Disclaimer: Disney sent me to Los Angeles on an all-expenses paid press trip, in exchange for my coverage of the red carpet world premiere of Cinderella and my Cinderella review. All opinions are my own.
Today, March 13th, is the day we’ve all been waiting for…..the release of CINDERELLA in theaters all across the country (which includes the short, FROZEN FEVER).
Tickets have already been purchased. Kids of all ages will be lined up. Some of us (who have been incredibly honored with seeing the film already), will be taking our own families to see it.
And no matter whether you’ve watched the film after walking the red carpet in Hollywood (what an experience!) or watching the film in a movie theater in small town America, the draw to this film is undeniable.
Photo Courtesy of Disney
We are drawn to the story of a happily ever after, even as adults. And that’s what Cinderella is after all……a happily ever after. We all know the story. We know what comes next. And that was certainly the challenge that Director Kenneth Branagh faced when he took on this project.
And while the script could have taken many different forms, Kenneth Branagh kept true to the original Disney animated film yet added depth to it.
There’s more to the story.
Disney has always mastered the art of storytelling, and the new CINDERELLA live action film is no exception.
Photo Courtesy of Disney
More to the story…..
In the original animated version, the Prince is only in a few scenes. We don’t know much about him except that he needs a wife. But in the live-action film, the Prince is a major presence. We watch as Cinderella and the Prince meet well before the ball in a scene that not only introduces them to each other, but shows quite a bit about their values and strengths. Cinderella as we know her changes into a strong young woman who has dealt with grief but chosen to live a life of courage and kindness…..we could all learn a thing or two from her (myself included). We watch as the Prince struggles with his duties to a kingdom and a father who is dying.
What I craved most of all in the film was more of a backstory with the Wicked Stepmother. Not only do we get a bit more information about her life before Cinderella, but we see emotion in her. There’s a look here and a look there….and while you cannot stand her and her behavior, you see her in a different light, one with a tiny bit of empathy. No worries….she’s still the villain, but as with most villains, there’s usually a reason they’ve become that way.
Animation brought to life…
Disney has brought the animated film to life and with that comes more emotion. That’s what I needed in this film and I certainly got it. Everything and everyone came together to bring such emotion to each scene, whether that emotion was joy or sorrow.
I felt the pain in Cinderella’s heart even before she lost her mother, in a moment where her mother shares advice that Cinderella will need to get through the hard times ahead. That was an especially difficult scene, having lost my own mother way too soon. I kept wondering what my own mother would have said to me, had she had that opportunity. This wasn’t animation anymore….it felt real.
What also felt real…..the love between Cinderella and her Prince. There was a chemistry there, something that can’t quite be shown through animation. The twinkling of an eye. The moment of a first dance. Falling in love. Protecting someone you love at all costs.
Is it for young children?
You know your children better than anyone. Your children likely know the original story of Cinderella from the animated version, and this has just taken it up a notch with a bit more emotion. If they haven’t seen the animated version, I’d start there.
I’ll be bringing my 7 year old to see the film and she’s very sensitive, but I’ll talk to her a bit before the film about the death of the parents. If children know what to expect, I find it’s so much better. It’s something that Kenneth Branagh talked about in our interview…..how to tackle some of life’s most difficult lessons in a compassionate way. The deaths aren’t shown in the film, but the emotion certainly is of grieving.
But there’s plenty of humor and enchantment to make children squeal with delight (AND THE MICE)!!! If you haven’t read about the secret mouse screenplay in the film, oh do!
Overall, it’s the lessons in the film which I love……..and they can bring about great conversations within your family. Kindness, Courage, and yes, Forgiveness!
Just for Girls?
And don’t think the lessons are just for girls…..boys can look to this prince and emulate characteristics that we as parents want our boys to have. That’s something we didn’t see in the original film, as he was in few scenes. This is a prince with modern-day characteristics we all admire and would love to have in a suitor. BUT MORE MONDAY, when I bring you my interview with Richard Madden, the Prince himself.
Photos Courtesy of Disney
With a top notch cast, including Academy Award Winner Cate Blanchett, this is one movie that will find its’ way into my home as soon as possible.
I dare you not to fall in love with CINDERELLA!
There’s so much more that I’ve shared in all the interviews, so you’ll want to check these out:
CINDERELLA opens in theaters everywhere TODAY, March 13th!
More Cinderella World Premiere posts coming next week, including my interview with the Prince himself, Richard Madden.
Read more Cinderella World Premiere Press Trip Blog Posts here, including my red carpet experience!