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'Cinderella' Story Debuts With Fanfare

20 May, 2005 By: Holly J. Wagner

Cinderella TV and DVD Player

Prince Charming had to scour the kingdom to find his princess, but consumers will have no trouble finding Cinderella at retail when Buena Vista Home Entertainment (BVHE) releases the Cinderella Platinum Edition DVD set Oct. 4 (prebook Aug. 9).

“Cinderella is going to be all about transformation for us,” said Lori MacPherson, SVP of brand marketing for BVHE. “When people think of it, they think of that rags-to-riches story.”

You want riches? The title will roll out to royal fanfare in the form of print, radio, TV and outdoor advertising, as well as a princess' ransom of related products, from Cinderella-themed clothing, toys, home products and stationery to cereal, bandages and even a Cinderella-themed child-safety seat promotion in conjunction with the U.S. Department of Transportation.

Looking for princess jewelry? Cinderella has her own signature Swarovski choker. Fashions? How about a light-up dress? While Disney has never been shy about marketing its properties, Cinderella will street with 250 new products — the most ever for a DVD launch, according to MacPherson. “A lot of times the new products are for the theatrical release,” she noted.

Cinderella made its last theatrical appearance in 1987 and has never been on DVD. Since the last Cinderella release on VHS in 1995, the title has topped the most-requested list for DVD. The disc set features digitally restored audio and video, and oodles of bonus features.

“My favorite is the House of Royalty, about how to become a princess,” MacPherson said. The feature includes a visit with designer Isaac Mizrahi, then with Catherine Oxenberg, a real-life princess; and a video trip to Hollywood, where the cast of “Extreme Home Makeover” creates the ultimate princess room. (Ancillary products include a “paint inspiration card,” so matching the color scheme shouldn't be too difficult.)

Among the bonus materials on the disc is “ESPN Classics' Cinderella Stories,” in which NFL Hall-of-Famer Joe Namath hosts video profiles of sports triumphs.

“ESPN had all this fabulous programming on Cinderella stories,” MacPherson said. “It's something the whole family can watch together, it's interesting to dads and moms and the kids.”

The title will be available for $29.99 on VHS or as a two-disc DVD set as well as in a DVD collector's set ($49.99), which includes a set of original sketch postcards, an actual film frame from the movie, a collectible book and other items.

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