Thoughts on Cinderella (2015)

65 years after the Disney animation comes the live-action film of Cinderella.

You know the story. You’ve seen the trailer. There are no surprises or twists like Maleficent. I won’t spoil the film for you but if you’re interested, you can read what I though about the film. 🙂

My Thoughts & Comments

  • I thought Lily James was going to sing and dance in the film.
    • She does sing and dance in the movie, but not to ‘A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes’. That comes in the credits. I suppose that means the new ‘Beauty and the Beast’ might not be a sing-along film after all. :/
  • Where is Bruno? 😦
    • Replaced by a lizard for the role of footman. Shame really, even though I’m not a dog person.
  • You can almost hear what the mice are saying (squeaking) and they sound a lot like the original ones!
  • We get to know part of Lady Tremaine’s history and can I just say that Cate Blanchett is perfection in this film. I enjoyed her performance most.
  • Seeing Sophie McShera and Holliday Grainger play air-headed and obnoxious stepsisters was priceless, especially since their characters were so different to Downton Abbey’s Daisy and The Borgias’ Lucrezia!
  • In the animation, Cinderella/Ella is constantly yelled at, especially by her stepsisters. In the movie, she’s laughed at and insulted.
    • I think what made the original Cinderella stronger is that she endured abuse from her stepfamily for a longer time since her father had died when she was a little girl. This is what I’ve sensed from the way she walks, talks, and responds to her stepfamily.
    • In the movie, Ella is blessed to have her father until adulthood. I think she has more emotional stability and is perhaps a more cheerful person because of it.
  • The waltz choreography reminds me of the one in Anna Karenina (2012). It’s beautiful and the Valse de l’amour just makes you want to waltz along!

  • Some of these scenes remind me a lot of one of my favourite movies and Cinderella-retelling, Ever After.
  • Hayley Atwell played the mother! No wonder she looked so familiar and yet the blonde hair and bleached brows made her look like someone completely different.
  • ‘Lavender’s Blue’ should have been added to the Cinderella OST. Hayley Atwell and Lily James sang this traditional song beautifully! Listen to Laura Wright’s vocal rendition of it here.
    • Disney trivia: The song was featured in Disney’s So Dear To My Heart (1948). You can listen to it here and the instrumental version from The Disney Gallery in Disneyland here.


Lavender’s blue, dilly, dilly, lavender’s green,

When I am king, dilly, dilly, you shall be queen.

Who told you so, dilly, dilly, who told you so?

‘Twas my own heart, dilly, dilly, that told me so.


More Thoughts (SPOILERS!)

  • Ella and her mother practically have matching floral dresses! Now why can’t women’s fashion be as pretty as girls’ fashion?
  • Jack/Jacques is now Jacqueline? 😦
  • In the trailer, we thought that Ella already knew the Prince’s identity. I like how she didn’t and I also like how the Prince had thought she was a mysterious princess when he met her at the ball.
  • I was rather surprised that Lady Tremaine considered allowing Ella to marry the Prince, so long as she could be in charge of the Royal Household (and control the Prince) and that her two daughters would have advantageous marriages.
  • When the Prince suggested that Ella should have her portrait done, I couldn’t help but think of how Leonardo Da Vinci painted Danielle’s in Ever After.
  • In the final scene, I love how the Prince called Ella his Queen (signifying how he sees her) and she responded with ‘My Kit,’ rather than ‘My Prince’ (signifying that she loved him and not his title).

Magical Costumes

Cinderella costumes

Cinderella’s 3 main outfits, sans mother’s pink gown


Colours & their representations

  • Blue has long represented innocence and purity, so naturally, Cinderella is dominantly in blue throughout the film: her ‘Cinderella’ work dress and her ‘mysterious princess’ ball gown.
  • What about pink? Cinderella’s mother’s gown in the animation and film is pink. Perhaps it represents girlhood and that, despite the hardships Ella faced in her childhood and youth, it was time for her to leave that behind. If attending the ball was the turning point of her life, then the transformation from the pink dress to the blue could have represented her transition into womanhood. (Or I’m just reading too much into this.)
  • Lady Tremaine is dominantly dressed in green in the movie, whereas she has only one burgundy frock in the original animation, with a green brooch matching the colour of her irises. (Actually, I lied, she has a dusty blue gown that she wore to the ball.) We already know that she has been green with envy of Cinderella’s beauty, charm, and goodness from the beginning.

The Wedding Dress

When I first saw the photos of the wedding gown, I was enthralled with it! It reminded me more of Aurora’s (Sleeping Beauty) gown because of the stomacher, but it still reflected the one that the animated Cinderella wore to her wedding. I immediately thought of how many women would be looking for a wedding dress similar to it, with a sheer neckline, cinched waistline, A-line skirt length, and painted or embroidered flowers. Perhaps we’ll soon see Cinderella wedding gown replicates from several designers! Although it’s not what I plan on wearing to my future wedding, the style is timeless and classic.

Architectural Crush: The Palace

It looked so familiar to me that I had to google it as soon as I got home. Although the exterior of the palace (from the front) was most likely computer-generated, it looks like it was modelled after Sanssouci Palace in Potsdam (which I have yet to visit) and the Zwinger Palace in Dresden. What do you think?

Filming took place in Black Park (forest scene where Cinderella meets the Prince), Blenheim Palace, Windsor Castle, the Old Royal Naval College, and Hampton Court (thank you to Marlene from Royal Musings for pointing it out!). Christa from The Fairytale Traveller has all the information in her blog post here.

Last words

Let’s just agree that no live-action film can ever replace the Disney original. We might like some things from the new ones but our classic Disney princesses will always have a place in our hearts. That said, I enjoyed this film and it’s certainly a good companion to the original. 🙂 Let me know what you think (especially if your favourite Disney princess is also Cinderella)!

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