Starring: Ilene Woods, Verna Felton, Eleanor Audley
Director: Clyde Geronimi
Running Time: 74 mins
Cinderella is an American film about a young woman who is prevented from attending the Royal Ball to meet the Prince by her evil stepmother and her two ugly stepsisters, she receives help from her mice friends, and her Fairy Godmother.
Whilst Snow White was genesis for the fairytale film genre, this is genesis for the concept of the modern fairytale. I can think of few films that have been so influential over the years, and while this has been attempted to be recreated in recent years, it’s hard to compare to this absolute classic.
The story starts in a dark place, like all great fairytales do, and while it seems a little slow initially, once you’ve got a grip of the main characters, particularly Cinderella’s frustrating relationship with her stepmother and stepsisters, this turns into a really interesting film.
Meanwhile, there are a lot of more pleasant aspects to the story. The loveable mice, Jaq and Gus, the beautiful songs and that timeless traditional Disney animation, all help to turn this into a hugely enjoyable watch for viewers of all ages.
However, unlike many of the classic fairytales, I don’t think that that’s why this film is so brilliant. Instead, I think the much darker, tougher elements to the story are what really make it intriguing to watch, especially seeing as you’re constantly cheering on Cinderella, despite all of the tough adversity she comes up against, which adds a real element of excitement to the story.
Then there’s the epic finale to this fantastic story. Just when you think that it’s all going to be happily ever after, there’s one final game-changer, and it results in a hugely thrilling and unpredictable climax to the film, something which, having not seen this film in over eight years, I was completely taken aback by, and delighted to see this unexpectedly exciting aspect to the story.
That’s why I think this film is so great. Yes, looking back, it’s got an incredibly generic and cheesy story, but being the ultimate original story to your classic fairytale, it has a fantastic blend of charm and genuine depth to it that means you can’t help loving it, so that’s why it gets an 8.2.