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Look, I actually enjoyed the new Cinderella on Amazon Prime, and I don’t care what anyone says. I thought it was magical, had some fun musical moments, and took me away from the realities of life, so say what you want, I liked the movie and all the fun modern songs in it, as well. But, that did get me thinking of literally so many other Cinderella movies. Truly - did you know that one of the earliest adaptations of this classic fairytale goes all the way back the early 1900s?
That’s a lot of Cinderella. But, today, I’m here to give you options if you want to watch another re-telling of the young girl with the glass slipper, some a pretty faithful adaptations, and others that are very modern. Whatever your taste, here are some of the picks that are streaming, from the best movies on Amazon Prime to some on Disney+ and beyond.
In this live-action remake from Disney, Cinderella stars Lily James as the titular character, locked away in her home, when she gets the chance of a lifetime to attend a ball and step away from her life of constant slavery to her step-mother and step-sisters.
I’m going to be honest here - I like this Cinderella a hell of a lot more than the recent one. I know that Amazon’s Cinderella cast is full of stars, but this version has even more. I mean, Richard Madden from Game of Thrones and the upcoming Eternals? The legendary Cate Blanchett as the evil step-mother? The queen of weird herself, Helena Bonham Carter? Everyone is freaking amazing, and don’t even get me started on Ella’s dress in this film - I have dreams about how beautiful that dress is.
A Cinderella Story (2004)
Stepping into the modern world for a bit, we take a look at this classic, A Cinderella Story. Starring Hilary Duff, this version of the tale revolves around two internet pen pals who plan to meet in person for the first time at their high school’s Halloween dance.
There’s just something so charming about this film. No, it doesn’t have any of the crazy magic or anything else that’s usually involved in something like Cinderella, but it’s still an enjoyable watch because it feels more real. It’s about these two high schoolers who have a crush on each other and just can’t seem to meet, but the ending pays off, and everyone gets their happily ever after, even in a modern setting. Plus, the chemistry between Hilary Duff and Chad Michael Murray is to die for.
Ella Enchanted (2004)
In this Disney film, Ella Enchanted follows a young woman named Ella, who was cursed when she was born with the “gift” of obedience, where she had to obey every order she was given, no matter what. Years later, it’s up to her, with the help of her friends, to figure out how to get rid of the gift that has controlled her life.
What I love the most about Ella Enchanted is that it feels like a genuine film about trying to be yourself, without forcing its message down your throat. Ella is this amazing woman with a lot of persistence, and ends up finding a way to try and free herself instead of relying on others to do so. Anne Hathaway, in one of her first big roles, is also amazing as usual, and that final scene to “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart” makes me smile every time.
This version of Cinderella, is actually based on the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical, following the same story of Cinderella working under her evil step-mother and step-sisters, until one night, her Fairy Godmother shows up to give her the best night of her life that changes her forever.
What makes this version of Cinderella so good is the cast. I won’t even lie, this cast beats out so many other casts here. While I love everyone’s talent, there’s so much here that I can barely fit them all in this one section. Brandy stars as Cinderella, Whoopi Goldberg is the Queen, even music legend herself, Whitney Houston, is the Fairy Godmother. It’s such an amazing cast with a fantastic soundtrack to back it, which makes it a wonderful version of the musical to watch.
Ever After: A Cinderella Story (1998)
Ever After: A Cinderella Story takes away the magic from the plot, setting it in Renaissance-era France, where Cinderella tries to find a way to somehow escape her life at home.
At first glance, you’d really expect this to be the lesser adaptation out of all of them on this list. There’s no magic, it’s not in a modern setting, but the Renaissance - there doesn’t seem like there’s much going for it. That’s so wrong, though, because honestly, it’s one of the best adaptations here. Drew Barrymore is perfect as Cinderella, and instead of relying on magic, she finds a way to save herself. I don’t want to give away too much but I really liked this one, more than I thought I would.
Into The Woods (2014)
In this adaptation of the musical, Into the Woods follows several classic fairytales as they reach their happy ending, but then asks the question - what happens after happily ever after? What happens when their happy endings aren’t actually there?
While this isn’t entirely a Cinderella story, the Cinderella part is essential to Into the Woods, and Anna Kendrick’s sing-song voice was one of the perfect fits for a character like Cinderella. There are plenty of twists to the classic character, including her Prince Charming, played by Chris Pine, and honestly, it’s a refreshing change to the standard story.
The Princess Diaries (2001)
In this adaptation of the novel of the same name, The Princess Diaries follows Mia Thermopolis, a shy teenager from America who suddenly learns she is the heir to the throne of a European kingdom, completely changing her life forever.
Another modern adaptation of Cinderella, The Princess Diaries isn’t necessarily your standard Cinderella story. There’s no magic, no Prince Charming, not even a blue dress or masked strangers - but what makes The Princess Diaries such a great film is The Princess Diaries cast, and their characters, especially Anne Hathaway’s character, Mia. She's this random girl, with no royal training, and is thrown into this new world, not knowing what to do, something that Cinderella did touch on, especially in its direct-to-video sequels. It’s another great modernized version, and deserves all the praise it has gotten.
In this classic Disney animated film, Cinderella tells the classic story of the girl living in the basement of her step-mother's home, who gets the opportunity of a lifetime when her fairy godmother comes to help her through the power of magic, getting her to a ball where she meets Prince Charming.
You know, you love it - she’s basically one of the faces of Disney. Nearly everyone has watched this classic animated film of the beloved character. Any Disney princess film that came after Cinderella, you can thank her. While Snow White might have been the first Disney princess, Cinderella became mega-popular, and now, we have a entire repertoire of amazing Disney animated movies with fantastic characters. She’s truly an icon, and with good reason.
In this comical adaptation, Cinderfella tells the story of Fella, a boy whose father dies, and he lives with his wicked step-mother and her two sons. Now, he gets the help from his fairy godfather to go to the ball, meet Princess Charming, and find his own happily ever after.
Cinderfella basically asks the question, “what if almost everyone was gender-swaped in Cinderella?” And that’s exactly what happens. There’s nothing super revolutionary about this classic film from the early '60s. It’s still the same story that you all know and love. But, you can’t deny its creativity. Plus, the film is genuinely funny and you’ll find yourself laughing a lot.
Another Cinderella Story (2008)
In a sequel to A Cinderella Story, Another Cinderella Story follows Mary Santiago, a high school senior who wants to become a dancer. She meets Joey Parker, a famous celebrity and pop star, who has returned to school for his senior year. They form a romance that changes the course of their lives forever.
I think what I like the most about this version is that they really don’t waste time trying to get into the romance of the story. Selena Gomez and Drew Seeley’s characters are pretty quick to actually get together, but what really makes it fun are the people that are around them who either want to help them out, sabotage them, or anything else in-between. Jane Lynch is hysterical as the evil step-mother, and everyone else rocks it in their role as well. The dance sequences are fantastic, too.
I know we’re all waiting for the 2021 movies to drop because we want to see all the films that were pushed back, like Dune or Eternals, but maybe just for a bit we could all use a little bit of fantasy in our lives, and sometimes, Cinderella helps with that. At least now you have options besides the latest Amazon musical.
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Big nerd and lover of Game of Thrones/A Song of Ice and Fire. Will forever hate season eight. Superhero and horror geek. And please don't debate me on The Last of Us 2, it was amazing!