metal, which is what gets the Godmother Taken for Granite at the beginning when a stray spell ricochets into her. At the climax, Charming draws his sword to defend Cinderella when Lady Tremaine starts hurling magic around and one of her spells reflects off the blade, hitting her and Drizella instead.
    • Lady Tremaine shatters the glass slipper Cinderella was holding onto in a Kick the Dog moment early on. However, the mice and birds piece it back together offscreen and bring it to the prince themselves as proof that Cinderella really is the girl he danced with at the ball.
  • Chekhov's Skill: Early in the movie, the Prince demonstrates surprising gymnastic talent while training with his father. He later uses those same abilities to rescue Cinderella from the ship she's been thrown on for her banishment.
  • Chuck Cunningham Syndrome:
    • Bruno the faithful dog, Major the loyal horse, and all the mice except for Jaq and Gus are completely absent in this film. This is especially noticeable when Cinderella is shown locked in her room during the original film's events, as the mice and Bruno all played a crucial role in helping to free her, but here it is not shown how Cinderella escaped, and only Jaq and Gus are present when she comes downstairs.
    • While the film features cameos by several characters from Dreams Come True, confirming that it's at least partially canon, Pom Pom, the royal family's pet cat who menaced the mice and served as a love interest for Lucifer, is not seen or mentioned.
  • Church of Saint Genericus: The minister at the wedding ceremony doesn't wear any religious symbols, and omits the word "holy" before "matrimony" when beginning the service.
  • Close-Enough Timeline: Fairy Godmother offers to restore the original timeline, but then decides to not bother as everything turned out fine anyway.
  • Clothing Damage: When Cinderella is transported inside the demonic pumpkin carriage, her dress is somehow all torn up and she's now barefoot.
  • Color-Coded for Your Convenience: When Fairy Godmother, Cinderella, and Anastasia use the wand, the magical sparkles are white; it's only when Drizella and Lady Tremaine use it that the energy becomes a rather sickly shade of green. The sparkles being white for Anastasia also hints at her true nature.
  • Comically Missing the Point: Cinderella attempts to infiltrate Tremaine's room by disguising herself as a maid. The entire scene is intense as it builds to Tremaine exposing her, but is capped off with this reaction from Anastasia.
    Anastasia: (gasps) I didn't know you worked here!
  • The Comically Serious: Lady Tremaine had a couple moments of this in the first film, but it's on full display in this one, mainly due to the fact that her only knowledge of how the wand works comes from what Anastasia happened to see, which means that for the vast majority of the movie, while she works earth-shattering levels of dark magic with a level of spite and cruelty that would make Maleficent blush...she still has to trigger all her spells by saying "Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boo". Other highlights include stopping Anastasia upside-down during her squee-fest after fitting the slipper, and angrily stopping Drizella from using the wand frivolously on herself.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • Despite the film removing Dreams Come True from its timeline, Prudence and some other characters introduced in that film briefly appear in this one.
    • Like with Dreams Come True, Anastasia grows out of her bratty behavior and moves away from her mother's influence, and a painting in the credits implies that she still falls in love with the Baker in this new timeline.
    • During a discussion with the Duke, Lady Tremaine says Drizella will be singing in the ceremony. The Duke worries that that might not be a good idea.
  • Cool Horse: Prince Charming's steed races for miles, jumps over spears, and runs up lighthouse steps. He draws the line at jumping onto ships from lighthouses, though.
  • Cosmic Retcon: The ending of the first movie, as a matter of fact: all's well that ends well, but Lady Tremaine's meddling with the timeline isn't simply undone with another magic spell at the end, leaving the conclusion of this movie the canon ending to Cinderella's story.
  • Creative Closing Credits: The credits show paintings of the characters in different styles (e.g., the Grand Duke in the style of The Scream, Cinderella and Prince Charming as silhouetted profiles). This occasionally doubles as a "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue. There's a Stinger in the middle, too.
  • Dark Reprise: "More Than a Dream" returns in a rather sad manner as Cinderella is getting on the ship leaving the kingdom.
  • Darker and Edgier: This sequel is way darker/edgier than the original. We have Lady Tremaine concocting a very diabolical plan, this time with dark magic on her side, a demonic pumpkin carriage that nearly carries Cinderella to her doom and a pretty intense climax. In addition, Cinderella and her prince take levels in badass.
  • Deadpan Snarker:
    • Charming gains a rather cheeky and playful sense of humor. The weird part is that it also ties into his Took a Level in Badass.
    • Everyone is a Deadpan Snarker in this movie. Besides the Prince, Drizella gains almost Eustace Scrubb-like levels of commentary. And even Cinderella has a moment of this when she directly confronts Lucifer in his human form ("BAD KITTY.").
  • Deceased Parents Are the Best: The Prince's unnamed mother, who has gone completely unmentioned in all the franchise's previous instalments, is finally acknowledged in this film. She is said to have died before the first film's events, but both her husband and son remember her as an extremely kindhearted and loving person, and it implied that the King in particular sees a lot in common between his late wife and Anastasia.
  • Deconstructed Character Archetype: Of the Wicked Stepsister and "False Bride" archetype present in many fairy tales. Most of these characters are presented as purely cruel and greedy, are quickly outed as liars and then punished, often quite gruesomely without a second thought from the true heroine. In the film, however, the story is presented quite a bit from Anastasia's view, showing how she's forced into the charade by the Wicked Stepmother and her motivation is wanting love rather than status, which soon causes her to feel conflicted and guilty over her actions. Cinderella is even concerned for Anastasia, as she knows her stepsister is also a victim of Lady Tremaine's abuse. It's also proven that as much as Anastasia can magically take on Cinderella's physical characteristics, she can't replicate the personal qualities that made the Prince fall in love with her, and so their relationship is awkward and loveless.
  • Decon-Recon Switch: This film takes many of the tropes from the original film and plays with them. While many are deconstructed and questioned (The Girl Who Fits This Slipper and Love at First Sight), it still maintains many of the original tropes, while adding a touch of realism to them (the prince doesn't just fall for the first girl who can wear the slipper, he wonders if she's truly the one he fell in love with).
  • Defeat Means Menial Labor: In the stinger, Tremaine and Drizella return to their human forms after being turned into frogs, but are now dressed like Cinderella during her times as their slave and with the impication that they will be forced to work as lowly servants for the rest of their lives.
  • Demoted to Extra: After playing a prominent role in Dreams Come True, Prudence is reduced to just playing the role of Obstructive Bureaucrat.
  • Denser and Wackier: Easily the most comedic film in the series. While the original and Dreams Come True had their antics with the mice, Lucifer and the King, just about every character in this one has their funny moments, and the more whimsical setting of the first two films is deconstructed into a full-on World of Snark.
  • Despotism Justifies the Means: Given Lady Tremaine's fixation on marrying Anastasia into the royal family across all three films, and her dismissal of love over the importance of power, her ultimate aim is most likely to seize control of the Kingdom either through getting one of her daughters hitched with the Prince, or seizing it by force, as was very much implied during the climax as she attempts to punish both Cinderella and Anastasia for their defiance. It is very much implied that she would have done the same to the King had she succeeded.
  • Don't Look Down: Or in this case, up. Prince Charming says this to his horse as they're racing to beat a lowering portcullis gate.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: The whole point of the film is Cindy regaining the happy ending that she's being denied, and Anastasia realising that she also should start working on getting one of her own.
  • Empowered Badass Normal: Tremaine spent decades as one of the few Disney villains not to not wield any kind of evil sorcery, curses, poisons, etc. So this movie gives her the nigh-omnipotent power of the Fairy Godmother. And she puts it to very good use.
  • Establishing Character Moment: In the first song, Drizella and Anastasia are both bemoaning their fate. Drizella complains about not being able to go to the ball and having to do chores, while Anastasia simply wonders wonders if there's someone out there who could ever love her. This immediately sets up that, unlike her mother and sister, Anastasia simply wants her own happy ending instead of wanting to steal Cinderella's, allowing her to commit her Heel–Face Turn later in the series.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Lady Tremaine, despite her abusive and manipulative mindset, possesses some degree of self-awareness, as she recruits Anastasia to assist with the plan to seduce Prince Charming instead of Drizella. The latter is much more similar to Tremaine herself and far loyaler to her, but Tremaine knows, on some level, that Drizella's horrible personality and stupidity would be anathema to wooing the Prince.
  • Evil Cannot Comprehend Good:
    • Lady Tremaine's biggest flaw in her plan is that she keeps underestimating the Power of Love and Cinderella's unbreakable spirit. She didn't count on the prince being able to break free from his brainwashing due to his love for Cinderella, nor did she think that her own daughter would pull a Heel–Face Turn and go against the plan.
    • Lady Tremaine is generally unable to comprehend any sort of love, even familial (which makes sense, given that she's abusive). When Anastasia gleefully tells her all about the King's kindness to her and shows her the special seashell he gave her as a present, Tremaine blows her off and tells her to keep focusing on the plan to marry the Prince, as she can't understand why anyone would bother to focus on love. To Lady Tremaine, everything—even marriage and family relationships—is about gaining power, not happiness.
  • Evil Is Petty: Tremaine tries to screw over Cinderella's life (and even outright attempts to murder her) with her ill-gotten power for no real reason other than petty jealousy and to "restore the status quo" (at least in her view).
  • Evil Redhead: Inverted. Anastasia, who was a Rich Bitch in the original movie, is now less evil and more like a "Well Done, Son" Guy.
  • Exact Words:
    • The prince invokes this on his father midway through the movie. After going to find Cinderella, the king forbids Prince Charming to take another step down the stairs. Prince Charming agrees, and then dives out of a nearby window. The king said "no stairs" but he didn't say "no window".
    • Throughout the whole movie, Anastasia keeps dreaming of finding someone who loves her. While she doesn't marry the Prince, she does realize that Cinderella and the King genuinely care about her and want her to be happy, unlike Lady Tremaine and Drizella. So she did find people who love her—just Like Brother and Sister rather than romantically. And the credits indicate that she'll eventually get that, too, as she did in Dreams Come True.
  • Extremely Short Timespan: With the exception of the opening scene, the whole movie is over by the end of one day Lady Tremaine resets time back to.
  • Faint in Shock: Gus faints atop the chandelier after witnessing the Prince get bewitched by Lady Tremaine.
  • Fairytale Wedding Dress: Anastasia naturally wears one for her wedding to the prince while masquerading as Cinderella. Once the Fairy Godmother is restored, her first order of business is fixing Cinderella's ruined dress up into one of these.
  • Feet-First Introduction: Cinderella has one when she runs down a staircase in her bare feet.
  • Foreshadowing: Anastasia has several of these moments that foreshadow her Character Development.
    • In her Establishing Character Moment, she wishes for someone to love her, revealing that she, unlike her sister and mother's, would have her own happy ending, not stealing Cinderella's ending.
    • When Anastasia turns the fairy godmother to stone, she is outright horrified at what she did and starts apologizing. This foreshadows that she actually isn't evil - at the very least, she had standards.
    • The wand's magic turns green when Lady Tremaine and Drizella get their hands on it, but when Anastasia uses it, the magic remains white, hinting towards her change of heart.
  • Fourth-Date Marriage: Not only does Lady Tremaine magically alter Charming's memory so he forgets Cinderella and marries Anastasia instead, she arranges for the wedding to take place that night.
  • Fractured Fairy Tale: The twisted pumpkin carriage ride is Tremaine's evil mockery of Cinderella's original magic carriage. One has to wonder how she knew about it, though.
  • Gaslighting: Lady Tremaine engages in this with both Cinderella and the Duke.
    Tremaine: You [Cinderella] may have danced with him. You may even have thought it was love. But the slipper fits Anastasia, and that's who he's marrying. Whatever you think happened last night was a dream.

    Tremaine: Dispose of those roses at once. Anastasia's health is quite—[Anastasia sneezes and blows all the petals off a bouquet she was smelling] ...delicate. I'm quite sure I mentioned that to you.
    Duke: Madame, I do not—
    Tremaine: Quite sure.
  • The Girl Who Fits This Slipper: Naturally included here, this being a movie about Cinderella, but also discussed. Prince Charming acknowledges the flimsiness of identifying Cinderella in this manner, but shrugs that he has no other clues to her identity. Indeed, when Anastasia is able to put on the slipper and is brought to the prince, he immediately recognizes that she isn't Cinderella.
  • Go Through Me: When Lady Tremaine decides to punish Anastasia for not going through with the wedding by transforming her with the wand, Cinderella steps in front of her stepsister and orders her stepmother to desist. Tremaine defiantly decides to kill two birds with one stone, before attempting to cast a spell on both of them.
  • Green-Eyed Monster: Anastasia suffers this. She realizes it's wrong and grows out of it though, after realizing that trying to be loved isn't worth pretending to be someone she's not.
  • The Guards Must Be Crazy: Averted; they're competent at their jobs and successfully catch Cinderella before she can undo the spell.
  • Heel–Face Turn: Anastasia., after realizing that she wants to be loved for who she is, not because of a magic spell.
    Anastasia: But I want someone to love me for me.
  • Hidden Depths: In the two previous films, the King is shown to be a tempermental and boisterous man who's only concern is getting his son married. However, he shows a softer, humbler side during his scenes with Anastasia in this film, with particular focus being given to the deep love he holds for his late Queen.
  • Hoist by Her Own Petard: At the end of the film, Lady Tremaine's use of Fairy Godmother's wand turns against her after Cinderella and the Prince step in to protect Anastasia. After that, Lady Tremaine and Drizella transform into frogs. Eventually, they return to human form and work as maids.
  • Holding Hands: It's a plot point; this is how you tell you love each other.
  • Holding in Laughter: Drizella has to hold back a laugh when Anastasia has to show off her huge feet to try on the glass slipper again.
  • Humiliation Conga: Lady Tremaine and Drizella. The only punishment they get, but considering it ends with them both getting turned into frogs due to a magical backfire, and then maids, it's good enough.
  • I Broke a Nail: Drizella sings a line about this when cleaning dishes.
  • I Choose to Stay: At the end of the film, Fairy Godmother offers to return things to how they were in the original timeline, but since Cinderella and the Prince don't know about that timeline, they simply stare happily into each other's eyes, and the Godmother wisely realizes that they're just fine with things as they are now.
  • I Just Want to Be Loved:
    • Anastasia. At first, she thinks she'll be happy with the prince's love, but she eventually realizes that she wants someone to love her for who she really is, not because they're under a spell. She also craves for her mother's approval and love, which explains a lot about how she went with Tremaine's plan anyway, until she realizes that the marriage Lady Tremaine is trying to force her into is truly loveless, and that she'll never, ever be able to truly gain her mother's love, because the sole purpose of her scheme was for power.
    • Anastasia realizes by the end that Cinderella truly cares about her and wants her to be happy, as she knows that Anastasia (and most likely Drizella) only mistreated her because they've also suffered a life of abuse and loveless manipulation at the hands of her mother. Anastasia does indeed find someone who loves her, as Cinderella is able to forgive her easily, and embrace her as a true sister.
  • Internal Reveal: While Jaq and Gus, as well as the audience, see Lady Tremaine spell Charming so he forgets Cinderella and marry Anastasia that night, Cinderella doesn't know this until after Prudence locks her up and Jaq and Gus arrive to tell her the truth.
  • Intergenerational Friendship: Anastasia and the King develop a genuine bond, especially because her clumsiness reminds him of his own deceased Queen, who was equally uncoordinated. The King even gives Anastasia his most prized possession: a seashell he and the Queen found on their first date together. Granted, he thought that Anastasia was going to be his daughter-in-law at the time, but they're clearly getting along in a deeper way than expected. Once Anastasia pulls her full Heel–Face Turn at the end of the film and tries to return the seashell, the King lets her keep it with a smile and assures her that she is worthy of true love, too, which leads to an enormous and mutual hug.
  • Jabba Table Manners: Drizella "sampling" the party food. Lampshaded by Anastasia.
    Anastasia: What a pig!
  • Letting the Air out of the Band:
    • The triumphant fanfare playing for Prince Charming as he meets Anastasia dies when he lays eyes on her.
    • In the middle of Jaq and Gus's song "At the Ball," once they get to the part where Cinderella has been banished, Gus sobs uncontrollably. The orchestra seems to do the same, winding down chromatically like a record player.
  • Lohengrin and Mendelssohn: The former plays briefly when the Grand Duke reveals the banquet cooked for the wedding, and the latter plays during the wedding proper.
  • Loophole Abuse: Played for laughs. When Princes Charming is attempting to leave the castle to find Cinderella, the King forbids Charming from taking another step down the stairs. Charming replies with a nonchalant "Okay", then dives out of a window.
  • The Lost Lenore: The Queen is dead by the time, but her memories still have a big influence on her husband the King.
  • Make Wrong What Once Went Right: Lady Tremaine's evil plot is to use the Fairy Godmother's magic wand to undo Cinderella's victory and put Anastastia in Cinderella's place.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Minor example. After Anastasia accidentally petrifies the Fairy Godmother, she is shocked that it happened and starts apologizing.
  • Mind-Control Eyes:
    • The Prince's eyes turn green when being enchanted by Lady Tremaine into forgetting Cinderella and marrying Anastasia that night.
    • Gus briefly has these when reenacting what Lady Tremaine did to Cinderella.
  • Near-Villain Victory: Lady Tremaine's schemes come within two words of succeeding. Fortunately, Anastasia has her Heel–Face Turn.
  • Nice Guy: Turns out Prince Charming lives up to his name rather well. He's kind to absolutely everyone, including Anastasia after she steps on his feet a lot during a dance recital. This is part of what prompts Anastasia's Heel–Face Turn — someone treating her nicely with no strings attached.
  • Oh, Crap!: Lady Tremaine and Drizella when the former's magic gets deflected right back at them.
  • Our Time Travel Is Different: The time-reversing sequence combines Videocassette Time Travel and Wormhole Time Travel. It starts with Lady Tremaine, Anastasia, and Drizella standing in their garden while the sun and the moon set and rise in reverse a few times. Next, they get surrounded by green smoke, and visions of Cinderella going through her marriage to Prince Charming backwards. Anastasia and Drizella also see their magic pull Cinderella and Prince Charming away from each other, until she gets locked back up in the chateau tower, followed by themselves curtsying backwards for the Grand Duke. When Lady Tremaine and her daughters finally end up back on the day the Grand Duke came to try the slipper on Cinderella, they find themselves inside their foyer instead of in their garden.
  • Papa Wolf: The King is furious that Lady Tremaine used magic on his son to make him forget the girl he danced with at the ball and fall in love with Anastasia, and he wants the Tremaines arrested for this.
  • Plot Allergy: Anastasia is shown to be allergic to roses in this movie, something not mentioned anywhere else.
  • Plucky Girl: Cinderella. Now that magic is being used against her, she decides to fight back. At one point, she even sings "I can't live in dreams if my dreams are to come true" after it looks like her hopes have been dashed. This makes the moment she appears to have truly lost everything worse for her, though she still attempts to maintain a quiet dignity about it.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: Both the King and Prince Charming, though the King does show a hint of his Caligula-ness from the original film after they witness the aftermath of the stepsisters' food fight. Charming especially is shockingly accepting of talking mice telling him that a magic spell is the reason why he can't remember dancing with Cinderella.
  • Rebel Prince: Once Charming decides to do something, there's absolutely nothing his father can do to stop him.
  • Recycled Premise: Years before A Twist in Time, a play called Twice Charmed performed to passengers of the Disney Magic cruise ship, featured Cinderella's stepfamily using time travel to try and take Prince Charming away from her. The two stories don't have much else in common, though. (eg, Lady Tremaine in Twice Charmed has a Fairy Godfather to help her perform evil.)
  • Ripple-Effect-Proof Memory: Lady Tremaine, Drizella, Anastasia, and the Fairy Godmother are the only ones who remember what happened in the original timeline.
  • Room Disservice: A variation; Cinderella pretends to be a maid to get into her stepmother's room.
  • Scenery Porn: The background designers did an admirable job adapting Mary Blair*'s penchant for massive, stylized backdrops and props to widescreen. Extra kudos for those who had to design new environments, such as the wedding chapel, with similar aesthetics.
  • Secret Secret-Keeper: Although Anastasia finding the wand pushed Lady Tremaine to seek revenge on Cinderella, there is a possibility that she's known about Fairy Godmother's involvement for a while, as it may have been the only conclusion Tremaine could draw on how Cinderella was able to attend the ball, and also retain the second glass slipper in the first film.
  • Shoe Size Angst: After going back to the day that Cinderella was fitted with the glass slipper, Anastasia is clearly distressed when she has to stick out her huge foot to try it on.
  • Shout-Out: During "Much More than a Dream", Cinderella is spinning in a hill, in rags, singing about climbing the mountains. Sounds familiar?
  • Sickly Green Glow: The Fairy Godmother's wand normally emits white sparkles when used, but here, its magic changes to this color when under the control of Lady Tremaine or Drizella.
  • Silent Snarker: Charming's steed. Just check out the faces he makes after barely making it past the portcullis and when he stops short and accidentally launches his rider out a lighthouse window.
  • Standard Snippet: In addition to Lohengrin and Mendelssohn, Anastasia and the Prince dance to Johann Strauss II's On the Beautiful Blue Danube.
  • Star-Crossed Lovers: Cinderella and the Prince until almost the end.
  • The Stinger: A clip interrupting the end credits shows Lady Tremaine and Drizella punished to a life of servitude not unlike that they made Cinderella go through.
  • Stopped Numbering Sequels: In some countries, Cinderella III had no number 3 on the cover.
  • Strange Minds Think Alike: When the Prince walks in and finds Anastasia instead of Cinderella, he asks if he's in the right room. Later when the King enters the dining room with the Prince and sees the mess Anastasia and Drizella made, he asks if they're in the right room.
  • Take a Third Option: Parodied. When the King tries to keep the Prince from leaving the castle without authorization, the Prince either has to push his dad aside or stay put. What he chooses is... jumping off a balcony and escaping.
  • Taken for Granite: Anastasia accidentally does this to the Fairy Godmother when they fight over the wand. Surprisingly, reversing time doesn't turn the Godmother back to normal. After Cinderella, with help from Anastasia, undoes this spell following Tremaine's defeat, the Godmother exclaims that she feels stiff, and takes time to loosen up her joints.
  • The Power of Love: Lampshaded by Anastasia partway through, when the Prince realizes the deception:
    The magic didn't work! It wasn't as powerful as their -
  • Throw the Dog a Bone: The first painting shown during the end credits of assures viewers that Anastasia did eventually get her own boyfriend after redeeming herself.
  • Took a Level in Badass:
    • The Prince. Guess he's been taking lessons from both Prince Eric of The Little Mermaid and Spider-Man. The three are voiced by the same guy, after all...
    • Cinderella does a backflip out of a demonic carriage, and rides horseback to crash her own wedding. That is quite a level up in badassery considering the coolest thing she did in the first movie was go to a party.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass:
    • Lady Tremaine. She is worse than the original movie, and she was already an abusive parent. She poofs Cinderella in a twisted pumpkin carriage with Lucifer as its human driver in an attempt to get Lucifer to kill Cinderella. Especially heinous because up until that point, she was satisfied with just making Cinderella's life a living hell. She also makes Anastasia pose as Cinderella to fool the prince. If anyone doesn't know, this is rape by deception... and for worse, she tries to use one of her own flesh and blood daughters for this, and right when Anastasia is becoming more and more sympathetic. Finally, Tremaine herself eventually ends up earning the wrath of the king and the prince, meaning she continues to go through with her wicked scheme for no reason except to spite not only Cinderella but also Anastasia.
    • Drizella is also at her worst here, becoming a big Deadpan Snarker towards her sister's shortcomings, and even suggesting to Tremaine that she beat Anastasia early on.
  • Took a Level in Kindness: Anastasia. While in Cinderella II she is already nice, it's in this movie that she makes the first step.
  • Ugly Guy, Hot Wife: The movie revealed Prince Charming's mother, who was quite beautiful, while the king still looked the same.
  • Villainous Breakdown: Lady Tremaine really starts to lose her cool when Anastasia rejects Prince Charming and she resorts to turning the guards into animals before pointing the wand at Anastasia, forcing Cinderella, who was amazed by her honesty, to step in to protect her.
  • Voices Are Mental: When Lady Tremaine turns Anastasia into a Cinderella clone, viewers hear the clone speak with Anastasia's voice.
  • "Well Done, Son" Guy: Anastasia's Freudian Excuse in the sequels.
  • Wham Line: "I...I don't." This is Anastasia, transformed into a clone of Cinderella and mere seconds away from marrying Prince Charming, turning down her vows at the altar. She's realized that Charming's love for her has been totally manufactured and refuses to trap him, and herself, in a marriage based on lies.
  • What If?: The original ad campaign advertised the movie as taking this approach to Cinderella.
  • What You Are in the Dark: Anastasia spends the entire movie—and, if her dialogue is any indication, her entire life—dreaming of her Happily Ever After with a "perfectly perfect love." Toward the end of the movie, she's been transformed into Cinderella's exact clone and is standing on the altar with Prince Charming, about to finally achieve the marriage she's always wanted... but she turns it down with an "I don't." She knows that Charming's feelings for her aren't real, and she's decided that she wants someone to love her for herself, even if it means giving up the happy ending she's fantasized about for so long.
  • Wholesome Crossdresser: Jaq and Gus dress as Lady Tremaine and the Fairy Godmother when telling Cinderella the truth about Charming's amnesia.
  • Why Waste a Wedding?: The disguised Anastasia saying, "I don't" and Cinderella crashing the royal wedding ruin what was to be the wedding between Charming and a fake Cinderella. Once her mother is defeated, Anastasia reverses her disguise in redemption and the real Cinderella takes her place.
  • Xenafication: Cinderella. It's actually more true to what she was originally meant to be.
    Walt Disney: Cinderella, here, was more practical [than Snow White]. She believed in dreams, all right, but she also believed in doing something about them. When the Prince Charming didn't happen to come along, she went right over to the palace and got him!source
  • You Remind Me of X: Anastasia's dreadful dancing reminds the King of his late wife.


Video Example(s):


Cinderella III

Lady Tremaine casts a spell on the Prince, causing him to forget meeting Cinderella and marry Anastasia that night.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (7 votes)

Example of:

Main / Brainwashed

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