Last night I found the first trailer for Disney’s new adaptation of Cinderella. Okay, it’s actually a live-action adaptation of their animated adaptation of Cinderella (because that worked out so well with 101 Dalmatians, but I digress). And it was less a trailer and more “Cinderella: the two-minute version,” in that it was basically a complete summary of the whole story. Though on the other hand it’s not like you can really have spoilers for a tale everyone knows.
Anyway, the point is that for the first time in a good long while, it looks like we’re getting an honest to goodness fairy tale on the big screen! Correct me if I’m wrong, but I don’t think we’ve seen one of those since Brave in 2012, which I believe was the first since Tangled in 2010 (and no, Frozen doesn’t count since, whatever else may be said in its favor, it is not a fairy tale). To me, that in itself is enough to peak my interest, as I love fairy tales and am sick unto death of revisionist crap like, say, Maleficent, (“Surely they’re not going to try to turn f***ing Maleficent into a heroine are they? Are they?! Oh, my God, they ARE!”).
The emphasis they seem to be placing on Cinderella’s ‘goodness’ is especially exciting, since that seems to me an element of the story that all-too often gets downplayed in adaptations. Obviously, we know she’s secretly beautiful, but it’s much more important that she’s also extremely kind; the moral being that goodness, even when hidden by ill-fortune and the cruelty of others, will eventually be discovered and appreciated (like most European fairy tales, it’s a very Christian story).
Oh, and though I am vaguely amused at the fact that she seems to be in everything these days, I have to say that casting Helena Bonham Carter as the fairy godmother was an inspired choice.
So, there you have it; baring news that they’ve gratuitously screwed it up somehow (i.e. “The prince is actually a cad, and Cinderella falls in love with the lady-in-waiting!”), I think this is going on my ‘will see’ list. Hopefully, this will herald the coming of more ‘straight’ fairy tale adaptations and fewer ‘twice-told tales’ (I keep imagining a version of The Emperor’s New Clothes, where the boy who sees through the farce is the narrow-minded villain trying to squelch the emperor’s efforts to get in touch with his inner nudist. Then at the climax the whole town shows up naked in solidarity and the boy, reimagined as the minister or something, is shamed into exile).