New, Modernized ‘Cinderella’ Debuts

Disney brings new magic to a classic movie.


Disney brings new magic to a classic movie.

Emily Hamilton, Staff Writer

On March 13, Disney’s new “Cinderella” movie will be released in theaters. Cinderella is a well-known and well-loved fairy-tale, and there are many versions of the story, but most versions maintain a basic story line.

Cinderella’s mother died and years later, her father remarried a woman who had two daughters. Cinderella’s new stepmother and stepsisters treated her very poorly. (Cinderella’s father’s role after his remarriage is different in every story. In some, he stays, in some he does not stay, and in others, he dies.) The family was invited to a ball and the wicked stepmother told Cinderella she could only go if she finished her chores and found something suitable to wear. Cinderella completed the chores, but her stepmother claimed the dress she wore was not acceptable.

The evil stepmother left with her daughters and Cinderella ran to the garden in tears where she met her Fairy Godmother. Her Fairy Godmother transformed Cinderella’s dress to a beautiful ball gown, gave Cinderella glass slippers, turned a pumpkin into a carriage and turned several animals into elegant horses and a coachman. Cinderella is warned that everything will return to its original state at midnight.

She arrived at the ball and danced with the prince. The prince fell in love with her, but it was almost midnight, so Cinderella fled before she could tell the prince her name. She left in such a hurry that she dropped one of her glass slippers at the Palace. The prince discovered the slipper and used it to find Cinderella. Much to the dismay of the stepmother and stepsisters, the two got married and lived happily ever after.

“Cinderella” (2015) is said to be very similar to the original Disney “Cinderella” (1950), but it will have a more modern spin. In a featurette about the new film on, Lily James, the actress who plays Cinderella, said, “There’s so many iconic moments in the film that we have to do justice to,” referring to “Cinderella” (1950).

This film will follow in the footsteps of other modernized live-action films, such as “Mirror Mirror” (2012) and “Maleficent” (2014). In both of these movies, the princess doesn’t rely on the prince to come rescue her. In fact, in “Mirror Mirror,” the princess is the one rescuing the prince, contrary to the previous concept, where the prince must save the princess and the princess’s happiness depends mainly on the prince. Jenna Grayson, a freshman at LHS, commented that this teaches young girls that they should “drop everything to be with someone they love. You can compromise for things like that.”

These movies both have a prominent feminist component and several Disney movies preceding have led up to this feminist quality. A few of these movies are “Beauty and the Beast” (1991), “Aladdin” (1992), “Pocahontas” (1995), “Mulan” (1998), “The Princess and the Frog” (2009), “Tangled” (2010), “Brave” (2012) and “Frozen” (2013). Pocahontas saves John Smith, Mulan is the heroine in her story,Tiana is the heroine in hers, Rapunzel saves Eugene’s life, Merida promptly refuses the idea of marriage and Anna saves herself and Elsa.

There is evidence that “Cinderella” (2015) will have a similar theme. In the same featurette mentioned above about “Cinderella,” the director, Kenneth Branagh, said, “There’s no damsels in distress here. Cinderella’s not a pushover. She sticks up for herself.”

There has been controversy about the modernization of these classic childhood films. According to Nick Romano on Cinema Blend, a popular entertainment site, these updated adaptations are “shattering everything we think we know about famous fairy tales by presenting ‘the true stories’ behind them.”

Freshman Allison Tong disagreed with this: “In my opinion this shift is a good thing because it can carry the message to the girls watching that they should strive to be strong, independent women like the females they see on the screen.”