The Magic of ‘Cinderella’

Jonathan Olley / Disney Enterprises

Jonathan Olley / Disney Enterprises

Cinderella is known to be a childhood classic. The story that helps a child believe that courage and kindness can lead to a better life and a positive outlook on any situation.

The film which stars Lily James, 25, and Richard Madden, 28, revolves around the story of Ella who finds herself living and serving her stepmother and stepsisters after the death of her father. By staying kind and courageous throughout any situation, Ella finds herself having a magical change of luck after meeting a stranger who happens to be the prince of the kingdom.

Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

After sitting through endless trailers and awing over the Frozen Forever short, it was time for the film to begin. Nerves mixed in with excitement because although I have heard wonderful things about the film, I did not know what to expect. How was this live-action Cinderella going to be different from all the others–especially the well known Disney animated film?

Needless to say, Cinderella brought out the inner child within everyone in the theater. To the right of me I heard a child gasp during the father’s death scene, to the seat below mine where a man murmured an “oh no” when the wicked-stepmother (Cate Blanchett) sent Cinderella to live in the attic, and to my mother who was sitting to my right who shifted herself forward, fully entranced by the story being portrayed in front of her.

Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

Although we may see Cinderella as finding our prince charming, this film made it its mission to show the audience to not only be kind and courageous but to see the positive side of any given situation and even stand up for yourself when the situation has become almost unbearable to handle.  As Hayley Atwell, 32, who plays Cinderella’s mother, says, “It’s a slightly different meaning. Ken made it very clear that he didn’t feel that Cinderella was about the man saving her. It is a woman saving herself through being courageous and kind” (Radiotimes).

Let us not forget to mention the magic that was the costume and set which brought the entire movie to life.

From the magic of the forest where Kit met Cinderella to the royal ball made the audience member feel like they were touring the sets themselves. The film allowed the viewer to take in every painting, every twig, and every castle step in order to better enhance the experience. The settings felt so realistic that the audience member felt as if they were personally taking a tour of the grounds at Disneyland.

The costumes carried their own personalities as well; from the importance of the pink dress to the soft wedding gown that Cinderella wore at the wedding. Every detail on the costume, both big and small, did a wonderful job at non verbally portraying the personality of each character and their role in the film.

Costume designer Sandy Powell told Vanity Fair, “Creating the wedding dress was a challenge. Rather than try to make something even better than the ball gown, I had to do something completely different and simple, I wanted the whole effect to be ephemeral and fine, so we went with an extreme-lined shape bodice with a long train.”

When it comes to the wedding dress, the three-time Oscar winner said she wanted to keep the beige long sleeved dress simple because “Cinderella wins the Prince’s heart through her goodness, so I wanted to show this through her clothes,” and Powell wanted Cinderella to stay modest and pure throughout her transition into becoming royalty.

Disney via Vanity Fair

Disney via Vanity Fair

In short, Cinderella is every child’s dream; it is the possibility of entering and being a part of this  fairytale world without having to buy a ticket to a theme park or imagining these scenarios in their own minds. It brought back childhood nostalgia which was the whole appeal of it because within two hours, every person in the audience lost track of how old they truly were. There was a sense of sadness when it came to parent death and a sense of joy when it came to Cinderella’s dreams becoming a reality.

Within the first week of release; Cinderella charted the box office by grossing $67,877,361. “Cinderella bowed to $2.5 million in South Korea, debuted to $1.2 million in Argentina and premiered to $900,000 in Colombia. In China, “Cinderella” has made $52.4 million in two weeks, making it the second-largest Disney live-action release behind only Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides” (Variety).


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