With the recent release of Kenneth Branagh’s beautiful adaptation of Cinderella, it seems to be the season of fairy tales and fairy tale announcements. We’ve had Disney’s Into the Woods, Cinderella, along with the recent casting announcement of Disney’s live action version of Beauty and the Beast. However, let’s take a look at the literary version, as many forget that’s where the stage and film versions are adapted form.
Many adaptations seem to use Perrault’s story most frequently, as it appears to be the most popular version. This particular version features Cinderella’s widowed father marrying a vain, proud woman. She has two daughters of her own, who were just as selfish and shallow. Cinderella, filled with kindness and a loving temperament, is forced into servitude by her stepmother and stepsisters. When Cinderella had completed her work for the day, she would go to the cold room that she had been given, eventually curling up by the fireplace. A ball is held and everyone is invited. The Fairy Godmother appears, does the transformation bit, and off goes Cinderella. She leaves the ball at midnight, loses the glass slipper, prince tracks her down and they all live happily ever after.
Numerous adaptations of Cinderella have been made, including numerous ballets and operas, television specials, and several stage versions (the most poplar being the Rodgers and Hammerstein version). There have also been numerous film adaptations, including the original 1950 Disney film, 1998’s Ever After and more. The stage musical, Into the Woods, also includes numerous elements from the Grimm Brothers’ version of the story. 2015’s adaptation, starring Lily James, Cate Blanchett and Richard Madden, was released to acclaim. It also uses elements from all three aforementioned versions of the story, plus the original animated Disney film.
Cinderella has become one of the world’s most famous fairy tales, and it is easy to see why. It seems to appeal to avid readers, fairy tale lovers and more. The lessons of being kind, keeping good within one’s heart and having courage are lovely things to remember.