From the enchantment of the pumpkin transforming into a coach to the sparkle of Cinderella’s ball gown, director Kenneth Branagh has brought Disney’s 1950 classic Cinderella to life in a charming live-action film.
Ella, her mother and father lived a full and happy life together in their quaint home far from the king’s palace. One fateful day, Ella’s mother fell ill and on her deathbed asked that Ella remember one thing: to always have courage and be kind. Some time after his wife’s passing, Ella’s father decided he was ready to marry again, and it was not long until Lady Tremaine and her daughters, Anastasia and Drusela, moved in.
Upon leaving for another one of his trips away from home, Ella’s father fell ill and passed away during his voyage. Ella (now Cinderella), orphaned and gutted with grief, turns to her stepmother and sisters for support, only to receive wickedness and misuse.
Her life becomes one of servitude, but, being courageous and kind, she makes the best of every day. Things start looking up after a brief but serendipitous run-in with the prince! He falls for Cinderella’s wit and spirit instantly, so, in hopes of finding her again, he invites all the maidens of the land, those of privilege and commoners alike, to attend a royal ball.
When Cinderella’s wicked stepmother forbids her to attend the ball, Cinderella’s fairy godmother steps in and saves the evening. And, as you undoubtedly know, Cinderella dances with the prince, and later her stepmother schemes to keep Cinderella and the prince apart, but everything works out in the end.
What we loved
Disney has brought Cinderella to life. This live action rendition is so true to Disney’s 1950 animated film that you can’t help but feel as if you’re watching your childhood dream come true. But it also builds on the story in a way that makes it fresh and exciting for audiences who know the classic inside and out.
That unnamed, inimitable Disney spark, that magical something, is woven into the fabric of every scene, from the personified little mice (Jaques and Gus made it into the film!) to the transformation of the legendary pumpkin into a coach. Viewers will be transfixed by the charm of it all. Bravo, Disney, bravo!
What we didn’t love so much
Despite the messages of being brave in the face of fear and kind in the face of wickedness, Disney’s rather unfortunate and old-fashioned amenably passive heroine still rings true in this film. Also, they didn’t include the iconic song “Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boo”—something a lot of viewers are bound to miss.
Parental advisory (potential spoilers)
The evil stepmother and sisters are cruel—jarringly cruel—to the point where they may be frightening to kids who are too young to understand where the vitriol stems from. You may want to talk to your kids pre-movie about how not all stepfamilies are so insufferably wicked.
PG—Parental Guidance Suggested
Rush to the theatres and let the enchantment of Cinderella marvel your whole family. This film is nothing short of visually spectacular, audibly delightful and emotionally satisfying. In the words of Cinderella: “Why it’s like a dream—a wonderful dream come true.”