I’ve adored Disney animated classics for as long as I can remember, but when I was little, there were two films I remember sticking out most prominently to me: the 1994 classic Beauty and the Beast, and the 1950 classic Cinderella. I was always transfixed by their true magic and the beauty behind the stories and the characters; Belle was a young girl who held so much promise and had such drive and the same would go for Cinderella as they were both dreamers in their own right. I’ve always been a dreamer myself and these stories pushed my dreams even further, so when I found out Cinderella was being turned into a live-action retelling a couple of years ago, I started to count down the days and suddenly, Friday the 27th of March 2015 was upon us.
I honestly cannot put into words how magical this retelling is. From the first frame, I was absorbed by the stunning visuals in the set and the costume; by the beautiful cinematography and the gorgeously magical score. It was the sense of true Disney magic that really set the water works off for me though. It was the the sparkle and glamour in the transformation scene that made me feel so truly happy and the raw beauty in the scenes where Ella is alone with the Prince in the castle’s gardens that reminded me of the magic and joy the original film has evoked within me for so many years. It’s the opening of ‘Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boo’ that makes me grin from ear to ear and the gorgeous sound of ‘A Dream Is A Wish Your Heart Makes’ (one of my all-time favourite songs) that fills me with dreams and genuine happiness.
Touching on the leading lady of the film herself, like I said earlier, I think of Cinderella as such a fantastic role model. Though it may well seem like a taboo thing to think because all Disney Princesses are (supposedly) terrible role models because of how they end up, I find Cinderella’s attitudes endearing and inspiring. This re-telling especially focuses on Ella’s curiosity and fantastic use of her imagination and impeccable knowledge from a young age, as well as her compassion for others. She lives by the motto her mother left her with (“have courage and be kind”) and strives to do just that through her whole life, even as she suffers the power struggle between herself and her step-family. Constantly, Cinderella holds onto her dreams for greater things in life and she continues to hold onto that ambition throughout the story and beyond; it is this that I believe makes the story so magical, which in turn inspires so many childhood dreams.
If you haven’t taken a trip to see this new re-telling at the cinema yet then I seriously cannot recommend it enough, especially if you’re a fan of the original animated classic – there really isn’t a better way to spend an afternoon this Easter break. I truly hope that the dreamy-sounding live-action version of Beauty and the Beast that’s based on the Broadway musical shapes up to be as beautiful as this Cinderella re-telling. But for now, take a couple of minutes to listen to Lily James’ new version of A Dream Is A Wish Your Heart Makes and bask in your childhood dreams. You can thank me later.