Cinderella (U)

Kenneth Branagh has inexplicably been chosen to take the helm for the latest in Disney’s money-spinning line of live action versions of their classic princess stories.

You know the drill storyline-wise but special mentions go to Cate Blanchett and Helena Bonham-Carter who pop up (not quite enough, however) as heavily stylised manifestations of the wicked stepmother and fairy godmother of the piece.

Branagh hasn’t done a Tim Burton, whose fairly recent retelling of Alice in Wonderland was dripping in his signature style, nor has he matched the dizzying enchantment of Disney’s Oscar nominated fairytale, Into the Woods.

Cinderella is just a straight-up reissue of a classic children’s story with perfectly charming actors, sets and costumes, but nothing by way of modernisation or reimagining.

The original 1950s animation had more by way of sassy one liners and a sense of mild peril, and if it’s older children in need of entertainment, they’re better off with one of any of the retellings of the last ten or so years involving dowdy waitresses/library geeks/bowling alley attendants ‘rescued’ by the seemingly unattainable jock/millionaire businessman/rock star.

Branagh’s Cinderella seems more like a festive TV special than silver-screen worthy and it’s now clear why Disney have had to tack an exclusive Frozen short film onto it as a trailer to lure cinema-goers.

Ashley Whittaker 