Cinderella (1899)

Cinderella (1899)

1899 5 Minutes

Fantasy | Horror | Science Fiction | Family

A fairy godmother magically turns Cinderella's rags to a beautiful dress, and a pumpkin into a coach. Cinderella goes to the ball, where she meets the Prince - but will she remember to leave before...

Overall Rating

7 / 10
Verdict: Good

User Review

  • Cendrillion is whimsical in nature and more lavish than a glass slipper. The earliest known adaptation of Perrault's fairy tale. One of the first films to utilise multiple scenes. The first use of the "dissolve transition" technique. And the only film in the 1800s (from what I've seen) to physically convey a story through a cohesive narrative. Cendrillon was a milestone for both cinema and Méliès. Granted, you will most likely need to know the source material first as this short film is somewhat illusory for its own good. And yes, some scenes were unnecessarily long just to showcase the innovative production design, particularly the entirety of Méliès as the genie of the midnight clock (absolutely cuckoo, if you pardon the pun). However the basic narrative outline is present, with Méliès conveying vital plot points whilst evoking pure imagination. You just have to give him credit for condensing a story into six minutes, even at the consequence of losing character depth. The pioneering editing allows the film to have that little additional essence of magic. The acting was splendidly exaggerative and contemporaneous, where Méliès had to employ a Chief Extra just to manage all of the over extras. Grand, lavishly designed and quite simply extraordinary. His first endeavour into narratively-charged films would lead him to create his magnum opus three years later.