The Cinderella Story Film Analysis Essay

The Cinderella Story is one in which virtually every child, more so girls cut their teeth on romance literature, film, or animation (Kelley 87). The fairy tale has been immortalized in numerous versions that exist as children’s books, and it would be difficult to imagine a girl in the western world who has not at least had some contact with the story by the time she is in her teens (Kelley 88).

Like a typical fairy tale, it is fairly predictable as far as the action goes. Nevertheless, this does not steal the glamour from the overall story, it has been made and remade in numerous versions of children’s books, movie/s, and animations and with each generation, new culturally adjusted and technologically enhanced versions are produced (Kelley 89). The book is archetypical of old school romance, involving an unfairly treated girl who is, however, appear more attractive and interesting than her cruel stepfamily.

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By the description alone, the reader has automatically routed for Cinderella as underdogs have always occupied a soft place in the hearts of most readers. Many of the clichés one finds in the movie and the animation rendition of this and, indeed, numerous other fairy tale romances, can be traced back to the written version of Cinderella (Kelley 87). The idea of a poor princess looking for her prince charming, evil stepfamily and fairy godmothers may appear iconic and universal, but they only exist because the story brought them to life (Weiner 47).

The book version, which is also the original published version, is one of the stories in the Grimm’s Fairytales collection. It is from this that all the other spin-offs ranging from the movies in the 50s to the 90s and most recently the Cinderella story was created. The original story gives details about her mother’s illness and subsequent death and gives a solid background to how badly she was treated by her stepsister and mother who took away her nice clothes and dressed her in rags before putting him in the kitchen to slave all day.

In a sense, the book version is not really of a low-class girl who beats the odds to leap from over her upper-class step-siblings, who lacked beauty or brain. She was essentially a highborn aimed at recapturing her position from the lowborn that had taken over her home. Despite the fact that the story is popularly seen as one where the poor can rise if they have the drive to achieve, the original book version was essentially produced from a stratified cocoon (Kelley 87; Philip 98). The book version also focuses on magical elements, which are largely absent from subsequent productions, more so in the modern film genre.

For example, when Cinderella is told to sort lentils from the ashes among other impossible tasks in a way to stop her from attending the ball. She calls upon the birds in the air to lend their assistance, although for what reason they would obey her is not clear. However, it is worth noting once again that in the ex-post factor setting, using magic to get antagonist out of problems was an acceptable way of straightening out kinks in the plot without losing authenticity as it were.

The origin of the fairy godmother in the story is explained in a “logical” albeit magical way as she is seen to have sprung from a branch that Cinderella planted on her mother’s grave (Philip 121). Quintessentially, the audiences are made to understand that the bird (fairy godmother) is Cinderella’s late mother extending a helping hand from the grave to even out the scores for her child (Philip 29).

The ball scene in which she makes a stunning appearance at the dance is, however, largely unvaried in the different editions and renditions as the nexus of the story are often based on her impressing the prince then disappearing, leaving him yearning and eventually looking for her. The Disney animation of the story in 1950, on the other hand, was not very different from the book version and too many critics, it was simply a portrayal of the book on the screen (Kelley 90).

It is, however, highly critiqued on the basis that Cinderella is too passive and subjective and seemingly without a will of her own and only out to get love and waiting to be rescued from a situation by the prince. The animation probably managed to reproduce the book so closely owing to the fact that using technology Disney could render all the magical elements such as the appearance and disappearance of the fairy godmother the conjuring of the golden carriage and glass shoes as well as the manipulation of birds to aid Cinderella (Kelley 91).

This version, despite criticism by adults, was very popular among children who were happy to accept the book version as their reality (Kelley 92). Therefore, children did not ask difficult questions about where her father was and how he left her to her plight, or how come the prince did not recognize her after spending half of the previous night dancing with her. From a psychoanalytical point of view, modern critics may associate Cinderella’s apparent dependence on a male figure for rescue from her situation to be linked to a Freudian Electra complex (Dalal 29; Roland 132).

This is because, in the story version, her father was present, but he did little or nothing to save her from her plight, which may have indicated a poor relationship between them. Therefore, Cinderella may actually be viewed as needing the prince to provide herself with a father figure and respite from her matriarchal upbringing, which is an important psychological aspect (Roland 29). Despite the cold reception from the critics, the animated film went on to become one of the most recognizable princess icons of all times, the character captured the imaginations of many Americans, and with her iconic glass heels and makeover, she became an important fashion icon (Kelley 88).

However, the negative reception by critics served to caution future produces of the story not to stick too close to the original version since there were too many inconsistencies that may be tolerable in a children’s book, but would not go down well with an adult audience. This is especially based on the feminist perception since Cinderella, despite being an important female lead character, is perceived in the original story as one-dimensional and too much of a victim.

This perception did not auger well with many who thought she made a poor character to emulate. In response, later versions of the film were done in such a way that she was more proactive and multi-dimensional. An example of this departure from the traditional plot is evinced in the 2004 Warner Bros rendition of Cinderella, which the producers tried to make a realistic Cinderella film retaining the underlying themes (Kelley 87).

The Cinderella Story is one of the more recent remakes of Cinderella created in 2004 and themed on modern romance interposed with the trappings of the 21st century, such as cell phones and with the challenges adopted for modernity such as the search for an identity, and the pursuits for higher education (Kelley 87). Some themes remain unchanged from the original story, such as the pursuit of true love as well as the oppression of the weak by the strong and evil (Kelley 89).

In this case, the prince is only the ruler in the traditional capitalist America sense, his parents are wealthy, and he is a gifted and attractive ballplayer who all girls swoon over, but he is not happy with his life. Sam, on the other hand, is born into wealth like Cinderella, but denied her inheritance and is living in relative poverty given that she cannot afford to pay for her college education, although her cruel stepfamily clearly lives in the lap of luxury on her inheritance. The film has been culturally adjusted such that the “prince” meets the princess in a school Halloween dance, although they had been corresponding for several years through the mail.

These changes stem from the fact that modern audiences would likely be hostile to a 21st century rendition of the film where a couple falls in love at first sight or even worse if the boy could not recognize the girl except through her shoe, which in any case is unlikely given that numerous women wear the same size of shoe. Even if he were to go around checking which would be put down to a shoe fetish, he would find dozens of women to wear the mythical glass sandal unless the princess who had extremely small or big feet (Philip 65).

While the concept of fairy godmother has been preserved in Rhoda’s guidance for Sam, there is no magical connotation, and she only provides guidance. Instead, the couple is seen as being responsible for their destiny, and Cinderella’s power is not in solving complex riddles or being unworldly beautiful. She is powerful because of her courage, which helps her confront her stepfamily and take what is rightfully hers and inspiring the prince to do the same with this father, and demand that he be allowed to go to Princeton instead of living out his father’s dream of playing ball for the rest of his life (Kelley 91). She has a superego, which she utilizes to dominate in the story (Bollas 120).

Nevertheless, even with the modernized version, the capitalistic subtext is just as dominant since the only way their “happily ever after” was going to materialize as if both of them were on equal or relatively similar social, economic footing. In the book version, she had a fairy godmother (Kelley 87). Similarly, the film version has her father extending financial help posthumously after his death. This can be viewed in the context of social-cultural psychoanalysis, which suggests that individuals could think that the dead could help them (Dalal 89).

Annotated bibliography

Aron, Lewis. A meeting of minds: Mutuality in psychoanalysis. Vol. 4. London, United Kingdom: Routledge, 2013. Print.

Aron provides readers with updated information about psychoanalysis, which he argues that it thrives at all times. To understand psychoanalysis, it is important to comprehend the various aspects of models and theories. One of the key theories that have been proposed by the author is the Freudian theory, which is characterized by diverse concepts.

Bollas, Christopher. Being a character: Psychoanalysis and self-experience. London, United Kingdom: Routledge, 2013. Print.

Christopher analyzes aspects that are involved in being a character. The book discusses concepts of self experiencing, the evocative object, being a violent character innocence, homosexual arena, and psychic genera, among others with a view to applying theories in understanding the psychology of human beings. Christopher argues that self-experiences are important in comprehending the psychological aspects of individuals.

Dalal, Farhad. Race, colour, and the processes of racialization: new perspectives from group analysis, psychoanalysis, and sociology. London, United Kingdom: Routledge, 2013. Print.

Farhad uses the book as a platform on which to discuss issues of race and color in racialization as viewed from a psychologist and/or sociologist. It is important to note that race, culture, and ethnicity are related aspects that are viewed differently by psychoanalysts — the author discusses how theses aspects could impact an individual to think in a certain way. The book chapters are arranged so well that there is a high level of transition from one chapter to another.

Horney, Karen. New ways in psychoanalysis. Vol. 16. London, United Kingdom: Routledge, 2013. Print.

Horney’s book is based on the premises of advancing psychoanalytical strategies that could be applied in a broad range of human science. One of the approaches analyzed in the book is Freud’s thinking, which forms the central platform of psychoanalysis. Other updated theories and concepts discussed by the author include the following: the libido theory, feminine psychology, the death instinct, the Oedipus complex, and the concept of transference. The ego and id are also discussed in detail. The piece of work is quite captivating.

Kelley, Karol. “A modern Cinderella.” Journal of American Culture 17.1 (1994): 87-92. Print.

The author discusses several aspects of modern Cinderella, which is important in the contemporary world. For example, the use of cell phones and other modern technologies is mentioned. The article is important in viewing the transition of movies and stories on the premises of time.

Philip, Neil. The Cinderella story. London, United Kingdom: Penguin Books, 1989.

Neil narrates the story of a beautiful girl who does not get the right protection from her father, who eventually dies, leaving her with a cruel stepfamily. However, the poor girl uses her analytical thinking skills to know how to relate with her family members. She is talented about behavior to the extent that she influences the prince to her thinking. Neil takes readers through a narration that could be analyzed on the premises of psychoanalytical aspects.

Roland, Alan. Cultural pluralism and psychoanalysis: The Asian and North American experience. London, United Kingdom: Routledge, 2013. Print.

Alan’s book approaches psychoanalysis from a holistic perspective, which is based on comparative analysis, the Asian and American interface, and clinical issues. Each part of the resource is divided into several chapters that aim conclusively discussing concepts in line with the psychological aspects. Alan argues that the study of Asian and American patients suffering from psychological conditions could provide perfect examples of how people are influenced by their thinking processes to develop unhealthy states.

Weiner, Bernard. Human motivation. Oxford, United Kingdom: Psychology Press, 2013. Print.

Weiner’s book offers support to the importance of motivation in human psychoanalysis. Two approaches are proposed for the study of human motivation. First, the experimental stratagem is focused on identifying determinants of behavior, after which mathematical computations are applied to assess the relationship among variables. Second, the non-experimental approach seeks to comprehend behavior without applying mathematical calculations. Weiner offers sane advice for people interested in knowing why individuals are motivated to behave in a certain manner.

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