Disney

Why Brandy’s ‘Cinderella’ Is Long Overdue for Its Disney Release

Disney is finally releasing Brandy's 'Cinderella' from the vault. Is this a way to reconnect with old Disney fans... or just a cash grab and publicity stunt by the Big Mouse?
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Y’all, this is the news we have been waiting for. After months of asking for it, Disney has finally listened to their audience, and the 1997 Cinderella movie starring Brandy and Whitney Houston is coming to the streaming service later this month.

I, for one, cannot wait to see Brandy dressed as a princess again, and do I ever need to talk about Paolo Montalban as Prince Charming?! Swoon.

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This movie was actually very popular

If you somehow missed the sensation in the 90s, let me back it up for you a bit. In 1997 when Roger & Hammerstein’s Cinderella came out, Brandy was one of the biggest radio artists out there. The Boy is Mine, my personal Brandy favorite, came out in 1998, the year later. She also has had a very successful acting career – I totally forgot Moesha ran for six full years, from 1996-2001!

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It was a direct-to-TV movie, which usually means it’s awful, except in this instance it was the exception. A staggering 60 million people tuned in on November 2, 1997, when it first aired on ABC’s “The Wonderful World of Disney.”

And it was loved. So many people considered it an instant classic, not just because of the star power, but the songs were incredible. I know I’m listening to the soundtrack for the rest of the day.

Hot take, but I think this might be the best direct-to-TV movie ever made. There, I said it.

Whitney Houston plays an absolutely fantastic Fairy Godmother, proving once again that she really is a queen of soundtracks. Once you’re done listening to the Cinderella soundtrack, hop over to the soundtrack for The Bodyguard.

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Finally, we’ve got Whoopi Goldberg, who played an excellent Queen Constantina. I also absolutely love that Whoopi and her on-screen husband, Victor Garber, got together to make Paolo Montalban. A Black queen and a white king made a beautiful Filipino baby and I am so here for it.

For 1997, especially for Disney, this movie had a lot of firsts. Representation is important, and anyone who says otherwise only believe that because they themselves are over-represented.

Related: Why Does Hollywood Suck at Diversity?

Why did it take so long?!

Roger & Hammerstein’s Cinderella, lovingly called “Brandy’s Cinderella” by fans, has been out for 24 years now. So what’s the holdup? Why is this the first time we’ve really been able to stream or appreciate this movie?

Well, Disney’s not really saying much about that, but according to a post on social media, it wasn’t Brandy who had the problem. Last summer, Brandy was promoting her album, B7, when the subject of the movie came up.

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“Disney can come on up and scoop up Cinderella. That would be awesome.” She told Rolling Stone, after the interviewer asked her why the classic wasn’t on the streaming service already. “It should be there because it’s Whitney Houston alone. You know what I mean?”

Online speculation has it that Houston’s estate was giving Disney a hard time, but – not to sound like a debbie downer – I think that’s probably not true.

With February being Black History Month, it’s completely possible that Disney held back releasing this classic, with the diverse cast, until they could get the most ‘bang for their buck’ releasing it. The announcement coming at the beginning of the month also seems to indicate that timing wasn’t coincidental.

Brandy and Whoopi met up (virtually) this week to announce the movie being released on Disney+ for streaming.

Seeing these two together, talking about this movie, just brings back all the feelings!

Roger and Hammerstein’s Cinderella is set to drop on Disney+ February 12th in the US. The UK will have to wait until March 5th – sorry, guys!

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