by John K
Disney’s new Cinderella is by all accounts a smashing success. Over 300 million in the box office and no one is talking about it in the same tone of complete and utter confusion as last years Maleficent. Its success has Disney execs talking about doing a live action adaptation of Mulan and Beauty and the Beast, it seems like Disney’s princess are coming back in a big way over the next few years. If you’re wondering why Disney wants to push its princess then let me introduce the target audience.
So lets look at who Disney wants to see these live action remakes. My sister, she’s seven and devours anything with a Disney princess; she’s seen Snow White, Sleeping Beauty and all the rest multiple times. She’s got the dresses, the dolls and all the music, but she’s not going to be watching all those classics forever. She’s going to get bored, grow up and want new things. So a live action adaptation of Cinderella skewing to a slightly older audience of girls is something that Disney has been working on for some time now. Boys they’ve got tied up with their Marvel properties. They want to have the same advantage for the female audience hence the princess revival.
That being said, they have a lot of work to do adapting these fairy tales, for one thing some of them can be incredibly sexist and that’s not something that appeals to the modern girl as much as it once did. Maleficent tried to update Sleeping Beauty for a modern age and the result while quite lucrative has the sort of things I expect out of a horror film rather than a blockbuster. Cinderella seems to have threaded the fine line between the two but getting that balance right is something that take time and effort and Disney don’t seem to be giving themselves the time to put effort into these films.
With that being said I am looking forward to seeing what’s done with these films. Even I can see that there is too much testosterone in movies nowadays. Say what you want about Maleficent, but there was no other film quite like it last year and that alone makes it stand out in an increasingly homogenized movie market. Cinderella could be the start of a positive change in Hollywood. Or could just be used to sell lots of merchandising. Hope for the former, dreading the latter. Either way, we will see soon enough.