Expect healthy if not quite humongous sales and rentals for “Cinderella III: A Twist in Time,” Disney’s second made-for-vid sequel to the Mouse Factory’s 1950 take on the classic fairy tale. Lightly amusing animated vidpic should satisfy its obvious target aud of easily distracted moppets, doting and/or indulgent parents and grandparents, and tweeners who still dream of becoming princesses.
Unlike 2002’s “Cinderella II: Dreams Come True,” which played like an assemblage of self-contained episodes from a TV spinoff, this new opus concentrates on a single storyline: Cinderella’s unrepentant Stepmother (voiced by Susanne Blakeslee) gains control of the Fairy Godmother’s magic wand, and turns back the clock to pre-empt Cinderella’s happily-ever-aftering.
Specifically, the Stepmom (never referred to as wicked, by the way) casts a spell to take everyone back to the morning after the grand ball where Cinderella (Jennifer Hale) charmed her beloved Prince (C.D. Barnes). Without the Fairy Godmother (Russi Taylor) on hand to bibbidi-bobbidi-boo, homely stepsister Anastasia (Tress MacNeille) is the one who fits into the glass slipper — with a little magical help, of course — and qualifies to become the Prince’s bride.
It’s up to Cinderella and her frisky rodent buddies, Gus (Corey Burton) and Jaq (Rob Paulsen), to set things right before a royal wedding binds the wrong partners.
Helmer Frank Nissen (“Pooh’s Heffalump Movie”) keeps everything moving at a suitably up-tempo pace, aided in no small measure by the abundance of pleasant (albeit forgettable) original tunes on the soundtrack.
This time out, stepsister Anastasia is appreciably more sympathetic, and the handsome Prince takes a slightly more active role in the propelling the plot mechanics. For the most part, though, the scripters remain true to the spirit of the 1950 toon, if not the original fairy tale that started it all.
Animation is on par with most other Disney animated vidpics.