With Kenneth Branagh's live-action Cinderella arriving in theaters this weekend, many of you may feel compelled to revisit the Walt Disney Animated classic from 1950. Going by this new Honest Trailer, however, you may want to reconsider that idea. Watch it below and you'll see what I mean.
You hear that crashing? That's the sound of your nostalgia for Cinderella shattering like a glass slipper. While you may remember the animated classic as being a beautifully romantic fairy tale of tremendous proportions, the truth is that the movie doesn't exactly fit in with the modern world's sense of feminism, and is just as much about a literal cat and mouse game as it is about the titular character. There is the excuse that it's made for children, but it's honestly amazing in retrospect just how whacked the film really is.
Having recently watched 1950's Cinderella myself, I definitely agree with a lot of the points that Honest Trailers is making, but I also think that they're not putting enough emphasis on one particular character... or rather, lack of character. I am, of course, talking about Prince Charming. In the movie, the male romantic interest is introduced at the royal ball, sings a song with Cinderella, and then sends his henchmen out to find her. He is entirely inactive in the plot, and actually only has maybe one line of dialogue in the film (it coming after Cinderella has started racing away at the stroke of midnight). It's remarkably terrible storytelling.
And while Cinderella does get a pass to a certain degree simply because it's not an original story, a discussion does need to be had about the Fairy Godmother's role in this plot. Her powers certainly have their limits - as she can't even keep a pumpkin transformed for more than a few hours - but why does she only enter the titular character's life once she has hit her breaking point and just can't take it anymore? Why not hop in at any point in time during the years when she is being treated as a slave by her evil step mother and step sisters? Looking at the story arc from a wide perspective, it actually seems kind of cruel.
For those of you looking forward to this weekend's live-action version of Cinderella, I am happy to report that screenwriter Chris Weitz has solved some of the bigger issues in the story that were on full display in the animated movie. This includes the fact that the Prince - named Kit and played by Game of Thrones' Richard Madden - is an actual character, and doesn't first meet Lily James' Cinderella at the ball. It doesn't fix all the problems, but it's definitely a big improvement in the plot department.
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NJ native who calls LA home and lives in a Dreamatorium. A decade-plus CinemaBlend veteran who is endlessly enthusiastic about the career he’s dreamt of since seventh grade.