Warning: this post may contain spoilers
Old stories are always being updated for lots of reasons, ranging from trying to appeal to new audiences to correcting toxic depictions to fitting better to the current social or political climate and more. There's nothing new there. However, one thing I find a bit odd lately, as in the last five years or so, is that a lot of this modernization is actually done pretty poorly in main stream media. We see more forced diversity, queerbaiting, and generally bad storytelling. Not totally sure how I'll do this yet, but I'm thinking of posting stories that stand out to me for better or for worst, starting with a classic.
There will be spoilers for both movies.
This is one I honestly didn't think worked at all. To be fair, I believe Disney's goal was just to sell a beautiful movie, and not a good story. This whole movie was gorgeous. It was also really boring, which I honestly believe is the greatest sin in storytelling.
Cinderella herself is "smarter" in this movie than the old classic cartoon. She's well read and has some agency, which honestly makes her more a damsel than the original cartoon for me. In the cartoon, she was an abused child that had no where to go. Her being trapped made sense. In the new one, she's sort of a fighter...who doesn't fight. I didn't get it.
Another issue is that Cinderella was really the only character they modified, which is why the story is still shallow.
Ever After (1998)
This is honestly one of the best modernization of the fairy tale I've ever seen. What worked for me, is that they fleshed out all their characters. Danielle, Henry, the stepmother, stepsisters, everyone! This makes for a much richer story, where characters themselves can be modernized, but still fit the time of the period piece. It's not about dropping a fourth wave feminist into an aged story, but about adding the dimensions that would have still existed then. Danielle is strong, well read, and obedient. Her servitude is not without reason. She's seeking a "mother", and her relationship with her stepmother is more than simply being a slave. The audience is shown the moments of kindness Danielle seeks from her stepmother.
My quick two-cents. I also find it interesting that Ever After came out over 15 years before Cinderella.
So what are you thoughts? Any good fairy tale adaptations you can mention?