Disney+ will release a new 4K restoration of the 1950 animated film “Cinderella” this August, as part of World Princess Week.
The restoration is the culmination of years of work by the Walt Disney Studios Restoration and Preservation team with Walt Disney Animation Studios.
Disney+ shared an image comparing the previous version of “Cinderella” with the restored version. Disney said the film is back “to its original grandeur, authentic to the artistic ambitions of the Studio’s creative team, and which looks and sounds better than ever.”
Kevin Schaeffer, director of Restoration for Walt Disney Studios, said: “Working with our restoration team along with internal technical experts, outside vendors (like Mike Underwood at Picture Shop Hollywood), and advisors from Walt Disney Animation Studios, we were able to make this 1950 classic look and sound better than ever.”
We began the process by pulling the original nitrate negative from the Library of Congress and scanning the successive exposure color records in 4K. We then did a cleaning pass to remove dirt and as many artifacts as possible. The current available restoration tools allowed us to produce a sharper and higher quality image than previous efforts. To make sure we didn’t lose any of the detail or artistic choices of the filmmakers, we turned to Disney Animation legends and authorities, including Michael Giaimo and Eric Goldberg.
Giaimo and Goldberg worked with Dorothy McKim, special projects and 2D animation producer for Walt Disney Animation Studios, and Bob Bagley, digital imaging manager for Disney Animation.
“It was an honor to work on this restoration with Eric,” Giaimo said, “and to really celebrate the original intent and classic Disney aesthetic of those great artists who worked with Walt, notably the great Mary Blair, and to get that right level of depth and saturation.” Giaimo also worked as a production designer on Disney’s upcoming “Wish,” both “Frozen” films, and “Pocahontas.”
Many criticized the previous restoration of “Cinderella” for losing details and turning her originally silver dress blue. Goldberg said, “Working with Mike to restore this film was really a labor of love. We both really love the film, and felt strongly that we had to preserve it.”
Viewers watching this restoration will see more clarity, but they will also see more subtlety. They’ll see differences in color from shot to shot, and discover how one color works with another. Mike and I knew what the film was supposed to look like, and it took a lot just getting back to ‘Cinderella’ having dusty blonde hair and a silver dress. I’m proud that the Studio felt it was important to get this restoration right, and trusted a handful of us to do that.
The 4K restoration of “Cinderella” will begin streaming on Disney+ on August 25.
Is this one of your favorite animated classics? Are you excited to see it freshly restored? Let us know in the comments.