Tag Archives: Project Fairy Tale

PROJECT FAIRY TALE: Cinderella Movies

Hosted by Alison at The Cheap Reader

CINDERELLA – MOVIE VERSIONS

If we’re just being honest…. One of the reasons I wanted to pick Cinderella as my fairy tale for PFT was because of all of the great movie versions. I LOVE the Cinderella movies. I’m not even going to go into the original Disney one because we all know it and you don’t need any explanation from me. We’re counting down my favorite Cinderella remakes – movie style!!

1965: ROGER’S & HAMMERSTEIN’S CINDERELLA
Starring Lesley Ann Warren and Stuart Damon

Yes, I know the original verson of R&H Cinderella was with Julie Andrews, but for whatever reason, the 1965 version is what I grew up with (probably because it was the one my mom grew up with… She would have been about seven years old when this came out, so that’s about right). When I was a kid, I immediately fell in love with the musical version of Cinderella, and although Lesley Ann Warren may not have the best voice in the world, it was the version that I held dear to my heart. (And the prince is a little dreamy. And I hate the Brandy version.)

1985: FAERIE TALE THEATRE PRESENTS: CINDERELLA
Starring Jennifer Beals and Matthew Broderick

Yes, you heard right! This version of Cinderella stars Jennifer Beals as Cinderella and Matthew Broderick as the prince. It’s so incredibly funny watching this version as an adult and seeing so many people I never knew were big stars as a kid. This was a great version of Cinderella to watch as a kid because there were so many silly moments to appreciate. The step-sisters were made to come off incredibly unintelligent so one of our favorites lines in our household was from one of the step-sisters: “Would you like something to drink? Perhaps some ham?” (And the prince is a little dreamy.)

1998: EVER AFTER
Starrting Drew Barrymore

I rarely like Drew Barrymore, but this is one role I feel like she excelled in. I loved the whole feel of the movie and how it was genuine to the original fairy tale, but at the same time, the characters are made to feel so much like they were real people. It really felt like historical fiction so much more than a redone fairy tale. (And the prince is a little dreamy.)

2004: A CINDERELLA STORY
Starring Hilary Duff and Chad Michael Murray

Yes, I admit it. I love A Cinderella Story. I was just the right age when Lizzie McGuire came out so I became a bit of a Hilary Duff fan as a young teenager, and then it came to the point where maybe I was a little too old to be liking Lizzie McGuire and Hilary Duff… but I still did. I secretly loved this modern take on Cinderella. It was just so much fun, although thoroughly silly. I really liked the modern take on the classic fairy tale because I hadn’t really seen on before! (And the prince is a little dreamy.)

2004: ELLA ENCHANTED
Starring Anne Hathaway and Hugh Dancy

I honestly can’t remember when I saw this version, but I really barely remember it. Definitely faded from my mind enough so that I didn’t even know what was going to happen in the book when I read it this past month. Just thinking about it makes me want to watch the movie again – Plus, from what I’ve heard, the movie version is pretty diffrent from the actual book. Now that I know the book, I want to see the movie. (Plus, the prince is a little dreamy.)

So there you have it! My favorite Cinderella movies!!! I really think the movies helped encourage my love for this fairy tale….. And apparently the selections for the prince. They’re all a bit cute, no?

PROJECT FAIRY TALE: More Cinderella Retellings…

Hosted by Alison at The Cheap Reader

GODMOTHER: THE SECRET CINDERELLA STORY by CAROLYN TURGEON

I decided to keep this one short. I borrowed the ebook from the library and just tried several times to get into it, but I was just not enjoying the story. I know how many Cinderella retellings there are out there and with that in mind, I decided not to finish. I think I made it about a quarter of the way through before decided that this book just wasn’t for me.

THE STORY

GodmotherLil is an old woman who spends her days shelving rare books in a tiny Manhattan bookstore and lonely nights at home in her apartment. But Lil has an intriguing secret. Tucked and bound behind her back are white feathery wings–the only key to who she once was: the fairy godmother responsible for getting Cinderella to the ball to unite with her Prince Charming.
But on that fateful night, something went terribly and beautifully wrong. Lil allowed herself the unthinkable: to feel the emotions of human beings and fall in love with the prince herself, going to the ball in place of Cinderella in her exquisitely gorgeous human guise. For her unforgivable mistake, she was banished to live among humans, far from her fairy sisters and their magical underwater world. But then one day she meets Veronica–a young, fair-skinned, flame-haired East Village beauty with a love of all things vintage and a penchant for falling in love with the wrong men–and suddenly it becomes clear to Lil that she’s been given a chance at redemption. If she can find a soul mate for Veronica, she may right her wrong and return to the fairy world she so deeply longs for. . . . (From Goodreads.com)

HOW WAS IT AS A RETELLING?

Really? It was kind of depressing. When we first meet Lil, she’s working in an old book shop and it just seems like she’s trapped there. She enjoys her time in the bookshop, but she’s just not supposed to be… Well, in the normal human world. Lil is a fairy. She was never supposed to age but her time on Earth took that magic away from her and now she has to hide her wings, tightly bound to her body to prevent any regular old humans from seeing them.

Truthfully, I didn’t make it very far. The whole beginning was just SAD. Lil is trapped. She has no friends or family (although she tells people she does). She can barely afford rent and food. And she’s all alone, working for meager pay in the bookshop because it’s the only thing she remotely enjoys. I actually decided to stop shortly after Lil met Veronica, so I don’t know much about her side of the story… We had a flash back to Lil’s time in her little fairy land and also a flashback to the  real Cinderella story, but I was just bored with both of these. The fairies were annoying to me – very vain, frivolous. Just not my thing. And the flashback to Cinderella just felt like I was rereading the tale instead of anything being new and different. I was just struggling to get through the book, so I finally decided to stop reading.

LIES, KNIVES, AND GIRLS IN RED DRESSES by RON KOERTGE

I was looking for something a little different, so I picked up LIES, KNIVES, AND GIRLS IN RED DRESSES, which is really just a collection of short stories  (not even – each only ranging a few pages) of re-told or “true” versions of fairy tales. I wanted to see what the Cinderella one was all about….

THE STORY

Once upon a time, a strung-out match girl sold CDs to stoners. Twelve impetuous sisters escaped Daddy’s clutches to jiggle and cavort and wear out their shoes. Bluebeard’s latest wife discovered she’d married a serial killer. And Little Red Riding Hood confessed that she kind of wanted to know what it’s like to be swallowed whole. 

You see, Ron Koertge knows what really happened to all those wolves and maidens, ogres and orphans, kings and piglets of fairy tales, and he knows about the Ever After. So come closer–he wants to whisper in your ear. (From Goodreads.com)

 

HOW WAS IT AS A RETELLING?

Ummm. It was frightening. A little disturbing? I mean, I’ve heard some gruesome fairy tales in my day, but after reading it, I was really hoping they hadn’t shelved this in the children’s section at my library (because I think they did). I guess I don’t know how to take it because this is not the stuff of a child’s fairy tale.

The Cinderella version in this book was from the two step-sisters (Sarah and Kathy), who are still bitter after their step-sister Ella is happily married…. BUT this short excerpt is riddled with sexual connotations that I totally was not expecting.

"Even in tatters Ella was desirable - a little thigh showing here, some soot at her cleavage. And what a tease - dashing away at midnight leaving the heir to the throne groaning in his purple tights."

So yeah. Was not expecting that one! Thankfully it was only two pages per excerpt because it that was a full book, that would be difficult to get through. Anyway, the story goes on and the rest is quite off-putting as well, but to tell that would be simply retelling the whole story. It was just a bit more than I was expecting, so if you’re looking for super dark and creepy, this is your book! If not, I’d definitely say this one is not for you!

PROJECT FAIRY TALE: Cinder – Marissa Meyer

Hosted by Alison at The Cheap Reader

CINDER by MARISSA MEYER

How can you possibly deny that CINDER may be one of the best retellings out there? Yeah, I went there. OF THEM ALL. All right, maybe I’m getting a little carried away, but CINDER is certainly the best Cinderella retelling I’ve read. It’s fresh, exciting, romantic, creative, and a ton of other adjectives I won’t bog you down with.

THE STORY

CinderHumans and androids crowd the raucous streets of New Beijing. A deadly plague ravages the population. From space, a ruthless lunar people watch, waiting to make their move. No one knows that Earth’s fate hinges on one girl. . . .
Cinder, a gifted mechanic, is a cyborg. She’s a second-class citizen with a mysterious past, reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister’s illness. But when her life becomes intertwined with the handsome Prince Kai’s, she suddenly finds herself at the center of an intergalactic struggle, and a forbidden attraction. Caught between duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal, she must uncover secrets about her past in order to protect her world’s future. (From Goodreads.com)

HOW WAS IT AS A RETELLING?

Umm, phenomenal! I loved every bit of Cinder, from how original it was to how well the original Cinderella characters and themes were woven into the story. You know what surprised me the most? How much I loved the sci-fi aspects of it. I never in a million years though that I would be on board with a cyborg Cinderella, androids, robots – you name it – but Marissa Meyer does it so well that it doesn’t really feel super sci-fi. I KNOW I caught Star Wars references in there and that really added an extra layer to the story – I feel like the people who get the references get an extra little laugh in there, which was definitely a lot of fun.

Another thing I really enjoyed (which I don’t usually) was that CINDER can’t really be defined by any specific genre. It’s sci-fi, it’s dystopian, it’s fantasy, it has some romance… There’s something in there for everyone, and I really think that’s part of the reason it’s been so successful! Yes, it is a retelling, but it’s so unique in its own right and Marissa Meyer does a great job of brining in new ideas (like the Lunars, the concept of cyborgs being the reason why Cinder is treated so poorly, taking place in New Beijing, etc).

I can honestly say that CINDER is my favorite Cinderella retelling by far. I’d honestly recommend it to anyone, even those who doubt sci-fi (because you know I did)!

PROJECT FAIRY TALE: Ella Enchanted – Gail Carson Levine

Hosted by Alison at The Cheap Reader

ELLA ENCHANTED by GAIL CARSON LEVINE

For my first Cinderella retelling, I chose ELLA ENCHANTED. I was going to pick up the book, but then I found the audiobook at my library and thought that would be even better! It was definitely a really quick listen at 5 discs (I think it ran close to 6 hours?) and the narrator did a great job, although I’m not sure the voice was quite accurate… I was kind of confused whether the book (based on content and the narrator’s voice) should have been more MG or more YA. Ella is 15 in the book and we deal with topics like relationsihps and marriage, but at the same time, it has more of a middle grade feel. Maybe it falls somewhere in between the two and either age range will work. ANYWAY…

THE STORY

At birth, Ella is inadvertently cursed by an imprudent young fairy named Lucinda, who bestows on her the “gift” of obedience. Anything anyone tells her to do, Ella must obey. Another girl might have been cowed by this affliction, but not feisty Ella: “Instead of making me docile, Lucinda’s curse made a rebel of me. Or perhaps I was that way naturally.” When her beloved mother dies, leaving her in the care of a mostly absent and avaricious father, and later, a loathsome stepmother and two treacherous stepsisters, Ella’s life and well-being seem to be in grave peril. But her intelligence and saucy nature keep her in good stead as she sets out on a quest for freedom and self-discovery as she tries to track down Lucinda to undo the curse, fending off ogres, befriending elves, and falling in love with a prince along the way. Yes, there is a pumpkin coach, a glass slipper, and a happily ever after, but this is the most remarkable, delightful, and profound version of Cinderella you’ll ever read. (From Goodreads.com)

HOW WAS IT AS A RETELLING?

I thought this was a fantastic retelling! The best part of ELLA ENCHANTED for me was how different it was and involved an original story. We don’t even see the Cinderella parallels (besides the stepmother/stepsisers) until closer to the end of the book. The first half focuses more on Ella and her curse as well as her evolving friendship with Prince Char. Ella goes on an epic quest to find a way to lift or reverse her curse, so as we get to know Ella, the focus is more on her story and creating a unique character instead of us picturing her as Cinderella.

At first I was a little worried that it wasn’t really a Cinderella retelling since it actually took so long for the book to get to things like balls and carriages, but eventually we did get there and it was so nicely done. The retelling aspect was neatly woven into Ella’s story, and as I’ve found from other retellings I’ve started, I think it’s important to have an original story to start as a foundation. Without it, I find myself drifting and getting bored really quickly. The retellings that I’ve been interested in have followed the original fairy tale of Cinderella, but definitely have their own unique aspects to draw the reader in.

PROJECT FAIRY TALE: Cinderella – Charles Perrault

Hosted by Alison at The Cheap Reader

CINDERELLA by CHARLES PERRAULT

As you probably know from earlier posts, I’m participating in Project Fairy Tale, hosted by Alison at the Cheap Reader. My chosen fairy tale is Cinderella. I’ve actually never read the original fairy tale before, so I was interested to see if there were any surprises in store for me!

It was actually a little difficult trying to find an accurate version of the original fairy tale of Cinderella. I was afraid of picking up just any old book that claimed it was the fairy tale because who knows what may have been altered from one version to another? I finally decided on checking out the entire anthology of fairy tales by Charles Perrault from the library. It was supposed to be the safest bet, but the actual story was only a few pages long, so I hope that it really was the “right” version that I was looking for!

THE STORY

Anyway, the version as most of us probably know it – the one adapted from Disney – is fairly accurate to the original tale. The story goes that Cinderella’s father married his second wife (“the stepmother”) and it was only after they were married that she showed her true nature – a horrible temper and severe dislike for his daughter since she was not one of her own. The girl didn’t dare complain to her father for fear that he would scold her and think she was telling lies because he was completely wrapped around the stepmother’s finger. The resting place she often found was sitting near the chimney. The elder stepsister teased her, calling her Cinderbutt, and the younger stepsister was only slightly nicer by changing the nickname to Cinderella.

When the king announced a ball for his son the prince, Cinderella helped her two stepsisters with no kindness returned. There came a point where she couldn’t take it anymore and she finally let the tears fall. Her godmother showed up to help her with what she truly wanted – to go to the ball. Since her godmother was a fairy, she transformed a pumpkin from the garden into a carriage, six mice into horses, a rat for the coachman, and six lizards for six footmen. Lastly, she donned Cinderella in a beautiful gold and silver gown embroidered in jewels and a pair of glass slippers to complete the ensemble. Cinderella left for the ball with the warning that she must leave by midnight because at that exact moment, all the charms would cease to exist and everything would transform back.

At the ball, no one ever saw anyone lovelier than Cinderella. She quite enjoyed her time and made quite an impression on the prince. There was another ball on the following day and he begged her to come back. With help from her fairy godmother again, Cinderella returned to the ball, but was having such a good time with the prince that she lost track of time and believed the bell of midnight to be only eleven. She instantly jumped up and left the ball in a hurry as her clothes turned back into rags, leaving behind one of the glass slippers in her haste.

The prince needed to find his dream girl who eluded him so quickly from the ball and when no ladies of the court fit in the shoe, he sent out a gentleman to take the slipper out into the rest of the kingdom. When he arrived at Cinderella’s house, her sisters laughed at her suggestion to try on the slipper the prince held, but when she slid her foot in, it was a perfect fit. For further proof, she pulled the matching slipper from her pocket and the gentleman immediately knew she was the one, taking her to the prince at one. Even in her rags, the prince saw how beautiful she was and they wed with in a few days. Having a kind heart even after all she was put through, Cinderella took her stepsisters with her to the palace and they married two lords of the court.

WAS IT WHAT I THOUGHT?

Pretty much! With a few minor differences, it would about what I knew the original tale to be. What was I surprised by?

        • Lizards! I actually had no idea that lizards were ever a part of the story to be taken as footmen
        • The prince didn’t find Cinderella himself. I guess it makes sense that someone as high as a prince wouldn’t go out into the kingdom himself…
  • The stepsisters lived happily ever after too, since Cinderella is so kind
  • Her father just stood by and let this all happen? Why was Cinderella so afraid of her father? Why wouldn’t he trust her more than his new wife? Couldn’t he see that she was in charge of cleaning the whole house? Or was he away?
  • The prince held two nights of balls instead of just one!
  • That the original story DIDN’T involve the stepsisters cutting their feet/toes. What a morbid thought to include, right? But I heard a long time ago – back when I was still a kid – that the original fairy tale was much more morbid and grotesque. Maybe that’s just a rumor (or just Grimm fairy tales?), but I also had a book that I STILL cannot find in my searches that contained a bunch of “real” versions of fairy tales, and that was what happened to the stepsisters in order to fit in the glass slipper.

All minor things, really, but always interesting to see how things get change from version to version.

Anyway, that kind of wraps it up for the original fairy tale of Cinderella! Come back tomorrow for my thoughts on ELLA ENCHANTED and how I feel it measures up to the original!

Project Fairy Tale: Cinderella – Intro Post

When I first saw the post for Project: Fairy Tale, hosted by Alison at The Cheap Reader, I knew I wanted in, but I was a little bit hesitant because I’m not a big fairy tale person. HOWEVER, I knew I could have a lot of fun with this and I was hoping this would get me back into fairy tales, and so far, all of that is true!

My chosen fairy tale: CINDERELLA

I’ve got LOTS of plans for Cinderella. First and foremost, read the original fairy tale by Charles Perrault.

RETELLINGS:
I’m really excited for retellings! This is something I’ve just been starting to get into and I think this will be a lot of fun.

Cinder by Marissa Meyer (own): I know, I know. I still haven’t read Cinder yet. But don’t worry! It is now in my possession thanks to a little place called Amazon.com.
– Finish Throne of Glass by Sarah J Maas (library) : Maybe this is cheating, but I’m still counting it. I’ve seen quite a few author interviews in which Ms. Mass said that she got the idea for ToG by wondering what would happen if Cinderella was actually a hired assassin sent to kill Prince Charming. It may not be a direct retelling, but its roots lie in Cinderella’s tale.
Ash by Malinda Lo: This one may be a bit out there so we’ll see how it goes, but nevertheless, it sounds interesting.
Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine: Stated that it’s a Cinderella retelling, but it kind of seems like a fairy tale retelling in general. I actually haven’t read the book – I’ve only seen the movie – so I’m excited to read this.
Just Ella by Margaret Peterson Haddix: I haven’t read anything by MPH since I was a kid (Running Out of Time was seriously one of my favorites) so I’m hoping Just Ella is enjoyable!

I do plan to read a lot more, but I’m not sure exactly which ones I’ll get to. These will be more of a pick and choose as time winds down, but I’m sure I’ll have plenty of time to tackle a lot of these:
The Cinderella Pact by Sarah Strohmeyer (I’m actually not sure if this is related, BUT it has “Cinderella” in the title, so I’m interested in checking it out)
The Stepsister Scheme by Jim C Hines
A Kiss at Midnight by Eloisa James (it’s a romance novel – oooooh)

“TRUE” STORIES:
– Cinderella (as if you didn’t already know the story) by Barbara Endor
– Lies, Knives, and Girls in Red Dresses by Ronald Koertge

FROM OTHER CULTURES/LANGUAGES:
– Bound by Donna Jo Napoli
– Glass Slipper, Gold Sandal: A Worldwide Cinderella by Paul Fleischman
– Cenecientas (Spanish)

MOVIES
Cinderella – Rogers & Hammersteins (with Lesley Ann Warren, because that’s the way I grew up!)
Cinderella – Disney
A Cinderella Story – Hilary Duff
Ever After – Drew Barrymore