Tag Archives: cinderella

Four Movies to Watch to Get Your Cinderella Fix

21 Oct

Ed. note: Did you see Elbie’s post about books to read based on the Cinderella story?

Cinderella… Cinderella!!!

Just thinking of it brings me back to girlhood when the land of make believe was more attainable. Fairy godmothers, nasty stepsisters, and the dazzling smile of the handsome prince was breathtaking at the time. As a 90s girl with an unapologetic love for fairytales, Cinderella was one of my favorites besides Belle from Beauty and the Beast (we’ll get to that another time). As some may know, Disney had just came out when a live action version of Cinderella on DVD which I of course pre-ordered online. (Did you?) I knew as soon as the credits were rolling on my TV screen, I had to watch another Cinderella movie. Being born in 90s gave me the opportunity to grow up watching different versions of Cinderella on screen played by actors like Brandy and Drew Barrymore. I am grateful for it because it gave me reassurance that one does not have to look a certain way to be a princess, especially Cinderella. It is literally not about how one looks but by how one reacts to a tough situation. Are you kind or cruel in heat of the moment? Do you have the urge to emotionally stab someone in the heart just to feel like you won? I have some Cinderella movie suggestions that transcend different times and eras but the message of prevailing over your enemies is ingrained into the very fabric of the movies. (Plus, there are all family friendly to watch.) Here are four that would make you swoon for a happily ever after.

Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella (1997)

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Image via Amazon

Who wouldn’t want to hear the late Whitney Houston be the best fairy godmother by singing every note with soulful perfection? (It was, also, co-produced by her.) Yes, Brandy Norwood is not the typical blonde hair and blue eyed version but is just as elegant and beautiful. (She recently the starred in Chicago on Broadway.) The Prince is played by Paolo Montalbán, a Rutgers University and St. Peters Prep alumni. Other than being a handsome face, he is a beautiful singer. Bernadette Peters plays the wicked stepmother and looks beautiful while doing it. Whoopi Goldberg plays the queen and overzealous stepmother. These are just some of the stars that are part of this star studded musical version of Cinderella.

Ever After (1998)

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Ever After is set in the 16th century France. Danielle (Drew Barrymore) is Cinderella. She grows up a rebellious tomboy. Her father loved her the way she was and educated her through books of philosophy and fairy tales. He never held her back from being the person she was. Being a merchant he had to go away many at times. One day, he brought back a regal woman (Anjelica Huston) as his wife, and her two daughters. Danielle thought nothing of it until they showed their real colors toward her and says nothing to not disappoint her father. When he dies of a heart attack, she is reduced to a servant girl in her own house. When she goes into town in disguise, the prince looks her away and doesn’t look back. It is a love story not to miss.

A Cinderella Story (2004)

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Hilary Duff plays the modern Cinderella, Sam Montgomery. She is a jeans and t-shirt wearing underdog in the valley, California. She was orphaned after an earthquake. Austin Ames (Chad Michael Murray) the supposed prince talks to an online mystery girl that happens to be Sam. They both don’t know each other until school dance. Sam hides in a mask so she keeps her secret from the prince. When the clock stuck 12, she dashes for the exit leaving her phone, not a shoe. Watch to see if the romance blooms or goes as fast as a sent text message.

Cinderella (2015)

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The words “Have Courage and be kind” are a new motto from this very recent live action adaption of Cinderella. This phase is adapted into Ella’s (Downton Abbey’s Lily James) life when mother makes her promise to “Have Courage and be Kind” before she dies. Thereafter, she grew up with her widowed father unchanged in spirit. Her father did change by the sadness that took him after his wife’s death. Years later, He married again hoping to gain happiness once more. This did not happen because it was a marriage of convenience not love. The stepmother and stepsisters are struck with jealousy as soon as they see Ella. They withheld their nastiness as much they could until the death of Ella’s father. It was then that they decided to treat her cruelly and call her Cinderella “reducing her to a creature of ash.” Ella’s resilience is the main attribute of the story. I personally think that if the prince wasn’t in the movie, I wouldn’t care because Ella’s display of strength showcased the whole movie.

-Written by Elbie Love, Young Adult Library Assistant

Seven Books to Read to Get Your Cinderella Fix

14 Oct

Cinderella is a recurring character in fairy tales. The 19th century Grimm Brothers story was the earliest popular western version, which consisted of cutting off the stepsister’s heels and toes. The present day Cinderella is dated back to 1950s Disney version of a damsel in distress. Disney neglected to depict Cinderella’s strength of not letting the cruelty of others affect her spirit. Growing up as a bookworm, I had to feed my need for a Cinderella story through books. Plus, I know deep down inside, you are just aching for some Cinderella in your life. Why not through books? The character of Cinderella has evolved through many published works of fiction mainly in Children’s and Young Adult books. Don’t sneer at the fact that children’s literature is part of this list. Remember it is usually in the pages of children’s literature that carries heavier subjects that can tug at the heart strings. J.K. Rowling can attest to this.

In the books selected, like any character, Cinderella had to go through her trials, which usually consisted of abusive relatives. That’s a given. However, she has grown stronger and fiercer in texts. Even Beyonce would bow at her efforts to find herself and her path. By the way, her path isn’t always the prince. There are seven books to keep in mind when you are looking for the perfect Cinderella themed book (you won’t be disappointed).

FICTION

A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett

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The book A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett is the story of young Sarah Crewe, an enchantingly sweet bookworm. She grows up in India with her father Captain Crewe, a captain in the British army. Mrs. Crewe died when Sarah was young, which created an unrelenting bond between father and daughter. When World War I threatened, Captain Crewe sent Sarah to a boarding school in London. There she meets Miss Minchin, a strict homely woman, who saw Sarah more as a pay day than a person. Even though she felt uninvited, Sarah made friends. On her 11th birthday, she’s given the news that her father had died in action. Miss Minchin seized this opportunity to belittle Sarah in every way possible by making her the maid and selling her things. Miss Minchin forced Sarah to live in the attic next door to another young maid named Becky, whom she befriended. Stricken with grief and abused daily, Sarah vowed to keep her promise to her father that she was a princess.  Although she is starved and sent into the snow in rags, she still finds the strength to give bread to a starving family and a flower to a father mourning his dead son. The only question is if this princess gets saved or saves herself and her friend. This book made me cry and smile. Recommended for ages 10+.

The Inheritance by Louisa May Alcott

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Set in Victorian times, the book is about Edith Adelon, young maiden born of poverty and humble birth. She was ‘discovered’ as a child by the Hamilton family and taken in to live on an English manor under the care of Lady Hamilton. Lady Hamilton was a regal woman that withholds her affection toward Edith. Unlike her children, who come to view her as a sister. Everyone seems to love her except for Cousin Ida. Ida is an older unmarried lady that detests Edith’s gentle spirit. Edith receives a letter that can change the dynamics of the household. Although this information can change Edith’s fate for the better, she reasons that it would be in everyone’s best interest that she doesn’t. When jewelry goes amiss from Lady Hamilton’s room, Cousin Ida frames Edith. Since it is a friend that did it, she doesn’t fight for her innocence. At the break of being disowned, her friend comes out as the wrongdoer and reveals Edith’s startling secret. This was an elegantly written book. Recommended for ages 14+.

Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine

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On the day of Ella’s birth, her mother, Lady Eleanor and the house cook, Mandy, were very happy until the cocky fairy, Lucinda, stopped by to give Ella a gift. Instead it was a curse, the gift of obedience. Her mother and Mandy were horrified but could not undo the spell. It was dangerous. If someone commanded Ella to hop on one foot until sundown or cut off her head, she had no choice but to obey. One day her mother becomes ill and commands Ella not to tell anyone of her curse on her deathbed. At the funeral, her father was as comforting as a stone. So, she goes off to mourn alone and ends up bumping into the prince, whom she befriends. Like any loving father, he finds it best to send her off to finishing school with two mean girls, Hattie and Olive. Hattie finds out Ella’s secret and takes advantage of her in the worst ways. Ella gets word where Lucinda was and runs away to find her. She instead meets talking birds, tames man-eating ogres, and meets the prince again! Through the prince, she finds her father penniless from a bad business deal. Coincidentally, he marries Dame Olga, Hattie and Olive’s mother, for her money. Things go downhill for Ella from there. Will she get to follow her heart or will her stepmother make that impossible? Levine has never disappointed me in taking me to a land of fantasy. Totally enjoyable for all ages. Recommended for ages 7+.

Cinder by Marissa Meyer (lunar chronicles)

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Linh Cinder is a teenage half cyborg girl (yes, cyborg!) in a plague infested world. She was believed to have survived an accident when she was young that left her orphaned and in the care of her stepmother and stepsisters. The stepmother, Adri, is not afraid to show her dislike for Cinder by being cruel and forcing her to be the breadwinner of the family. To Adri’s dismay, it actually comes to Cinders benefit making her become the most successful mechanic in town. Through her success, she meets Prince Kai, the emperor’s son. He flirts with her. Nope, she is not into it or him for that matter. Not long after, her stepsister gets infected with the plague. Adri sends Cinder into a cyborg draft program into the care of Dr. Erland. Through the program she learns that she is not only immune to the plague but part lunar, a race of moon people. The moon queen, Lavena wants to use Cinder as symbol of peace between earth and moon by forcing her to marry Prince Kai, the last man on earth she’d ever marry. Instead, Lavena has a malicious plan behind the marriage. What she does next is a test of a lifetime to save earth or her heart? Recommended for ages 12+.

Adaline Falling Star by Mary Pope Osborne

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As a history buff, I have to include this historical fiction. Mary Pope Osborne tells a story of a mixed race girl in the 1840s named Adaline Carson. She grew up a happy child with her mother in the Arapaho tribe. When an illness takes her mother’s life, her father takes her to stay with his relatives in St. Louis to go on an expedition to the west. Before he leaves, he promises to return for her. She accepts her circumstances with resilient silence toward her relatives. In part, they think she is a mute savage not worthy enough to stay in their house. Her relatives make it more than obvious that they are tolerate her presence. Time goes by and her father doesn’t arrive with his partners from the trip, so she assumes he has abandoned her. At the threat of being sent to an asylum, she decides to run away. While lost, she befriends a dog that cares for her when she is sick and saves her life several times. Is it her mother’s spirit guiding her through the dog? Will the dog guide her to her father?  Recommended ages 10+.

NONFICTION

Chinese Cinderella – Abridged Young Adult version, ages 14+

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Falling Leaves – Original version, ages 18+

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There are two versions of Adeline Yen Mah’s autobiography of her childhood. Although Adeline is now an accomplished author, physician, and loving mother of two, she had a trying childhood mainly at the hands of her stepmother. Soon after she was born, her mother died of an illness. This caused her family to think of Adaline as bad luck. In Chinese tradition, luck is seen as very valuable. The one that does not give into this thought is her mother’s sister, Aunt Baba. She raised her with the love and care that the rest of her family could not. Aunt Baba had to leave after Adeline’s father remarried.  The wife was a beautiful Eurasian woman named Jean, who the children thereafter referred to as Niang, Chinese term for mother. While Niang treated the children she had with her husband with tender love and care, she made her stepchildren use the servant’s entrance, hand-me-downs, and were not allowed in the living room. Niang was merciless toward her stepchildren, but especially to little Adeline. Adeline tried to win her love by getting top grades in school and being elected class president only to be sent away to boarding school. Her aunt never stopped showing her pride for her niece, affectionately calling Adeline her Chinese Cinderella. Adeline’s father did not recognize her talent until she was an accomplished teenager, he vowed to send her to Oxford University.

-Written by Elbie Love, Young Adult Library Assistant

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