Once upon a time, a little girl named Robin was born. She grew up loving Disney animated movies, particularly the ones featuring the Disney Princesses. She loved watching The Little Mermaid, Beauty and The Beast and also Sleeping Beauty. She also two other Disney Princess films, the classic animated movie Cinderella as well as the very recent Frozen.
So when she heard that Disney was making a live-action version of Cinderella and producing a Frozen sequel of sorts, Robin was overjoyed. But was her joy merited? Was she going to have her happy every after? Or was she in store for massive disappointment? Well, the only was for Robin to find out was to actually watch these films!
Okay, I think I’m gonna stop writing using this weird rhetoric as it is tiring! Anyway, I’ll be breaking up the review into two parts: the “main” Cinderella film then the Frozen short.
Now, I’m not sure if I can “spoil” a lot for Cinderella. After all, this movie is pretty much a retelling of the classic fairy tale as well as the original 1950 animated Disney film! But, to be fair, this remake really adds a lot of more content in order to give this relatively simple story more depth as well as removing a lot of the fantastical elements of the animated film. Well, they didn’t remove the magical stuff (what would the movie be without the fairy godmother). Rather, they did take out the “childish” stuff like the talking mice, which makes the movie less groan-worthy for adults who have to watch this movie with their kids.
However, they still had a lot of childish elements. There’s a lot of slapstick humor, such as a lady with really bad smelling feet and the King’s servants who bonk their heads on the stairs. With the shift of making Cinderella more “serious,” adding these absurd comical elements really undermines the tone. Also, it just looks so out of place and forcefully added. I wouldn’t be surprised if it turns out Disney demanded these scenes be put in because there wasn’t enough “funny” elements that kids would enjoy.
In fact, there are so many added elements here that are hit or miss. I liked that they actually tried to explain why the evil stepmother is actually so cruel! This was one thing I really wanted answered and they actually did! They also kind of explain why the Prince was given permission the option to marry a commoner and why Cinderella is so darned nice and kind! But there were also a lot of plot points that are so convenient and come out of nowhere! One has to be the “reveal” of the Fairy Godmother. Like in the original film, she does pop out of nowhere. But in the 2015 film, she initially disguises herself as a poor woman… for no reason!
Then again, I really hated the Fairy Godmother in the film. I couldn’t stand Helena Bonham Carter’s performance as the Fairy Godmother as it really looked like she was hamming it up too much. It was like she was trying to be goofy to appeal to kids… but it just didn’t work out for me. Thankfully, she was the only sore spot regarding the performances. While Helena Bonham Carter was extremely goofy, Cate Blanchett also gave an over the top portrayal of the evil stepmother. But Cate Blanchett managed to rein in her performance just so there is some “humanity” left in her.
But the standout performance has to be Lily James as Cinderella. I’ve never seen her in anything before I don’t think. But Lily James really gave a standout acting job in the tile role! She managed to come off as incredibly likeable. Even when she’s acting incredibly naive, it comes of as believable because of her acting.
So, while there were some missteps, the live-action Cinderella remake is a pretty enjoyable film. The acting was good for the most part and, while the slapstick elements were kind of off-putting, most of the new story elements gave new life to this old story.
But, in all honesty, I went into the cinema not really caring a whole lot for Cinderella. The “main event” for me, so to speak, was the sequel to Frozen! After all, the same song writers promised an equally catchy song in Frozen Fever!
So, Frozen Fever takes place a few months after the events of Frozen. Elsa is getting everything ready for Anna birthday as a way to make up for all of those birthdays she missed while she was, you know, cooped up in her room afraid that she’ll lose control of her ice powers and all that! Thing is, Elsa actually has, of all things, a cold!
Unfortunately, I think my expectations were just too high. I was hoping for something like Tangled Ever After, the sequel of shorts to Tangled. There’s not much story aside from the one that I mentioned above. It’s definitely not as funny as Tangled Ever After! Inall honestly, Frozen Fever is more like a music video for the new song, Making Today A Perfect Day.
But the new song, Making Today A Perfect Day is actually pretty good, if a little familiar to those who have the official Frozen soundtrack (which I have). It sound a lot like Life’s Too Short, a song that was cut out from Frozen! That doesn’t mean that it’s a bad song. But it’s definitely not as catchy as the “I can’t get this song out of my head” Let It Go.
I actually feel that Cinderella didn’t need Frozen Fever to sell tickets. Cinderella is a good enough film to stand on its own. Frozen Fever, on the other hand, was kind of disappointing but that was just because I was expecting a lot and I really wanted Making Today A Perfect Day another smash hit song like Frozen’s Let It go. Still, definitely give Cinderella a watch.
Have you watched Cinderella and Frozen Fever? What did you think of them? Let me know in the comments section below!