With a wave of a wand, the trailer for Disney’s new live-action version of Cinderella was unleashed on the Internet today. As we already noted, it looks pretty good. You really can't go wrong with Cate Blanchett playing the evil stepmother or Downton Abbey’s Lily James as the titular character. Add in Helena Bonham Carter as Ella’s fairy godmother, and you’ve got a trifecta of strong females rounding out the leads.
Also, the King in the North himself, Robb Stark (Richard Madden) has been shaved within an inch of his facial hair’s life to play Prince Charming. It looks like the two even have a few meet-cutes besides the ones at the ball, so we’re already making some progress on the 1950 animated tale. Who dives into marriage after a few whirls around the dance floor, anyway?
It’s not that Disney’s original Cinderella wasn’t a classic and a staple of our childhood viewing repertoire. It’s just that, well, Disney princesses can be a bit problematic in terms of character development and storylines. They’re usually damsels in distress in need of a prince to rescue them. Most of Disney’s female protagonists don’t even have any character traits beyond their beauty and virtue.
There’s a real opportunity for this adaptation to make some strides away from the tired tropes and stereotypes in which many classic Disney princesses are mired. Ever After made a few steps in the female empowerment direction, but the film wasn’t made by Disney. Here are just a few glass slippers (and ceilings) we hope to see broken in the Mouse House’s new adaptation — and any other remakes of classic Disney princess films going forward.