The only good thing I can say about this film is the acting was impeccable. I maybe prejudice against the film as Cinderella is my one of my least favourite Disney animation. The problem is I can never figure out way. The ‘live’ film is true to the animation and although there are some added layers it hasn’t changed my opinion. The characters are shallow, the plot thin and the heroine a doormat. The only improvement was the prince and I suspect that is because in this version he has a speaking part.
Lets start with Cinderella, she is kind and brave but not brave enough to leave her life of abuse and start a new and better life. Its would be possible, she’s honest, hardworking and clever. So what’s stopping her? Even Snow White found a job as a housekeeper! If she did leave she would never meet the prince, right? Wrong! She met him at the ball not in the kitchen. Which brings us to the plot.
If you are good and kind and believe in magic your fairy godmother will whisk you away to a party where you will meet the One. Ahem (one eyebrow raised). I am a big believer in fate and luck but this one surpasses even me. This sort of reasoning leads to spoiled and manipulative children. Yes be good because you can, be kind for kindness sake and believe in magic because it makes you smile, don’t do it because you expect a reward.
Finally the wicked stepmother and stepsisters. Cate Blanchett was thoroughly wicked as some people are, unfortunately Disney felt the need to give her a flimsy excuse for her wickedness which sort of spoiled the effect.
So what about the fashion. Honestly, I’ve seen better.
Perhaps the question I should be asking is why don’t I feel this way about other Disney films. Aurora was a dreamy romantic but Sleeping Beauty is one of my favourite Disneys. Belles bravery and kindness led her to love and she’s one of my favourite characters. After much analysis I have decided it must be the talking mice.
Here’s my top favourite five alternative Cinderella adaptions.
Roald Dahls Cinderella – our heroine discovers a happy ending isn’t just about pretty frocks and handsome princes. And it gets pretty gruesome in places.
Ever After – Drew Barrymore gives Cinderella some fighting spirit in this adaption, her reason for putting up with her miserable existence is a child need for a mothers love. Angelica Houston as a believable reason for her mistreatment, bitter jealousy of her fathers love and ambition for her favourite daughter. Leonardo di Vinci is the ‘fairy godmother’.
The Slipper and the Rose – What can I say, its a musical. I love a musical and this one’s comical as well.
Ella Enchanted – Anne Hathaway of ‘The Princess Diaries’ fame gives Cinderella a whirl. I like the twist where Ella is given the ‘gift’ of obedience by her well meaning but drunken fairy godmother. A gift which makes her unable to say no to anyone’s request. She breaks the spell herself.
Sapsarrow – one of the earlier versions of the Cinderella tale. Through her own folly she becomes a victim of the law of her kingdom and must marry her father the king. Using only her wits she escapes her impossible fate with three dresses she hides herself as a kitchen maid in a neighbouring kingdom. During a three day festival she wears a different dress each night, dances with the prince and the rest you know.