Disney uses its magic to show the classic Cinderella story in a new light

Dylan Livingston, Contributing Writer

The classic story of Cinderella, first made into an animated film by Disney in 1950, has been recreated into a live action film.  The movie stars Lily James as Cinderella, Richard Madden as Prince Charming, Cate Blanchett as Lady Tremaine, and Helena Bonham Carter as the Fairy Godmother.  Many people wondered whether recreating Cinderella as a live action film would revive the aging Disney classic genre, or whether it would tarnish the film’s image.  This remake completely revitalized the movie.  It surpassed expectations, and every facet of the film was marvelous.

The casting of the movie was incredible.  Each actor fit his or her role extremely well.  James was as perfect a fit for Cinderella as her foot was for the glass slipper.  She exuded kindness and understanding, while also giving off a childlike sense of wonder and innocence, essential characteristics of Cinderella.  Madden created a very majestic and royal aura that fit his Prince Charming role.  Blanchett also was a very good match for her role as Lady Tremaine, more commonly known as the evil stepmother.  She acted and looked wicked, making the audience hate her more and more as the movie developed.  Finally, Carter, who is known for other magical roles in other movies, was a natural fit for the Fairy Godmother.

The live action adaptation of Cinderella also did an exceptional job of bringing to life iconic scenes from the original Disney classic.  For example, the part of the film where Cinderella first meets the Fairy Godmother is brought to life by a mix of excellent chemistry between James and Carter and brilliant special effect work.    The modernization adds dimension to the scene. Another revived scene is when Cinderella is running away from Prince Charming after the clock strikes midnight.  It is this scene in which Cinderella drops her glass slipper.  This scene, which is so iconic, is recreated perfectly.

While all of the most archetypal Cinderella in which remain in the story, there are some changes to the plot of the live action version of Cinderella.  One change that was made from the orginial film, was that Cinderella and Prince Charming first meet in the woods by Cinderella’s house.  In the original movie, Cinderella and Prince Charming first do so at a ball. Another change happens when Cinderella’s Fairy Godmother helps Cinderella get all of the necessary things for her to attend the ball, the Fairy Godmother turns passing lizards into doormen for Cinderella’s carriage, in addition to using a pumpkin for a carriage and mice for horses.  Regardless of these subtle changes, the film still feels like an inviting revisit of the centuries-old tale.

Director Kenneth Branagh’s ability to bring together a solid cast, make the most iconic scenes come to life, and add fresh twists to the plot to avoid audience boredom that will make this version of Cinderella a modern classic.