Alright Disney, we need to have a talk. I mean: 101 Dalmatians, Alice in Wonderland, Maleficent, and soon, The Jungle Book and Beauty and The Beast! I swear, in 2020, The Lion King will be rehashed in live-action. I’m sure you guys know I hate remakes in general (Maleficent didn’t help). If you want proof, just watch any classic horror movie remake. It would appear that Disney has a case of the “Unnecessary Remake Syndrome,” quite deadly I hear. However, upon leaving the theatre, I noticed something; I was NOT gritting my teeth in frustration.
Let’s start with the characters. Would you believe me if I said the screenwriter of this film directed Twilight: New Moon, and yet captured the essence of all the original Cinderella characters? If you don’t, that means you hate Twilight, if not, well he did! Seriously though, all the characters are there on screen with a few minor changes. The first of those being the stepmother. In the first film she was a more sinister villain than an over-the-top villain. I would dislike this, but they use the over-the-top acting to their advantage and it gives the audience a few good laughs. The other change would be the prince as well as the relationship between him and his father. Let me just say, it is a saving grace if I’ve ever seen one. My biggest problem with the first film was the fact that the prince had little to no character. Man, did they fix that here! He is funny, serious, you can sense the challenges he has to deal with, just great stuff. Otherwise, each other character is pretty decent.
Now the story. An orphaned girl ends up having to live with her stepmother and stepsisters. They despise her because of her innocence and beauty, and quickly make her their servant. Her fairy godmother appears (which is still a dues ex machina), and casts a spell which allows her to visit a royal ball and meets the prince. It’s pretty much the same story but with one major problem that I have to address. Apparently, according to this movie, Cinderella’s name is actually ‘Ella’. The name Cinderella was given to her as an insult from her bully stepsisters. How the writers thought this was a good idea is beyond me, considering the name is so magical (and unique) it kinda hurts when I find out one of my favorite Disney characters’ name is a taunt. Other than that, the animals hardly do anything until the climax (that time went to the prince’s character), all the performances are decent, the set pieces and props are spectacular (I’m calling it: Oscar win for best achievement in costume design), and the humor is top notch. The only major flaw is the fact that this is not the original Cinderella. This gets Guy’s Guru Grade of a B.