At the stroke of midnight on Friday, Feb. 12, the groundbreaking “Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella” will begin streaming exclusively on Disney+. The original televised musical stars singer and songwriter Brandy as Cinderella and Whitney Houston as Fairy Godmother, alongside Whoopi Goldberg, Victor Garber, Natalie Desselle Reid, Bernadette Peters, Paolo Montalban, Jason Alexander, and Veanne Cox.
Brandy announced the news about the movie’s digital release with co-star Whoopi Goldberg during an appearance on “The View” last week.
Celebrated for reimagining the fairy tale with diverse casting and elaborate musical acts, the 1997 movie of the week (also known as MOWs within the entertainment industry) features original songs by Rodgers & Hammerstein, including “Impossible,” “In My Own Little Corner,” “Ten Minutes Ago,” “A Lovely Night,” “Do I Love You Because You’re Beautiful?” and many more.
Heavily promoted in 1997 to re-launch the anthology series “The Wonderful World of Disney,” “Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella” was a huge rating success. According to the Nielsen TV ratings, the movie garnered 60 million viewers, making it the most-watched television musical in decades. In the process, the film earned the alphabet network its highest Sunday night ratings in ten years. The success inspired Disney and ABC to produce even more musical projects for network television.
The high-quality production value of the musical had a huge impact on its peers. “Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella” was nominated for seven Primetime Emmy Awards, including Outstanding Variety for a Music Or Comedy Special, Outstanding Music Direction and Outstanding Choreography. It won Outstanding Art Direction for a Variety or Music Program.
The production design didn’t win an Emmy but did win the Art Directors Guild Award for Excellence in Production Design for an Awards Show, Variety, Music, or Non-Fiction Program. Freedman’s teleplay was recognized and nominated for a Writers Guild of America Award for Best Children’s Script.
Other accolades include nominations for Brandy and Goldberg for an NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Television Movie or Mini-Series.
The made-for-TV movie was written by Robert L. Freedman, directed by Robert Iscove, and notably choreographed by Rob Marshall, who went on to direct films like “Chicago,” “Into the Woods,” and the upcoming live-action, “The Little Mermaid.”
When it premieres on Disney+, “Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella” will join the “Celebrate Black Stories” collection with other films like “Soul,” “Black Is King,” and “Black Panther.”
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Let’s Hear From You
Ok TV musical fans, are you glad to see this one available for streaming? Any other musicals you’d like to see Disney+ add? Let’s hear from you below…