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YMMV / Cinderella (Rodgers and Hammerstein)

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  • Adaptation Displacement: The 1957 version never received a VHS release, and never aired on television again until 2004, causing people to consider one of the remakes the original. As of February 2021, the '57 telecast remains the only one without an official online streaming release.
  • Alternate Character Interpretation:
    • After Cinderella's slipper falls off in the 1965 version, she stares down at it, but doesn't pick it up — either because she doesn't have enough time to put it back on, or possibly to leave Prince Christopher with a way to find her.
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    • Was Prince Christopher adopted in the 1997 version, in which each member of the royal family has an actor of a different race?
  • And You Thought It Would Fail: Blockbuster and Walmart doubted that Walt Disney Home Video's VHS of the 1997 version could appeal to non-African-American shoppers, and only promoted it after Disney threatened to delay shipments of their animated videos otherwise. The musical ended up selling 1,000,000 tapes in its first week, then went on to become the most profitable TV movie yet.
  • Awesome Music: Whitney Houston steals the show with "It's Possible" in the 1997 version. It helps that the song was given modern R&B-style beat, which not only complements Houston's iconic voice, it gives her rendition a unique identity that differentiates from the more "Broadway-esque" renditions of the previous versions.
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  • Critical Dissonance: Although the 1957 and 1997 versions got mixed reviews from critics, the former became the highest rated TV special of its time, while the latter became one of the highest rated TV musicals in years, and also fondly remembered by women of color for starring a black Cinderella.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse: Lionel in the 1997 version is a delight. There's even a stage adaptation that includes him in it, and if the actor playing him pulls it off, he can easily steal the show.
  • Evil Is Sexy: Bernadette Peters as the 1997 version's stepmother.
  • "Funny Aneurysm" Moment: Natalie Desselle's performance in the 1997 version has her treatment of her stepsister and overall obnoxious behavior throughout the film is (somewhat) Played for Laughs. A future film, Madea's Big Happy Family, that also portrays her as a woman with a tenuous relationship with her sister and displaying other obnoxious behavior isn't.
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  • Gateway Series: The remakes turned many children into Rodgers and Hammerstein fans, boasting more kid-friendly material and shorter runtimes than the movie adaptations of R&H's plays.
  • Heartwarming in Hindsight: When the 1957 version came to DVD after a 47-year absence from television and home video, the phrase, "Impossible things are happening every day!" seemed to take on new meaning.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • Julie Andrews and Lesley Ann Warren eventually performed together in Victor/Victoria.
    • In the 1997 remake, during the opening pan through the streets of the village, someone almost runs into a cabbage cart; the driver just barely manages to stop it from overturning, but some of his produce still rolls into the street. A highly enjoyable and highly familiar sight for Avatar: The Last Airbender fans eight years later.
  • Narm:
    • "The Prince Is Giving a Ball" in the 90's version. In the original and the 60's remake, the song is about many of the local girls conniving to win the prince. In the 90's remake, to give Jason Alexander more to sing and probably out of political correctness, the girls' verses are mostly replaced with the steward Lionel's long shopping lists of food, decorations, etc., literally making the song about preparing for a ball.
    • The ridicule game in the Broadway version. You know how the 90's version gets flack for being "overly PC"? The Broadway version plays this up to 11.
  • Older Than They Think:
    • As progressive as the 1997 script appears to be, in reality it is closer to the 1950's script than it would like to admit.
    • Brandy is sometimes credited as the first black Cinderella on screen, but she is actually at least the fourth: Cleo Laine was in the BBC's Cindy-Ella (1966), Charlayne Woodard in Cindy (1978), and Jennifer Beals in an episode of Faerie Tale Theatre (1985). There was also Della Miles in Sisterella (1993), albeit in a filmed stage show, which technically makes Brandy the fifth.
  • Padding: The 1965 version's VHS tapes and DVDs tack on an overture, which combined with the opening credits result in quite the wait for the story to begin; Shout! Factory's DVD even asks the viewers, after pushing "Play", if they'd like to skip the overture.
  • Retroactive Recognition:
    • Jon Cypher made his television debut in the 1957 version as Prince Christopher, and later became better known as Fletcher Daniels from Hill Street Blues.
    • Stuart Damon made his television debut in the 1965 version as Prince Christopher, and later became better known as Dr. Alan Quartermaine from General Hospital.
    • Santino Fontana, the original Broadway Prince Topher in 2013, later lent his voice to Prince Hans in Frozen (2013).
  • Special Effect Failure: Cinderella's flying carriage in the 1965 version looks like a cel or cut-out puppet with a painted background sliding behind it. During the shots of Cinderella inside the carriage, the "countryside" seen in her window looks like it was added with a chroma key effect.
  • Unintentionally Sympathetic: The Stepsisters get this in spades, particularly with their Villain Song "Stepsisters' Lament" (and also because they're so darn funny). It crosses over with Values Dissonance — the idea of a girl not being able to find a husband just because's she's not conventionally attractive strikes home with many viewers. The '97 version tries to adjust this by making it clear that it's not the girls' looks that are driving men away, but rather their vapidness, bad personalities, and generally unpleasant nature—but still, it's hard not to feel sorry for them, given how their mother has literally trained them to believe that marrying for love is a ridiculous idea. Plus, they have a few Pet the Dog moments, such as happily dancing with Cinderella during "A Lovely Night" and at the very least treating her like a person instead of hired help, as earlier versions did...but they still get locked out of the palace in the ending, despite their mother being the real villain of the piece.

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