A new take on one of the most popularised “damsel in distress” tales was brought to the big screen once again in 2015. Slightly over half a century after their animated classic that adapted the story of Cinderella was released, Disney released a live-action adaptation that took a somewhat different approach.
While Disney produces Cinderella, it isn’t available on their streaming service – Disney+ – in the United States. Instead, The live-action adaptation is available on other streaming platforms with which Disney entered contracts. Those include Amazon Prime / Prime Video, Direct TV, Sling, Google Play, AppleTV, Vudu, etc. However, the movie is available on Disney+ to all users outside the United States.
The film appealed to the audiences because of the newly formed conception, which was more by the current day and age. Cinderella is one of the fairy tales widely criticized for representing a heavily patriarchal society in which a woman does nothing but awaits salvation, this takes slightly altered its focus and showed intriguing character development while largely focusing on how people deal with grief.
Why was Cinderella (2015) removed from Disney+?
The reason behind this are existing contracts that Disney entered with other streaming platforms, especially those with the highest number of users, such as Netflix and HBO. Disney made such deals because their streaming platform, Disney+, didn’t launch until 2019. Hence, these arrangements could not be nullified purely because they launched a streaming platform of their own unless bought out by the company.
Once Disney+ launched, the company did, in fact, buy out certain contracts that were in their best interest financially, e.g., the Marvel movies. However, making such a decision for movies such as live-action Cinderella, even if it was a success for the audiences, may not have been seen as profitable. Hence, Cinderella was originally taken off Disney+ in October 2020.
Since Disney doesn’t have a habit of notifying its users of the changes happening on their streaming service, be it a new entry or an entry being removed from the site, any guess sounds plausible regarding when the movie might return to Disney+ in the United States. However, according to Disney Plus Informer, this isn’t likely to happen any time soon, with 2024 being the “earliest possibility”.
About the movie
As stated previously, the film brought a more modern perspective into light by introducing new layers of character development, similar to what was done in Maleficent. Even though we still have the prince, the evil stepmother, and the fairy godmother, the new portrayals take a step away from the ones in the original animated feature film from 1950. One thing to be noted is that while writing introduced certain changes, the film’s cast gave the entire project an outstanding boost.
Alongside Lily James and Richard Madden, who portray Ella and her prince, Helena Bonham Carter performs great as Fairy Godmother, and the same can be said about Nonso Anozie as Captain and Stellan Skarsgård as Grand Duke.
However, the biggest spotlight might just belong to the reimagined portrayal of the evil stepmother, the role masterfully played by one of the greatest Hollywood divas, Cate Blanchett. Naturally, it is no surprise that artists of such caliber would uplift the script itself, but the credit for this movie’s overall success also goes to the makeup and costume designers, who managed to create a playful, colorful, and vibrant environment befitting of a fairy tale.
The baseline of the story remained the same, with Cinderella’s father passing away, leaving her at the mercy of her stepmother and two stepsisters, Anastasia and Drisella. Even though her days are dictated by the desires of those three, who treat her with great cruelty, Ella never stops being the kind and gentle soul her parents raised her to be.
Where it strays from the path of the original film is in how the characters deal with the events that followed Ella’s father’s death and her meeting the charming prince. Giving more room for the original villain, the evil stepmother, the story’s progression shows how grief and similar powerful emotions can affect a person.
Even though people go through similar situations or experience the same things, they react to them differently, and the effects those events have on them vary. While Ella remained humble, kind, compassionate, and loving, Stepmother became cruel, intolerant, spiteful, and vengeful. Unlike half a century ago, the story isn’t as black and white as it used to be.