If you don’t know the story of Cinderella where on earth have you been? I think most of us have seen Disney’s 1950 animated masterpiece at some point in our lives.
Disney’s Cinderella has had a make over and is now a live action feature with fully realized characters creating a beautifully visual treat with breathtaking scenes and settings. The film is out in the cinemas now.
Disney’s Cinderella is directed by Kenneth Branagh and produced by Simon Kinberg, Allison Shearmur and David Barron. The cast includes; Cate Blanchett, Lily James, Richard Madden, Stellan Skarsgård,Holliday Grainger, Derek Jacobi and Helena Bonham Carter.
The story of “Cinderella” follows the fortunes of young Ella (Lily James) whose merchant father remarries following the death of her mother. Eager to support her loving father, Ella welcomes her new stepmother (Cate Blanchett) and her daughters Anastasia (Holliday Grainger) and Drisella (Sophie McShera) into the family home. But, when Ella’s father unexpectedly passes away, she finds herself at the mercy of a jealous and cruel new family. Finally relegated to nothing more than a servant girl covered in ashes, and spitefully renamed Cinderella, Ella could easily begin to lose hope. Yet, despite the cruelty inflicted upon her, Ella is determined to honor her mother’s dying words and to “have courage and be kind.” She will not give in to despair nor despise those who mistreat her. And then there is the dashing stranger she meets in the woods. Unaware that he is really a prince, not merely an apprentice at the Palace, Ella finally feels she has met a kindred soul. It appears her fortunes may be about to change when the Palace sends out an open invitation for all maidens to attend a ball, raising Ella’s hopes of once again encountering the charming Kit (Richard Madden). Alas, her stepmother forbids her to attend and callously rips apart her dress. But, as in all good fairy tales, help is at hand, and a kindly beggar woman (Helena Bonham Carter) steps forward and, armed with a pumpkin and a few mice, changes Cinderella’s life forever.
We were very lucky to see this at a special screening a few weeks ago with children of various ages including a seven year old, tweens and teens.
The teens and tweens loved the film, it was all they talked about for ages! They loved the music, the narration, in the teens’ words ‘the eye candy’. One child, aka,’the film buff’, said she thought the cast were perfect and sshhh, she was pleased that most of them are British. The costumes were stunning and the children liked that the film was close to the original Disney film.
I think the film is suited to older children, M, aged seven is just on the cusp. He said he really liked the film but I am not convinced it held his attention the whole time. It doesn’t have any particularly scary parts though. I was not so keen on the narration in the film, but I absolutely loved the music, the costumes and the big visually rewarding scenes such as the ball room. Cinderella comes across as a strong and feisty girl fighting for what she believes in. Helena Bonham Carter’s character as the Fairy Godmother was a little surprising but Cate Blachett’s evil step mother role was perfect sending shivers down my spine.
An added bonus and piece de resistance is Frozen Fever, an animated short sequel to the 2013 film Frozen before the showing of Cinderella. A sweet catchy piece that will bring smiles to lots of boys, girls and adults alike. Watch out for the very cute snow babies. Who knew what a sneeze could bring!
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