As a young child I loved watching Disney movies. My favorite would have to be Beauty and the Beast, not just because the protagonist was a woman who like me read books while walking. I was a product of the 90’s resurgence of Disney, I will always remember where I was when I first saw Pixar’s Toy Story. The ‘older’ movies were ones I remember fondly watching with my family: Little Mermaid, Bambi, Snow white, Sleeping Beauty & Cinderella. My favorite ‘older’ Disney movies are: Bambi as my favorite animal based story & Cinderella for my favorite human based story.
I am one of the few who enjoyed the changes in Maleficent making her not just another angry old queen with a beautiful young lady to deal with after the death of her husband. But that argument is for another review. Here I will discuss Cinderella, Disney’s live action adaptation of their 1950’s full-length animated film. When I saw the trailer for the movie I saw ‘Ever After with Magic’. Ever After is the 1998 live action adaptation of Cinderella with Drew Barrymore as Ella, who loved to read, threw apples at the prince & had Leonardo DaVinci as her fairy godmother. I love Ever After it will always be one of my favorite fairy tale based dramas.
In the animated film we do not see Cinderella read or write. In the 1950’s film when Cinderella gets the invitation to the ball she is asked what it says, she can not read it. All the subsequent versions of Cinderella are able to read, write and in the case of newest interpretation speak French. In this latest interpretation we also see her reasons for why she stays in her family home while she is victimized by her step-mother and sisters. Unlike the animated film where we have no real reason why Cinderella stays, we are given a backstory and even dialogue explaining why she stays.
The Prince in the1950’s film was a star we never saw, hardly heard speak & the protagonist fell in love with in just one dance. However in our latest interpretation we have political intrigue and a Prince who loved his father very much but is still a boy wanting to marry for love.
In the end the story ended as it should, happily. As other reviews have stated, the movie did not stray far from its source material. A lot of reviewers enjoyed this, it is not gritty & completely changed like Snow White & Huntsman or Maleficent. When I entered the theatre I knew how the story was going to end. Because we know the story the real question is was the road traveled between the inevitable beginning and end worth the 2 hour run time?
For children or families with young children I would answer yes. However for anyone looking for an interesting take on Cinderella classic story I would point them to Ever After. The changes done in Ever After add more layers to the story that make the characters more relatable then they did for Cinderella. Though I enjoyed it I kept wishing I was watching another film & comparing it constantly to what happened in Ever After.
In conclusion the movie for families this month is Cinderella. For everyone else rent or buy Ever After, you wont regret it.