“During the Royal Ball, Cinderella and her mice fellows discover a secret that could shake their world: the real prince has turned into a mouse by the evil witch, and the “Prince” from the Royal Ball is in fact a fraud. Now, Cinderella and her friends are going to begin a whole new adventure to save the real Prince, and help him defeat the evil force.”– Nora, IMDB.
Cinderella and the Secret Prince is the third film released by Gold Valley Films, who previously released The Mermaid Princess and Snow White’s New Adventures. Cinderella and the Secret Prince was directed by Lynne Southerland, who previously directed Disney’s Mulan II. She was also an editor for Dreamworks’ Road to El Dorado, and the Brave Little Toaster sequels. Veteran voice Actress Wendee Lee provides the voice for the villain in Cinderella and the Secret Prince. She previously lent her voice to Kei from Akira, and Faye Valentine from Cowboy Bebop.
Some thoughts from me (Potential spoilers below…)
This movie has been on my radar for a long while. I saw previews of this one on Gold Valley’s website shortly after discovering their take on Snow White and The Little Mermaid. I was very curious about how this one was going to go, having seen the director had worked on some notable films. Part of me was sorta wondering if this would end up being a decent film, but I’d be lying if I wasn’t hoping for another hilariously bad movie.
Well, it seems like fortune smiled at me, because what we got is an amazingly entertaining bad movie. This is definitely my favourite Gold Valley film, and has instantly become one of my new favourite Bad Princess movies.
Personally, I would equate the experience of watching Cinderella and the Secret Prince to being the guest of honour at a never ending buffet. One where you’re never allowed to finish the plate you’re currently on. I often will preview these movies while working on my computer, but for Cinderella and the Secret Prince I had to stop what I was doing and just focus on the movie, because any time I blinked or looked away, suddenly everything would change and we’d be in a brand new location.
At one point, in the span of 5 minutes, we go from a tropical forest, to a raging river, to a range of snow capped mountain peaks, to a gem-encrusted mine. This wasn’t done in a travel montage, the characters just seem to wander into a new biome every two seconds.
Story wise, this one is all over the place. The first 30 minutes or so of the movie loosely retell the original Cinderella story, but once that time is up things go a bit haywire. After that point the story becomes Cinderella in-name-only. It’s too the point where I sorta question if they really needed to use the Cinderella story. They easily could’ve made the protagonist a generic peasant character, and had the events of the film reference the original Cinderella story here and there. I’m not sure if the intention was to subvert audience expectations regarding how the story was going to go? You think you’re in for a traditional take on Cinderella, but instead here’s a weird plot about an evil Sorceress, a Prince turned into a mouse, giant man-eating plants, and a magical turtle. As is the case with a lot of movies on this blog, t’s hard to tell whats intentional and what’s just bad movie-making.
On the note of the Prince turned into a mouse, based on the trailer I would’ve thought that part of the film was figuring out which of the mice was the real Prince, that it’d be a mystery that the audience gets to try and solve. But no, 10 minutes into the movie it’s all but said that the one mouse is the Prince. Multiple characters comment on how un-mouse-like he is within the span of 10 seconds. Again, I sorta question this story choice. Why bother to hide the Prince’s identity when you’re going to make it so obvious which one is the Prince? Why not have the Prince transformed into a mouse later in the movie, after he and Cinderella meet and bond as humans?
The last thing I’ll mention, this one definitely seems to have taken inspiration from Disney’s Frozen. Cinderella looks like a mash-up of Elsa and Anna, and there’s a scene at the end of the film that feels like it was directly ripped from Frozen.
So all-in-all, I’d highly recommend this one if you can track it down. Currently I’ve only seen this one pop-up on eBay, I’m not sure if that’s a sign that it’s received a very limited release, or if it just hasn’t made it’s way onto other websites. It’s definitely worth the effort required to track it down.