At the end of November 2012, I learned that there was a new Disney princess live-action film in production which happened to be my favourite childhood Disney animation, Cinderella. At the time, I took ‘live-action’ to mean an action film, like the butchered version of Snow White [and the Huntsman] (sorry, I still won’t watch it). I feared that Disney would reinvent my childhood role model into a tough rebellious girl, rather than focus on what I believed made Cinderella a strong woman: patient, obedient, respectful, and hopeful.
Based on the plot line (“the prince is set for a politically arranged marriage, until the evil plan is threatened when the prince meets Cinderella”), it sounded historically correct and reminded me of one of my favourite movies, Ever After. When the first trailer came out in November 2014, it was everything I hoped it would be, from the costumes (see the wedding gown here) to the storyline:
‘Have courage and be kind,’ says Ella’s mother.
It’s a lesson that kind Ella (played by Lily James, who was Downton Abbey‘s rebel, Lady Rose MacClare) takes to heart as she endures years living as a maidservant with her cold stepmother, Lady Tremaine (Cate Blanchett), and her two bully step-sisters (played by Sophie McShera – Downton Abbey‘s Daisy – and Holliday Grainger – The Borgias‘ Lucrezia Borgia), who call her Cinderella. Despite the hardship she faces and the loneliness she endures (save for her adorable animal friends), Ella strives to be optimistic and courageous. This does not go unnoticed, of course. One day, Ella meets the young and handsome Prince Charming, played by Richard Madden (The Game of Thrones‘ Robb Stark), who seems to instantly see through to her kind heart. In the second trailer released this past week, we see that Ella protected a stag from being hunted and is brave enough to let the prince know what she thinks.
The second person to come into Ella’s life is her comical fairy godmother, played by Helen Bonham Carter, who rewards her by giving her a new ball gown and a pair of glass slippers so that Ella may see her prince at the ball.
‘Where there is kindness, there is goodness, and where there is goodness, there is magic.’ – Ella’s mother.
We may know how the story ends but I am looking forward to what the writers and director want to reveal to the audience. Yes, it’s a fairytale love story, but I have always seen this as a metaphor. It is a story about a courageous woman’s determination not to give up on her dreams and that kindness will be rewarded.
Cinderella premieres on 13 March 2015.
In the meantime, take a look at the Cinderella goodies from:
- the Disney Store – can someone please tell me why there are no adult sizes for the ‘glass slippers’ and costumes?
- Cinderella & co Tsums – just darling!
- Barbies! – I can’t tell you how much I want both dolls. It’s the little girl in me.
- M.A.C. (makeup) – online on 26 Feb, in stores from 5 March onwards
- 9 designers and their take on the glass slipper
And if you enjoyed the music from the trailer as much as I do, you can now listen to it here!