Conner’s Critiques: “Cinderella” is why you should leave Disney princesses to Disney

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Conner McBride, Business Manager

The most recent Cinderella movie is a mockery of the beloved childhood film. 

This remake of Cinderella is proof that just because you have famous actors and celebrities in your movie, it’s not going to be a good movie. The plotline isn’t the same as the original animated film, the soundtrack is awful, the CGI and 3D animation is horrible, the outfits are badly designed, and it’s just an all around terrible movie.

First off, the plotline: This time around, Cinderella (Camila Cabello), wants to be a fashion designer in her small town where the only acceptable way for a woman to get money is to marry into it. 

When the announcement is made that there will be a ball, she thinks this is the perfect opportunity to network and get her name out there as a fashion designer. At the ball, she meets the queen of a far-away land who invites her to join her on her cruise to sail around the world. Just as she receives the offer, Prince Robert (Nicholas Galitzine) notices her. Of course, as per all princess movies, the two fall in love without ever having spoken a word: queue the clock striking midnight and the iconic rushing down the stairs scene. 

After the ball, Cinderella’s mother (Idina Menzel), tries to force her into an arranged marriage with an older gentleman, as the prince and his guards are making the rounds to deliver the glass slipper. Finally, there’s the magical moment where the prince puts the shoe on Cinderella and it fits. Bada-bing bada-boom, happily ever after, right? It’s not. 

Cinderella is now conflicted with the choice of whether to follow her dreams and be a fashion designer or to marry the prince. Of course, because this is a fairytale movie, she decides to marry the prince.

The audience’s first issue with the plot is Cinderella wanting to be a fashion designer. I get that Amazon was trying to create a “girlboss” version of the movie, but the whole point of Cinderella wanting to go to the ball is to find true love, something like her father had told her stories about when he was still alive. So when the directors took that out of the movie, it stopped being as good as the original.

Another issue the audience had is this plot line doesn’t seem remotely close to the original. With the exception of the fairy godmother, the ball and the evil stepmother and stepsisters, it’s like someone took apart a puzzle, cut all the pieces in half and then told you to remake the puzzle.

Secondly, there’s the soundtrack. The movie is another case of what I like to call Hamilton syndrome: it’s focused mainly on vocals, with most of the songs being sung by musician Camila Cabello, and there are maybe 50 lines of dialogue throughout the whole film. 

While this might be all right if the soundtrack was decent, it isn’t. The songs are placed at very inopportune moments, like the character decides to just wake up and sing that day. In traditional fairy tale films, the songs are always set up, there’s certain scenes that build up to the song that’s about to play, for example in “Sleeping Beauty,” Aurora talks about how she has met someone in her dream, which turns into her singing the iconic Disney song “Once Upon a Dream.”  Autotune is also used in very liberal doses with a majority of the songs and doesn’t do the movie any favors, it makes the scenes feel synthetic and not as genuine as they could have been. 

When Amazon announced that they we’re doing a remake of the Cinderella movie, I expected the music to be similar to the original version: classical instruments, an orchestra maybe. Instead, the audience is greeted with modern hits such as “Somebody to Love” by Queen, “Am I Wrong” by Nico and Vinz, and what is truly the cherry on top, “Perfect” by Ed Sheeran. These modern songs make the time period of the film feel less realistic.

There is also the matter of 3D animation and CGI. In the entire hour and 53 minutes, there is only one good CGI scene. In this scene, Cinderella is finally meeting her Fabulous Godmother (Billy Porter). He emerges from her hands, previously a butterfly, now dressed in a garish orange, bejeweled jumpsuit with a matching silk cloak. The transformation process between butterfly and human and formation of the outfit is up close and animated well. 

Other than that, it’s all horrible. There is a scene, right after Cinderella rushes home from the ball where everything is returning back to how it originally was. One of the mice (James Corden) is stuck in mid-transformation as a mouse body with a human head, which is not a pleasing image.

Finally, the outfits are horrible. The supposed rags that Cinderella is supposed to wear is a perfectly functional dress that looks like something the audience wouldn’t be opposed to wearing. There’s the previously mentioned bright orange jumpsuit/cloak ensemble that the Fabulous Godmother wears, which is an eyesore. The gown that Cinderella wears to the ball, which the audience may expect to be the classic blue ball gown, is instead a white to purple ombre with a tulle, boxy skirt that just doesn’t work.

Additionally, the prince’s outfit that he wears for a majority of the movie is also ugly: a leather marching-band style jacket with black slacks. 

There is only one good outfit throughout the whole duration of that movie and it is shown during the very beginning of the ball. All of the princesses from other countries are trying to woo the prince with a mashup rendition of “Whatta Man” and “Seven Nation Army.” During this scene,  piece Sari ball gown in the background with a matching headpiece. That is the best costume in the whole movie.

All in all, this movie is the last thing most audience members  want from a Disney remake. Amazon really should have just stayed in it’s lane. Watch the animated version or the live-action version that came out in 2015 if you want to watch and enjoy Cinderella.