Top three Cinderella movie retellings


Warner Bros. Pictures

Duff and Murray star in the best ‘Cinderella’ adaptation, ‘A Cinderella Story.’

The story of Cinderella is arguably the most iconic princess story in history. It has been retold time and time again, and these are the best movie retellings of the 21st century. 

3. ‘Ella Enchanted’ (2004) focuses around Ella (Anne Hathaway), a girl who is cursed to obey everyone. This movie has the most creative plot by far with a major focus around magical and fantasy elements. Consisting of fairies, ogres, elves, and a talking book, these fictional components would have been more enjoyable had it not been 2004 with their horrible CGI.

One of the things that made this film so enjoyable was the way Ella’s main goal wasn’t to marry a prince. She just wanted to get rid of her curse. The movie was truly ahead of its time with its feministic ideologies, and it’s the only movie out of the three to not revolve around a prince.

Speaking of which, the love interest, Prince Charmont, or Char (Hugh Dancy), he is the definition of forgettable. Not only is his name Charmont, but he also had no personality other than being a naive prince. The only goals this character accomplished throughout the 101 minutes of this film are acted on too late or under the instruction of others. The element that saved him from being totally useless was the amazing enemies-to-lovers plot between Char and Ella.

The factor which brought this movie onto the list was the background politics throughout the film. Although it sounds uninteresting, this element brings real-life issues into a fantasy setting which children can understand and learn from. By outcasting many fantasy creatures, this movie demonstrates the moral lessons every fairy tale should have, specifically in not leaving out others because they are different from you.

This movie had great lessons for children, and Anne Hathaway truly makes every film she’s in amazing.

4 out of 5 stars.

2. ‘Cinderella’ (2015) was the beginning of the Disney live-action remakes. Cinderella (Ella) was played by Lily James and Richard Madden played Prince Kit, who starred alongside Cate Blanchett, Helena Bonham Carter and Eloise Webb. 

Directed by Kenneth Branagh, the cinematography throughout this film is unlike any other movie on this list. The attention to detail throughout the story and the film’s sets are unmatched. From the small inclusion of butterflies wherever possible to the gold detailing on the chandeliers, these details lead to a very enjoyable watching experience.

The most notable part of any Cinderella movie is obviously the dress. James’ dress has an ombré effect of white to blue, displaying a mesmerizing cascade of blues as she dances. Over 10,000 Swarovski crystals were sewed into the dress, adding a glimmer to the already enchanting design.

Although a controversy stirred around the size of James’ waist in her dress, James has admitted to wearing a corset in addition to the poofy layers of the dress, causing her waist to appear much smaller than humanly possible. Many parents were outraged over the unrealistic standards being displayed to their children.

Despite James’ waist size, this movie stayed true to Disney’s 1950 animated film and leaves a great feeling of nostalgia with a modern twist.

4 out of 5 stars.

1. ‘A Cinderella Story’ (2004), featuring Hilary Duff and Chad Micheal Murray, was the catalyst for the increase in popularity of ‘Cinderella’ retellings. This movie was one of the first ‘Cinderella’ films to focus around, and be made for, high school students in the early 2000s. 

Although this movie does not include much in the way of literal magic, the story still flows perfectly with the main characters’ ‘happily ever after’ being the ability to attend Princeton University.

Along with the two main actors, this movie also includes an icon, Jennifer Coolidge. Coolidge plays the evil stepmother, Fiona. She is the perfect example of a character you’re supposed to dislike but can’t help loving.

Additionally, part of what makes this movie such a fun watch are the iconic quotes, specifically Coolidge’s ‘Droughts are for poor people.’ In addition to her character’s flamboyant personality, she adds a perfect comedic element to this movie.

Chad Micheal Murray plays the love interest, Austin. His character portrays the ‘football is your dream, dad, not mine’ storyline, with his real goal being to attend Princeton University for writing.

The only major complaint of this movie was the age gap between Duff and Murray during the filming of this movie. Hilary Duff was 15 while Chad Micheal Murray was 22. Any sort of relationship between an adult and minor is creepy, whether it’s real or not.

Overall, this movie’s plot flowed perfectly and had every aspect which makes a great Cinderella story.

4.75 out of 5 stars.