I am honestly not a fan of Disney going back to their animated movies to create their new live action movies. So when they announced that they were going to retell their story of Cinderella, I wasn't the most optimistic person in the world of the movie. And to top it off they were attaching a Frozen Short to it, so to me it seemed they weren't confident enough on the movie success that they had to add a reason to bring the smaller kids in the theater.
First the Frozen short, Frozen Fever. This little visit back to Arendelle was cute and fun. Bringing back the original directors and voice talent, they were able to create a short story that had a small but good message. The new original song is fun, but wasn't as catchy as the original's film.
Cinderella of course tells the tale of Ella, and her growing up with both her parents until her mother passes. Her father remarried and soon after passes himself leaving Ella, by now known as Cinderella, to live with her evil Stepmother and Stepsisters.
When the first trailers hit, I was worried about the casting of Lily James as Cinderella, she didn't have that look that we had come to know of the Disney Cinderella, but in the movie it comes to light that her casting was spot on. She shows the caring and kindness that Cinderella is associated with very well. Cate Blanchett played a perfect Lady Tremaine, showing a little bit of a loving but still the hatred side of the character. Sophie McShera and Holliday Grainger, Drisella and Anastasia, have the quirkiness and meanness that the animated characters both had. Helena Bonham Carter was another casting that turned my head to when it was announced, she by far wasn't the old lady Fairy Godmother we all love from the animated movie, but she did add more flair and charm to the character than I usually is her do in her nicer roles. Finally Richard Madden rounds out the main cast as Kit or Prince Charming. Once again a great cast added so much to a character that didn't get a lot of screen time in the animated.
This movie is well written, and well directed. Giving nods when it can to the animated movie. Add more depth to the lesser character, and the backstory of Cinderella and what was so important to her. While the mice are present, they don't focus on them as much, and if you listen close enough, you will hear them say a few things. One scene I was scared to see was the transformation scene, as it is one of the more classic scenes in the animated and Walt's personal favorite. And to say it did it justice is not saying enough. We didn't get a complete remake, we got what turned out as just one beautiful experience.
Patrick Doyle's score brings the whole movie together well. One of my favorite soundtracks of his to just listen to. Brining some of the classic songs into his overall idea was spot on. And added bonus to the soundtrack, but not in the actual film, is Lily James' version of "A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes" and Helena Bonham Cater's "Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boo". While I would have loved to have heard both in the film, I fear now that it would have taken away from the appropriate scenes.
Overall I really enjoyed this retelling of Cinderella. And will most likely see it again in theaters. This movie deserves a 9/10.