Before you read **spoiler alert** the plot and character info for Cinderella will certainly be divulged here** 😛
I know the first thing you have to say, or one of the first things.
What is the difference between this version of Cinderella and the animated one?
Well to start, it is live action. But that is only the most obvious difference visually. Otherwise, there are many great differences between the two.
1. First, or second, however you’re keeping count, the character development in this film is farrr greater than the animated version. Not only does the film start from Cinderella’s childhood, but we meet Cinderella’s mother and father (for more than a minute – Yayyyyy!) as well as her horrible step mother and step sisters. In addition to this, this film makes it a point to correct a misconception: Cinderella is a nickname, her name is actually Ella. Ella’s bratty step sisters come up with this clever but cruel nickname after Ella falls asleep in front of the fireplace and wakes up with ashes on her face the morning after. Get it? Cinder–Ella? I don’t like it either after knowing what it resulted from, but I guess her and Disney stuck with it.
2. Kenneth Branagh’s version of Cinderella focused way more on people than mice, so kudos to him and Chris Weitz (writer of the screenplay) for that at least!
While I loved the animated version of Cinderella, it seems many people, especially the makers of CinemaSins, were not fond of the usage of the mice in the animated Disney version.
Branagh fully fleshes out the evil step mother and it could be said that he redeems her character slightly when he reveals the cause of her wicked ways. As cliche as it is, before marrying Ella’s dad and making Ella her personal slave, she lost the love of her life, thus she became cruel and bitter.
3. The Stepmother or Lady Tremaine, has a personality and is not just in bed all day! Yay!
In every scene that Lady Tremaine is in, she has the best clothes on. Click the picture if you dare:
Yes, all of that is completely necessary lol. As a lover of clothes, it was sometimes hard to hate the step mother especially when she is played by the lovely Cate Blanchett. But then she opens her mouth again. Although Tremaine never lays a hand directly on Ella, she is extremely emotionally abusive towards Ella and treats her as subhuman, if that. She mentions time and time again how Ella is nothing more than a servant girl, and every time she says it, it has more of an impact on Ella’s self-worth.
4. The Step Sisters are much more snobby than in the animated version
This may not be considered a difference to some, but this film totally made me hate these girls on a personal level. It has nothing to do with how they dress, their taste in clothing (although garish), or how they look. What is actually bad, is although their dad has apparently died, they do not show any grief whatsoever. Not only that, but they ask their new step dad to bring them back lavish gifts from his excursion (whilst Ella asks for a sentimental gift of him simply returning). Normally this would not piss me off, yes some people are simple and others not. However, when the news is brought to Ella and the household that her dad has passed away from illness on his trip, Anastasia or Drizella, (I cannot remember which one, nor do I care) asks, “what about my lace?” I apologize to anyone for the curse words about to grace this page but:
ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME?
That’s where I’ll end the discussion of those girls.
5. Prince Charming is Charming Instead of Dull
Unlike the animated version, Prince Charming is not bored at his own ball before Ella arrives. However, he looks thoroughly insulted when Princess Chelina of Zaragos calls his kingdom small. Doesn’t she know not to call anything a man has small? Just kidding. You go girl. Someone had to say it lol. This princess had the guts and the gall. I’m not even mad 😛
Last but not least:
6. The Ball, Everything Leading Up to it and Happily Ever After
The details of how Ella gets to the ball and how she is dressed are pretty much the same except the live action blue dress is even more enchanting:
Besides my enhanced love for her dress, and the fact that her Fairy God Mother is played by Helena Bonham Carter, the differences between this version and past ones could be considered small. A hint of the Grimm’s Brother’s Aschenputtel (German Cinderella) is present when we first see the fairy godmother. She first appears as if she grew into a really dry and brown tree. She is hunched over with her head facing downward until Ella requires her assistance. In their first meeting, the Fairy Godmother asks for some milk and Ella appeases her request as if someone randomly appearing by her door is a normal occurrence. Oh Disney.
- There are less bippity-boppity-boo’s. I recall only one. Maximum two.
- Each transformation of an animal/object makes sense unlike the animated film where a horse becomes the stage-coach driver instead of just being a horse… lol
- While Miss Fairy Godmother totally destroys Ella’s glass garden house with a pumpkin, the glass and pumpkin combine to make the most breathtaking carriage anyone has laid eyes on. The combination of glass and gold is stunning to say the least
The Prince reunites with Ella at the ball (he changed the invitation list to his ball after their initial meeting in the woods, mostly so a non-royal, i.e. Ella, could attend) but still somehow forgets to ask her name before the clock strikes 12 *facepalm* Disney, do people really do this? But I digress…
We all know Ella drops one of her glass slippers while running down the steps to her carriage. The time it takes her to get to her carriage and half way home seems like the longest minute of my life. I thought the spell broke at 12 Disney, not at 12:01. But I forgive Disney even though technically they could have stretched their logic even further to allow Ella to make it home dry from the ball. Instead, she walks the rest of the way home in the rain.
Cinderella still gets Prince Charming in the end, even after the deal Lady Tremaine makes with the Grand Duke. Cindy has the pipes that force everyone to listen: when she sings, she makes people swoon. Gus Gus gets Ella’s attic window open just in time for the prince’s helpers to hear Cindy sing her song. The Prince orders Lady Tremaine to let the girl -he still does not know her name- out of the attic.
And they do live happily ever after, but it’s so much better than that
See it for yourself 🙂
***All credit for images shown here go to either Disney or elsewhere that they originate from. I do not own anything except for the opinions expressed here***