Cinderella may be one of the most famous fairy tales of all time! One of the best-loved versions of the story was first written in French in 1697 (that’s a long time before Disney!) by a man named Charles Perrault. Perrault added some of the most famous parts of the story, including the Pumpkin Chariot, the Fairy Godmother and the Glass Slippers. Now, famous actor and director Kenneth Branagh is bringing his own version of the classic fairy tale to the big screen.
You may know Kenneth Branagh from the Harry Potter series, where he played Professor Gilderoy Lockhart in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. Branagh is also a talented director, and he has decided to bring Cinderella to audiences in a whole new way. In his version, Branagh wanted to show how Ella was able to keep her good sense of humor and kindness, even while dealing with her mean stepsisters and stepmother.
In Branagh’s Cinderella, we get to meet Ella before she goes to live with her stepmother. Branagh shows Ella having a wonderful childhood with her real mom and dad, drawing pictures and playing music. It is that happy childhood and the advice of her mother that helps Ella stay strong and positive, even during difficult times. Branagh also changes the first meeting between Ella and the Prince—but we’ll save that for the movie!
The new version of Cinderella brings live-action and new technology to the screen as well. For the ball scene, Ella’s dress is made with real diamonds and her glass slippers are really made of glass! According to Branagh, so much glitter was used on Ella’s dress that anyone who got near Lily James (the actress playing Ella) would get covered in glitter! Ella’s fairy godmother gets a high-tech makeover, with a beautiful dress that has LED lights sewn into it.
Kenneth Branagh hopes that his Cinderella will inspire kids in new ways. He says, “I hope that they find Cinderella to be a fun, intelligent heroine. I hope that just like Cinderella, they decide to have courage and be kind.”