A Cinderella Story: Christmas Wish Blu-ray review

Oct 26, 2019- Permalink

The direct-to-video release A Cinderella Story: Christmas Wish is a light, festive concoction perfect for romance-hungry ‘tweens to watch while noshing on Christmas cookies and wrapping presents. As the good elves at Warner Bros. are sticklers for disclaimers, let me get this bit of housekeeping out of the way before we hitch the reindeer to the sleigh: Warner Bros. Home Entertainment provided our company with a free copy of the Blu-ray in this review. The opinions I share are my own.

In this Xmas-themed tale, Katherine “Kat” Decker (Laura Marano) dreams of being a successful singer-songwriter. Her reality is a little different. At home, her life is controlled by her conniving stepmother (Johannah Newmarch) and her two stepsisters (Lillian Doucet-Roche and Chanelle Peloso). At work, she plays a singing elf at Santa Land, a seasonal attraction owned by the wealthy Terrence Wintergarden (Barclay Hope). The handsome young Santa that captures Kat’s heart is portrayed by Wintergarden’s son, Nick (Gregg Sulkin). When Kat scores an invite to his family’s Christmas Gala, her stepfamily will stop at nothing to deny her attending. Toss in an attentive dog, a true friend, and some holiday magic, and Kat might just experience the true meaning of the holiday.

The story is light and doesn’t require much attention, making it the perfect background fare for this busy time of year. While Marano and Sulkin have chemistry and do good work as the fairy tale-like romantic leads, the highlight of the cast is Newmarch and her “evil” daughters. Like archetypal villains in these sorts of stories, the trio exists on a diet of scenery and their over-the-top comedic performance wouldn’t be out of place in a British Christmas pantomime.

On the video side, the 1080p AVC-encoded transfer is presented in a 1.78:1 aspect ratio. With a festive colour palette, the image is generally sharp and full of details in textiles and environment. Good black levels and shadows are coupled with an absence of digital artifacts or noise.

On the audio side, your ears get an English DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack as well as French and Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1 tracks. Subtitles are available in English SDH, French and Spanish. While the surround speakers don’t get much of a workout in this presentation, the musical numbers are bright and dynamic. Dialogue is clear and centred.

In terms of extras, the combo pack comes with a DVD copy and a Movies Anywhere digital code for US buyers. There are some trailers for other WB content and two featurettes. The Looks and Costumes of Christmas Wish gives us some design notes from costume designer Valerie Halverson, while The Mic and the Stage takes us behind the scenes of the musical numbers and choreography.

While no one will mistake A Cinderella Story: Christmas Wish for A Christmas Carol, its intended audience will enjoy the romance, songs and festive hijinks.