Cinderella 2015 vs Cinderella 1950

Hello students of FHS! For those of you Disney lovers,  I have put together a brief review of the Cinderella movies that are out so far: Cinderella (2015) and Cinderella (1950). There is an enormous gap in years – but is there a huge difference, or not, between the two?

images-1In the latest re-edition of the classic story, director Kenneth Branagh brings Cinderella to life in a way that is true to the well-known tale while still feeling original. The film begins with narration describing the seemingly perfect life enjoyed by a young Cinderella (Lily James) with her mother and father. However, tragedy strikes when her mother becomes ill and passes away. The mother’s last words to young Ella, Cinderella’s given name, are “I want to tell you a secret that will see you through all the trials that life can offer: Have courage and be kind.” That advice will define much of her life as she seeks to live it out in the midst of increasingly challenging circumstances, such as her father’s remarriage several years later.

Later on in the film, Cate Blanchett does a superb job as Ella’s stepmother, Lady Tremaine – bringing greater balance to the, traditionally, wicked character. While the stepmother is still undeniably the villain of the tale, her backstory reveals that the vile nature that makes her so hated is more the creation of personal tragedy than an inherent trait. Prior to marrying Ella’s father she lost her first husband – whom she truly did love.  While watching, the viewer gets the sense that this experience changed her in the years that followed.  The nice thing about this version is that it gives a depth to the stepmother that wasn’t seen in the earlier Disney version of this tale.

The remainder of the film recounts Ella’s meeting with the prince, the fateful ball that she attends with the help of her fairy godmother, and the search to find the owner of the glass slipper that Ella left behind in her frantic effort to return home before the spell wore off. While this summary glosses over much of the movie’s plot, I’d rather spend the remainder of this review comparing the new version of Cinderella and the old version…

images-3“Cinderella” (1950) – directed by the team of Clyde Geronimi, Wilfred Jackson, and Hamilton Luske – was a big hit for Disney. In “Cinderella,” the beautiful Technicolor animation of Disney movies combines with top voice talent to create a magical aura.  Inspired by the classic fairy tale, Al Hoffman, Mack David, and Jerry Livingston wrote magical songs for this movie that resonate to this day.  The unknown young actress Ilene Woods perfectly captures the attitude and spirit of the beautiful fairytale Cinderella who defies the odds and becomes a princess.

Everybody knows the basics of Cinderella the story based on the classic Grimm Brothers tale. There are no surprises in this film, though it skips the parts about Cinderella receiving help directly from her dead mother in heaven via birds. Instead, it invents a “Fairy Godmother” to take care of all the magic. Fairytale Cinderella is a lovely girl whose wicked stepmother unfairly and cruelly favors her own very ordinary daughters over her. While they play, Cinderella slaves away in the house –  cooking and cleaning without complaint. When an invitation to the King’s (Luis Van Rooten) Ball arrives, at which the eligible young prince (Prince Charming) will be present, Cinderella works to earn an invitation – but her wicked step-mother, fearful of the competition for her daughters, takes back her promise to allow Cinderella to attend with the other girls. Not only that, she maliciously destroys the dazzling gown that Cinderella would have worn.

Cinderella becomes distraught, but her Fairy Godmother (Verna Felton) appears and creates an elegant carriage out of the mice and some other items. The prince sees Cinderella and falls in love with her, to the dismay of her step-sisters and Lady Tremaine, but the poor girl has to hurry home before midnight when the spell that allowed her to attend the Ball is due to expire. All the running girl leaves behind is a glass slipper. The prince, enchanted, then embarks on a furious search with the slipper as a guide to find his true love. images-2

Well there honestly is no real difference between the two, except the fact that the new one reveals the backstory of the evil stepmother, making her seem not so evil, otherwise everything else as in the dialogue, songs, characters etc. are pretty much the same. Personally, I like them both.  Well, what about you guys? Which one is your favorite Cinderella film?

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