Cinderella — the fairytale that’s almost as old as time. The story’s earliest beginnings debatably began as Italian folklore (just a lot more gruesome), and then moulded into a prim civilised story by Charles Perrault in the 1790’s, and then got a grimy twist with the Grimms in the 1800s. As the world of cinema expanded, the story was brought to the screens, in the form of the popular animation film, to the many, many adaptations after it. The essence of the story is as follows: A young girl is mistreated by step-mother and step-sisters. Things change when she decides to attend the fancy ball in the kingdom to meet Prince Charming (he doesn’t even have a name, poor fellow). A fairy godmother appears, changes her rags to a gown. A few complications, a missing glass slipper, but everything turns out well in the end and she marries the Prince. Fin.
Now cinematic adaptations have changed the story as they willed. Going by the trailer for the latest one featuring Camila Cabello as Cinderella, we see a feminist representation of the young fairy-tale princess who doesn’t want to get married but have a job, and a very sassy godmother. However, this isn’t the only version that has tried to adapt the story. Here’s a look at some of the other adaptations:
A Cinderella Story (2004)
What if Cinderella was a teenage rom-com? Featuring Hilary Duff and Chad Michael Murray, this adaptation saw the story about a young teen who had to find her self-confidence in order to get past her selfish family at home. Chad Michael Murray plays her pen pal, who she meets at a school dance.
In the Woods (2015)
All the fairy-tale characters in one frame, while trying to understand their complicated circumstances. Here, Anna Kendrick played the role of Cinderella, who finds out that her husband cheated on her with a Baker’s wife (Emily Blunt). So Cindy realises that her ‘happily-ever-after’ was not quite what she imagined, and sets off to craft her own.
Starring Lily James in the lead role, this was another take on the much-loved fairytale character. This film gave Cindy a little bit of a backstory in terms of her mother’s illness and subsequent death, and the evil stepmother (Cate Blanchett) who might have a little nuance to her, rather than just being plain cruel. This version also saw Cinderella and the Prince (Richard Madden) getting to know each other a little more, rather than just dancing away at the ball.
Ella Enchanted (2004)
In the 2004 film, Anne Hathaway plays the role of Ella, who has been given the gift of obedience by a rather foolish godmother. Ella is then ill-treated by her stepsisters and stepmother who use the curse to the best advantage and demand that she work for them. Ella decides to break free of the abuse and she demands the curse to be broken. Along the way, she discovers confidence and self-love.
The Glass Slipper (1955)
In this wholesome rendition of the fairytale, Cinderella is quite a feisty and angry soul, and the film puts much focus on her personality. The film also included some stunning ballet performances.
Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella (1997)
This film featured a stellar cast, including Brandy as Cinderella, Whitney Houston as the fairy godmother, Victor Garber and Whoopi Goldberg as the king and queen. This adaptation mirrored the original fairytale and had a memorable soundtrack, including Impossible and Do I Love You Because You’re Beautiful?
Cinderella, the animation (1950)
Bibbidy Bobbidy Boo! We can’t really leave the OG Cinderella out of our list. While the titular character was rather pale, the animals, including the mice Jacques and Gus, and the cat Lucifer, is what added to the charm of the film. It’s probably one of the reasons why the Disney film is still so memorable today, even though the human beings didn’t have much of a personality.
The Slipper And The Rose: The Story Of Cinderella (1976)
Another feisty and opinionated Cinderella—-filmmakers were probably tired of the submissive dame that the fairytales perpetuated. The film was a musical romance, and received great praise for its soundtrack and the well-fleshed out characters.