Disney already created the most popular and well-known animated Cinderella so you may wonder why they wanted to do it again in their second March 2015 release. First, forget animation. This version lets Disney show off the best of CGI in a lushly beautiful live action version of film with richness animation seldom reaches.
With results that are perfection, Shakespearean director Kenneth Branagh waved his magic wand over every feature from music to costumes, to sets, to the quality of the actors. CGI effects bring the mice, lizards and other small animals to fantastic life, and render the Fairy Godmother deep as 3-D, even though the film is not in 3-D.
In Branagh’s re-dramatization, quality casting elevates the simplicity of the tale to gripping theatrical effect. Oscar winner Cate Blanchett plays an understated but menacing Evil Stepmother, Lily James, of Downton Abbey fame, a sweet Cinderella full of innocence and natural beauty, and Game of Thrones’ Richard Madden brings natural crossover skills from one fantasy story to another as the Prince. Veteran actor Derek Jacobi plays the dying King and Helena Bonham Carter the Fairy Godmother.
Running like a silken ribbon beneath the effects and acting is music that almost acts like a separate character: Patrick Doyle’s beautifully expressive and regal score. In the late 90s, one of my favorite films, Much Ado About Nothing, also brought together Shakespeare, direction by Branagh and a score by Patrick Doyle. If you liked that, you’ll love this version of Cinderella.
And Disney fans can watch for the hidden Mickey. It’s somewhere in the Cinderella family residence and not hard to find if you’re on the lookout. Disney, apparently on track to re-film all its animated princess classic fairy tales in live action, is putting out Beauty and the Beast in 2016, with Emma Watson as Belle. Rumor has it that Branagh’s ex-wife Emma Thompson who recently appeared in Saving Mr. Banks is set to play Mrs. Potts.
Rated 4.0 out of 4.0. Perfection is perfection