This episode of the beloved family show is one of its weakest as far as I’m concerned. Mind you, I’m not exactly an impartial source, given that I’ve always found the Charles Perrault fairy tale rather uneventful and repetitive. It doesn’t help that this adaptation’s set design looks cheap, and the screenplay has a few clever one liners but most of it is pretty bland and stiff. Admittedly Ben Vereen’s lead performance is striking and memorable, and he’s well-matched by the always-welcome Alfre Woodard, but Gregory Hines seems to be acting in a different production altogether. It makes for several jarring tone adjustments from one scene to another, and there just isn’t enough meat to the story to pad out a 60 minute running time.
Rating: ★★ (out of 5)