Five Films That Share Themes with 'Cendrillon'
Published Apr 16, 2018Promotional consideration provided by Cineplex.
Though we all know the story of Cinderella in one way or another, its nuances and themes are so universal that they've proven endlessly adaptable. This is, after all, one of the earliest rags-to-riches stories.
Before it was a go-to plot point in rom-coms, this famous story originated as a fairy tale from 17th century master Charles Perrault. His work was then adapted into the four-act opera Cendrillon by Romantic-era French composer Jules Massenet in 1698.
That version will be performed by the Metropolitan Opera for the first time ever on April 28. Starring Joyce DiDonato, Alice Coote, Kathleen Kim and Stephanie Blythe, the performers will breathe new life into this timeless classic when Cineplex airs the Met's rendition of Cendrillon on April 28.
Still, before we dig into the opera, it's worth taking a look at the many iterations the story of Cinderella has taken over the years.
Over 200 years after its opera debut, the story was reinvented yet again for the silent film era. Directed James Kirkwood, Sr. and starring silent era queen Mary Pickford in its title role, the film is a perfect counterpart to the opera across its four acts, all of which utilize traditional garb.
Upon their release, Disney films Pinocchio, Bambi and Fantasia were all box office bombs, leaving the studio some $4 million in debt. Walt Disney was struck with an idea — why not adapt Cendrillon as a children's cartoon? After two years of work, they released their stunning musical feature and it all paid off. Cinderella is now considered one of the best animated films ever made.
Ever After (1998)
Cendrillon's themes of longing and wish-fulfilment don't necessarily have to be sprinkled in fairy dust. In fact, Andy Tennant's 1998 interpretation, Ever After, is both the most "realistic" version of the story and among the most popular. Drew Barrymore stars as our heroine and falls head over heels for Prince Henry (Dougray Scott). Rather than a fairy godmother, Cinderella instead crosses paths with Leonardo da Vinci. Along with those plot devices, the realistic costumes allow us to imagine this story actually took place in real life.
A Cinderella Story (2004)
The story of Cendrillon is so adaptable that it even works as a garish and dated mid-2000s teen movie. In A Cinderella Story, Hilary Duff stars as Sam Montgomery, a Cinderella type who falls for oughties heartthrob Chad Michael Murray. With its mall-pop soundtrack and cringe-worthy wardrobe, A Cinderella Story is not exactly good, but it clearly clicked — after all, the movie spawned three straight-to-DVD sequels.
Into the Woods (2014)
Disney has made a killing reworking its animated classics as live-action hits, but before they dropped their Cinderella remake in 2015, they had plenty of success with Into the Woods in 2014. The film is an adaptation of Stephen Sondheim's musical of the same name, which weaves narratives from multiple classic fairy tales. In this iteration, Cinderella is played by Anna Kendrick, who pines for the love of Chris Pine.