Ella’s childhood is a happy one: she has loving parents, plenty of fields and meadows to explore, and lots of kind animal friends to play with. A sweet child, Ella warms the hearts of all who meet her. And her home is a wonderful place, the perfect little kingdom for a joyful family. But when tragedy strikes, Ella’s happy home turns into one filled with sadness and cruelty. Will Ella be able to hold onto her kindness and courage through it all?
Cinderella Junior Novel (Junior Novelisation) by Walt Disney Company
After I read this book, I read the more ‘grown-up’ version, and it was much, much better. If you want to read one of these, read the Illustrated Novelisation, not this one!
Plenty of people are excited about the new live action movie version of Disney’s Cinderella, and so I figured I might as well read the novelisation and see what they’d done with the (admittedly pretty anaemic) romance this time round. The 1950 animated version is entertaining enough, but there’s a lot more time devoted to singing and mice than there is to character development or any of the actually interesting parts of the Cinderella story.
There are a lot of people who start worrying every time a new fairy tale movie comes out. They don’t want the story “ruined” by a “feminist agenda”. Now, I find that really offensive and misogynistic, but I also understand people wanting to see the original story without too many changes.
And this is exactly what we get here.
The movie trailers promised a longer and more meaningful connection between Ella and her prince (Kit in this book). However, those few seconds in the trailer where they meet on horseback in the forest? That’s all there is!
The character of the prince IS more fleshed out, but he is off in the palace doing his own thing while Cinderella is busy ‘having courage and being kind’ while being literature’s greatest doormat.
Something about this book I thought was hilarious was that the author had a character using bloody as a swear word. Um… this is a children’s book!
And because it is a children’s book, I won’t even get started on all the incorrect forms of address for royalty. Surely even a Disney author has access to Wikipedia!
If you’re expecting an alpha hero in the shape of a prince, you’ll be disappointed. He’s a shy sort of fellow whose plan for ruling the kingdom is not for international alliances (he doesn’t want any!), but to rule with kindness, courage and love. Ho-kay then. That sounds smart!
I do really like softer, kinder, less assertive heroines, as backwards as that may sound. I was a very shy thing at Cinderella’s age. However, there’s kind and then there’s THIS! It was a little painful to see what a weak and useless creature Cinderella was – even more so than in the animated version.
This is exactly what you’d expect: a fairy tale movie put on the page. Expect nothing more.