‘Cinderella’ – fairytale gone awry (IANS Movie Review)

Film: “Cinderella”; Cast: Yolande Moreau, Alexandra Lamy, Isabelle Nanty, Antoine de Caunes and Michel Boujenah; Director: Pascal Herold; Rating: *

This 3D animated “Cinderella” story is a far cry from the original classic, written by Charles Perrault in ‘Histoires ou contes du temps passe”or by Brothers Grimm in their folk tale collection “Grimms’ Fairy Tales”. This animated film has a ‘Western’ flavour blended with fantasy.

In director Pascal Herold’s version, the action takes place in a city named Felicity, a place very much like the Wild West. Here, a Red Indian Styled witch-doctor, Little Cloud, is substituted for the fairy godmother and in place of horses, the natives ride ostriches and fly giant birds that resemble vultures and eagles. Also, in place of bandits, we have pirates, who literally sail the ‘Sea of Sand’. And Cinderella is no demure, timid young girl. Instead, she is an aggressive cowgirl nicknamed Blind Chick. She is in control of the situation except when it comes to issues concerning her step mother.

Cinderella’s step mother, Felicity is the don of the place. She controls the city with her mafia style of operations and hence has the town named after her.

One day, the Russian Prince Vladamir along with his mother, the duchess, visit the city Felicity and the adventurous action begins.

The pirates are after the Prince’s diamonds and Cinderella’s step mom is very keen to form a bond with the royals. The pirates trail the royals to the party organised by Felicity. And there at the famed party, the charming prince meets Cinderella. Here, instead of losing her glass slippers Cinderella loses her tooth.

While there are a couple of weird twists to the tale, this Cinderella story is hard to digest. It is a pot of confused ideas brewed together.

Apart from the characters being anthropomorphic, the animators seem to be confused with the models, thereby rendering ridiculous outputs. Cinderella is a cross of a dog and a deer. Her step mother Felicity is a cross between a bear and a St. Bernard, and the list can go on.

While the landscape is the Wild West in US with the Shaman et al, the presence of the ostriches transports the mind to another continent.

Similarly, the background score is an amalgamation of all other genres except the classic western haunting score.

Visually, the frames though perfect with the setting, lack the finesse and lustrous glow, making the film look like a period saga, and the 3D was unwarranted. The film could have well been rendered in 2D.

This inexplicable mishmash of elements makes Cinderella an eyesore. This would definitely confuse kids and make them wonder if all fairy tales and folk tales are that bad!

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