Close your eyes and picture this. You’re at a ball dressed as Prince Charming from Cinderella, because that is who you are. Walking down the steps is some sort of a woman dressed like Cinderella. Is it Cinderella? Yes. Though you can’t make out her face quite yet…but…if she would just walk down the steps…a little more…maybe you can start walking towards her to speed it up a bit…ahhh…can almost…OK, YOU CAN SEE HER NOW, WHAT DOES SHE LOOK LIKE?! (PS: SHE MUST LOOK LIKE A YOUNGISH FEMALE CELEBRITY.) From Variety:

Disney would like to slip the glass slipper onto Emma Watson as the star of “Cinderella.”

While the actress does not yet have the role, Watson is in very early talks with the studio to play the character in the live action adaptation that Kenneth Branagh will direct, and Simon Kinberg will produce. Cate Blanchett will play the wicked stepmother.

Disney would not comment on the discussions with Watson. It also considered Gabriella Wilde (“The Three Musketeers”), Imogen Poots (“Need for Speed”) and Alicia Vikander (“Anna Karenina”), but couldn’t lock down deals due to scheduling and other considerations.

I don’t know who any of those other people are, but I googled their names just now and they are all super beautiful FYI. DO NOT WORRY ABOUT THAT. Disney knows what they’re doing in the “finding a beautiful actress with perfect skin to consider for the role of Cinderella” category. But do they know what they’re doing in the “CASTING THE RIGHT ONE” category?! IS EMMA WATSON YOUR DREAM IRL CINDERELLA?! If it were up to me I would probably go with Brit Marling and it would be a much darker retelling of Cinderella and it would be about a cult and it would be fucking perfect, but that is just me. Or maybe I would be Cinderella and Aaron Paul would be the prince? Or maybe it would just be Gilmore Girls. Hard to say! Maybe you should put together a March Madness-style bracket with your friends about possible Disney Cinderellas. First round: ELIZABETH OLSEN VS. DAKOTA FANNING. That will be so much fun! You can put it on your Tumblrs. Anyway, who’s your Cinderella? Who who who?

Comments (63)
  1. Gosh, who knows? Maybe my dream Cinderella is the Disney Studios’ dream Cinderella. I will definitely not see this movie nonetheless, but I will also not take my 2-year-old sister to see this either. Down with princesses! Up with feminists!

    • I want to make a Cinderella where the fairy godmother (Tilda Swinton) refuses to take Ella to be ball (and also refuses to call her cinderella since dude, not cool) and instead helps her start a rebellion against the repressive monarchical regime, eventually overthrowing the sitting government and creating an egalitarian rule. She and the ex-prince become buddies (it won’t do to teach kids to hate the rich, after all), and she takes a series of lovers throughout her life not because her best means of survival are attaching herself to another party capable of acting in the world but because she chooses to, and never marries.

      I don’t know what happens to the wicked stepmother yet. Probably banishment or flaming iron shoes. Grimm 4 lyfe

    • I’m always confused when girls/women want to be princesses. It’s like having “being the vice-president” as a life goal. Princesses can’t do anything! Be a queen and make shit happen, ladies! Cleopatra this shit up!

      • To be fair, perhaps they just want the royal trappings without any responsibilities. And are thus bourgeoisie swine to be overthrown by the people.

      • I don’t think there is anything in the world that fills me with more contempt and vitriolic anger than the Disney Princess campaigns.

      • I wonder if it’s more an issue of girls wanting to be beautiful/glamorous/dressed up which is more widely reinforced than just “princess” and that girls see princess as the epitome of that? I read a thing once about how young girls are often complimented on how cute/pretty/attractive they are compared to boys so they very early start to place more value is their appearance. Bummers all around, just a thought.

        • mollyshannon-dontevengetmestarted.gif (I really wish this was a real gif. I would use it so much!)

        • My very basic addition to truckasaurus’s point, something I remember my sisters and I thinking when we were kids, is that queens are old and princesses are young. Perceived anyway.

    • There’s a novel my ex once told me about how Disney is psychologically making young women idealize princesses and that is their whole thing. Obviously, I don’t think it’s that drastic. But I will say that the Disney cartoon movies of the 80s-90s were princess movies. Belle, Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, etc. When actually, like flanny said, they should strive to be something more. So I will only watch movies like Wall-E or Up! with Susie* because nary a princess is portrayed!

      *my two-year-old sister

      • as if this was just limited to disney. there is a huge market for dolls that train women to be childcare givers while boys are encouraged to play with legos and circuit systems (no lie, my nephew has the coolest electrical circuit toy that allows you to play with all sorts of crazy sounds and fans and lights. my niece and i abscond with it and play engineer because down with the patriarchy). this makes me so angry.

        • DON’T EVEN GET ME STARTED ON TOY STORES!

          • Starting at the age of 8, I recognized the Barbie aisle as the ‘Hot Pink Aisle of Yuck,’ although I came up with that name in my tweens, or right around my early teenage years.

            One could spot the aisle from a mile away, and I would avoid it at all costs. My mindset was one of, “G.I. Joe toys are not in the Hot Pink Aisle of Yuck. Neither are Ghostbusters nor Transformers, nor Star Wars nor Battle Beasts. It is a No-Man’s land. I will only go to there if my sister has gone missing because that is where she will be, obviously.”

      • The book is called Cinderella Ate My Daughter and it’s very very good. I’m still amazed people at Disney spoke on record because that place is insane.

        Also, a fun thing to ask little girls who want to be princesses is when they’re starting their 8 languages and etiquette training and public policy stuff and basically anything else that an actual princess would have to do to be considered good at her job. And take anything they’re eating away because princesses have to be very VERY thin.

      • Not sure when my next opportunity will be, so I’ll get this off me chest here. I straight up bawled my eyes out as a grown-ass man when EVE was watching the video of Wall-E taking care of here when she was in her awaiting-transport coma. That is some real love, some love I want children to be exposed to, not just chasing a fleeting vision of a party-crush’s perfect feet. That being said, my special lady does have some cute-ass feet, but I’d also hold a busted-add umbrella over her during a coma.

      • Ug. I’m sorry, but I gotta just get up in this. I hate the marketing toward little girls and women about princesses, -a lot-. But I hate just as much people saying, well I’m only giving my girl “gender neutral” toys! because by that they normally just mean toys that are as sexist as girls toys in favour of boys and typical masculinity. All this does, to me, is reinforce that feminine = BAD and masculine = GOOD paradigm. The same goes with trying to stamp out girls watching the “princess” Disney movies but okay-ing things like Up and Wall-E. I like both of those movies very much, but only okay-ing movies where all the heroes are male is hardly a better route, in my view.
        Honestly, trying to keep kids from watching/having certain things can just make those things mysterious and enticing they have to find in secret and use to rebel against you later. I grew up being given anything – remote controlled cars, legos, Barbies, Little Mermaid costumes – and I’m freaking fine. I loved Disney princesses and I was still good at math and science and am a strong feminist who relies on no man to get through my adult life. Is the princess and Barbie marketing of little girls still gross? Totally, it’s horrible, and I hate it. But trying to tell girls they’re bad for liking anything about them is also garbage.

        • My boss has a 3 year-old son who was given a lot of hand me down toys from cousins. He showed us a picture he took of Boba Fett in a bright pink dollhouse bathtub, because his son decided that Boba Fett needed a bath. I love that picture for showing that kids will play with anything you give them regardless of color/gender, up until they get to preschool and become self-aware and announce that things are “for boys” or “for girls.”

        • Much of my ire is directed at the production and waste aspects of creating a false need and accompanying market. And having slave kids in poor countries make those toys. And the packaging. And the distribution. And how it all ends up in a landfill after the phase is over. But I think this about most things. Landfill fodder. All of it. Don’t have kids. Live in a yurt. Grow your own vegetables and only eat fruit that falls off a tree so you don’t harm the tree. Get your nutrients from air, etc.

          • This message sent by smoke signals from badideajeans’ hermitage in the Sierras.*

            * I agree with you on most of that. Except for the tree thing. Sometimes I just really want a peach and a tree is being a jerk about it.

          • We’re having a freegan air weekend next weekend. You should come! Bring your own urban foraging! (Ewww, gross. You can have some of mine, don’t eat weird grasses you find in downtown SF.)

        • hear, hear! As the younger brother to two sisters in an open-minded home, I too got full doses of all kinds of playthings and think that was a great way to grow up. I will say though, that while I realize your statement “okay-ing things like Up and Wall-E” was just to point out that they had male protagonists, I would nuance the comparison a little. Though Wall-E gives its title and majority of screen time to its male protagonist, it still has a more balanced view of male and female roles than a princess movie. They both have strength, purpose, independence, sensitivity and take care of each other when the other is in need. I agree whole-heartedly with your thesis. I do think that, while not perfect, this isn’t a simple Boy movie vs. GIRL movie case. One is superior to the other in the treatment of gender. That being said, wall-e is physically boxy, and construction-equipment-y while EVE is sleek, clean and curvy, which carves some points off perhaps…

          In any case, a comment well crafted and befitting your avatar.

          • I would just like to point out, selfishly, that I am a man who grew up with an older sister that had friends. I would say “more friends than me” but I didn’t have friends until about 3rd grade. So in lieu of my own friends, I hung out with my sister and her friends playing Barbie and tea-time and house and all the typical things because I wanted to be apart of the group. My mom, on the other hand, thought that my friendlessness was a problem and feared that I wasn’t living up to my gender by playing with toys that my sister and her friends had. So my mom and I watched scary movies, action movies, thrillers, etc. to keep me interested in cool male-oriented genres.

            In the end, I turned out with a BA in English Lit. from UCSB, and an Admin job at Harvard. I have a relationship with another consenting adult, and I will watch romcoms any day, as well as dramas and thrillers and Grey’s Anatomy and Girls and Breaking Bad and Jersey Shore. Almost anything. I honestly think that that book, “Cinderella Ate My Daughter” is a good read, but in essence I think the child will do what the child will do. (When I visit my little sister, I usually take her to a bookstore or a library and let her pick out what she wants me to read to her, and it usually is a book about animals or bugs.)

          • I can see the gender stereotype thing in the Eve/Wall-e construction, but I also love the description a reviewer gave that Wall-e is Windows and Eve is Mac (though Wall-e does use the Mac startup noise). I now just see that contrast rather than Eve emulating “feminine curves.”

          • There are definitely a lot of ways to read Wall-E ( Wall-E loves a classic Barbra Streisand musical, which is decidedly a-typical for traditional masculinity, for example), and it’s an interesting movie. The short of my feelings toward Pixar is though is summed up as simply, “I’m not mad, I’m just disappointed.” The create these interesting, beautiful stories that are essentially gender neutral, but their worlds are overwhelmingly filled with male characters. It’s really hard to ignore as a girl watching. I was 8 or 9 when “Toy Story” came out and even as a kid I wondered why.

            Thank you, by the way. Your comments are very thoughtful as well.

          • My Cheetara action figure (from Thundercats) was my golden ticket for hanging out with girls playing with their Barbies. It all worked out pretty well. We were kids learning to socialize.

        • Straight up real talk. There’s no wrong way to be a girl, and there’s nothing wrong with “girl” things. It’s the market that ONLY provides “girl” things that’s the problem, not the little girl who loves wearing a pink fluffy dress and a tiara.

      • Of the 80s-90s princesses, I will defend Ariel here because her story had a very progressive/real element to it, insofar as her transformation into a human being (aka out of innocent fish childhood) came with sexual-maturity undertones. (Actually this element is downright subversive given the Disney context.) She lost her uni-body and therefore became capable of sex (two legs = fuckable, amirite?) and yet it wasn’t just being bone-able and pretty that was going to win her true love — she needed to be able to talk. And sing (have a talent?). Ursula, being wise, knew this and took her voice to ruin her chances. Ultimately Ariel saved the prince from being duped into an evil wedding, right? So she’s also the action hero, not the damsel in distress. Kudos to Ariel, Disney’s most fuckable princess!

        (I watched this movie 10-20 times in a college dorm. I hope I remember it accurately.)

        • I agree with your point about sexual maturity surely. Wasn’t the little mermaid one of the original, back-in-the-day fairytales, with all the juicy undercurrent of alagory and didacticism? BUT whenever I think about the legs this, it just reminds me of how rednecks from Maine (and perhaps other places, that just where my personal experience lies) call women “split-tails”..*shudder*

    • Princesses can also be feminists, just saying.

      • In the real world, sure. But Disney princesses are not allowed to even make plausible eye contact if featured together on marketing or packaging. Literally. Allowed. You will get reprimanded if you do it by accident.

        • Okay, but that seems like one facet or a much larger issue that’s not confined to Disney or Princesses. There are plenty of critiques of the way they’re marketed and emphasized to the exclusion of all else and sometimes diluted and made more problematic in post-movie incarnations (Mulan is always produced or shown wearing her matchmaker’s dress, which she was demonstrably uncomfortable in and which did not suit her at all, etc.), but that doesn’t make this idea that “girl” things are bad and girls shouldn’t be allowed to want them or have them or LIKE them any less of a problem. That’s shifting the paradigm, not destroying it. And it punishes girls who happen to really like traditionally feminine toys and stories by stigmatizing “girliness” and making it lesser or wrong.

          I just don’t see any value in any environment that encourages traits in girls below the surface and then punishes them for having those traits above the surface. Teaching girls how to be passive basically from birth, which is pretty much what our society does whether you have any Disney Princess or not, and then turning around and criticizing them for relating to stories with passive female characters is pretty unfair.

  2. I am obviously not the target market for this and have basically no investment in it, but I will say this: at least Emma Watson seems to off as a reasonably intelligent person, rather than a vacant flibbertigibbet, so the movie will probably be a slightly less awful impossible role model for little girls than if it was Miley Cyrus or Hayden Panettiere or whoever.

  3. Cinderella. The hair band. I don’t know, but that’s my pick.

  4. So, would you say she’s a SHOE-IN?

    I’m hilarious.

  5. She is MY Cinderella

  6. My pick is actually Imogen Poots. She has kind of buck teeth and I think it’s wonderful.

    I remember when I went to see the first Harry Potter, I was in college, and I went with one of my guy friends. On the ride to the theater, we were talking about how we felt about the casting, and the guy friend said something like, ‘All I know is that girl who plays Hermione is going to be so HOT.’ I judged him because she is but a child in that film and that is gross. But I guess in the long run, he was right. (But Ron is hotter.)

  7. I have no opinion except that Cate Blanchett is the best and should be in every movie.

  8. my cinderella looks like america ferrera or the musical artist trina. also she doesn’t marry a man who doesn’t even remember what she looks like. he has to search the entire goddamn kingdom because he can’t put a face to a fucking shoe? sounds like an idiot to me.

  9. We watch every episode of Say Yes to the Dress, and my husband thinks that every time one of the brides says she wants to look like a princess, a little person should come running out and slap her.

  10. I was a bit of a tomboy growing up, so I never really got into the princess thing. Also, I feel like it was less prevalent in the early 90s, at least in terms of princess-branded stuff. But I did watch Cinderella all the time. I think I just really liked the talking mice and the fairy godmother. I had no desire to be Cinderella, I wanted to be Robin Hood. Way cooler.

  11. I thought the trend was to have Lena Dunham play Cinderella in an ironic self-conscious way. I guess Disney couldn’t break her “forced nudity” clause.

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  13. Oh man, I’m bummed that this post is a few days old, because no one is going to see this now! But I am compelled to overshare anyway. I attended the same university that Emma Watson also (briefly!) attended, and I always had the vague hope that I would see her from afar. (I’m from New York…if you dare even ironically approach a celebrity, your NY driver’s license is revoked.)

    So anyway, one day…when I was working at the university’s writing center, Emma Watson came in for an appointment! The coordinator saw my wide, starstruck eyes and huge grin, immediately marked me as a big Harry Potter fan, and promptly assigned Emma to work with someone else. But still! She sat right behind me. She is impossibly tiny and gorgeous in person and we breathed the same air for like 25 minutes.

    I’ll…see myself out.

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