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‘Cinderella II’ trite but fun for the young

SHARE ‘Cinderella II’ trite but fun for the young

CINDERELLA II: DREAMS COME TRUE: Walt Disney Home Entertainment; 73 minutes; Rated G; $26.99, VHS; $29.99, DVD; Grade: B-minus

As a little girl, one of my favorite fairy-tale heroines was Cinderella. I've always wondered what happened to her after she married the handsome prince and went off to his castle to live happily ever after.

I was hoping I'd find out in "Cinderella II: Dreams Come True," but the video misses the chance to update us on the enchanting original story.

Cinderella's animated, after-the-honeymoon tale is done as three short stories, all of which include new characters as well as familiar ones, such as the mice Jaq and Gus, stepsister Anastasia, and the Fairy Godmother. Surprisingly, we see very little of Cinderella's Prince.

In the opening scene, the Fairy Godmother is reading the original story of Cinderella to the mice. They ask for another story about her, but Fairy Godmother tells them it hasn't been written. So, with the help of a little magic, Cinderella's animal friends set to writing the next volume, and the vignettes unfold.

The first takes place when Cinderella and the Prince return from their honeymoon. Stepping into her royal duties, she takes on preparations for the all-important Royal Banquet, to be thrown just two days later. The dour Prudence, a long-time member of the palace staff, is charged with teaching Cinderella the ropes. Prudence insists that the banquet be held exactly as it has been for years: same dull color scheme, same dreary music and dances, and the same uninspired menu.

But Cinderella has her own ideas, and her big challenge will be bucking tradition.

In this and the other two anecdotes, Cinderella is unfailingly gentle and wise, wanting everyone to be happy and everything to turn out well. And it does, every time, with scarcely a conflict. While this doesn't make for interesting, thought-provoking drama, my 6-year-old boys enjoyed the antics of the clever mice and silly adults.