Since our last Disney movie was Cinderella, I just wanted to briefly touch upon some other interpretations. There's no doubt that the story of Cinderella is one of the most retold tales in history. Something about the poor girl who (with the assistance of a bit of magic) goes to the ball and wins the heart of the prince constantly strikes the heart of people from all over the world.
For many, the classic Disney movie is the quintessential version of the story; the one that is instantly recognizable. And rightly so, the film is a masterpiece of animated storytelling. But there are so many other excellent versions of the Cinderella story, I thought I might just highlight a few that you may or may not have seen...
RODGERS & HAMMERSTEIN'S "CINDERELLA"
This musical was originally created by the famed Broadway composers for television in 1957 and starred a young Julie Andrews in the title role. It has since been remade for television twice, most recently the Wonderful World of Disney version starring Brandy and the late Whitney Houston. It was also given a complete overhaul for Broadway only last year and has so far had a very successful season.
Although I do enjoy this version (it's all fairly light and fluffy) I don't think the soundtrack ranks as one of Rodgers and Hammerstein's best scores.
FAERIE TALE THEATRE: "CINDERELLA"
In the 1980s, Shelley Duvall created a vast series of short movies, each based on a classic folk tale. Each movie had a number of known Hollywood stars and was directed by a trained Hollywood director. For the Cinderella episode, the title role was played by Jennifer Beals (Flashdance) and the prince was Ferris Bueller himself, Matthew Broderick. This is a great adaptation, using some of the often-cut elements of the story (like the second ball) and is full of lots of humour.
THE MUPPETS PRESENT "HEY CINDERELLA!"
This was one of the first versions of the Cinderella story I ever knew. This was watched A LOT throughout my childhood! I only just rediscovered it on YouTube, and although it has aged quite a bit (It was first released in 1969, making it 45 years old now!) it's still hilariously funny and it has that fantastic Muppet sense of silliness. Nothing in the story is taken too seriously. Side note: Although Hey Cinderella was not Kermit's first film appearance, this was apparently the first time he was ever specifically called a frog! (Before this he was some kind of lizard...)
THE SLIPPER AND THE ROSE
Released in 1976, The Slipper And The Rose is a lavish and classic version of Cinderella, with some wonderful music from the Sherman Brothers. (ie. the Mary Poppins guys!) It's a beautiful film, and although it's been largely forgotten over the years, it really is worth a look if you've never seen it.
This 1998 film is very different in tone to all of the other Cinderella stories, but it's still a wonderful film. Instead of telling the classic faerie tale, Ever After tells the story as if it really happened. There's no magic in this version, just a headstrong girl called Danielle (Drew Barrymore) who has a run-in with a prince and has to deal with the nastiness of her stepmother (deliciously played by Angelica Houston) and also happens to meet Leonardo da Vinci along the way!
Apparently a Broadway musical of Ever After is in development, and is due to surface on stages in the next year or two!
So there you have it. This is by no means a complete list of Hollywood's Cinderellas, but it's a bunch of some very good ones that are each a little bit different from Disney's classic.