This is a list of the Best Live-Action Fairy Tale movies that were reviewed. In a lot of ways this list was harder than the worst list since I had the opposite problem there were a dearth of stellar movies but somehow it hit that target.

 

Number #10 

Gemma Craven as Cinderella and Richard Chamberlain as Prince Edward The Slipper and the Rose Cinderella picture image

Gemma Craven as Cinderella and Richard Chamberlain as Prince Edward

The Slipper and the Rose – Originally this was the movie for the surprised/liked list but it broke off from that for  a few reasons. The biggest reason is this the only Cinderella movie that have the godmother doing more stuff for Cinderella and gives a reason for why the magic has a limit. It also just addresses some other issue with the story and while characters aren’t amazing they are likable and there is more than just the Cinderella story being told. Plus the songs and the costumes are awesome.

 

Number #9

Jen with the Skeksis Chamberlain The Dark Crystal picture image

Jen with the Skeksis Chamberlain

The Dark Crystal – There really isn’t anything quite like The Dark Crystal. It has a lot of artistry,  imagination, and heart. The story is dark yet complex and still fairly accessible.

Number #8 

Libuše Šafránková as Cinderella with Pavel Trávníček as the Prince at the ball Three Wishes for Cinderella picture image

Libuše Šafránková as Cinderella with Pavel Trávníček as the Prince at the ball

Three Wishes for Cinderella – In a lot of ways this movie is another breath of fresh air for the Cinderella story. While  there is magic there is no fairy godmother but instead an owl and hazelnuts. Cinderella in this version is very able; she rides, hunts and is clever while still being kind. I do like that she veils her face so no one can recognizes her, even the prince. Plus the snow landscapes are lovely.

 

Number #7 

Ron Perlman as One and Judith Vittet as Miette The City of Lost Children picture image

Ron Perlman as One and Judith Vittet as Miette

City of Lost Children – You don’t get much more surreal than this one. The weird imaginary just adds so much to this story that it makes it more of a fairy tale.

Number #6

Ivana Baquero as Ofelia with Faun Pan’s Labyrinth picture image

Ivana Baquero as Ofelia with Faun

Pan’s Labyrinth – This movie is intoxicating. It combines a beautiful dark fairy tale with the horrors of reality within the context of Fascist Spain. I do wish that it wasn’t so balanced between the two settings as the fairy tale elements were better but that could be just wanting more of it.

 

Number #5

Noah Hathaway as Atreyu and Falkor The Neverending Story picture image

Noah Hathaway as Atreyu and Falkor

The Never Ending Story –  This movie traumatized so many children in the 80’s but it’s just pure uncut nostalgia that you can’t deny it. While it does have complex idea at play the philosophies in this story are lovely. Plus Falcor is awesome.

Number #4 

Johnny Depp as Edward Scissorhands & Winona Ryder as Kim Boggs Edward Scissorhands picture image

Johnny Depp as Edward Scissorhands & Winona Ryder as Kim Boggs

Edward Scissorhands – Edward Scissorhands effortlessly combines a lot of fairy tale tropes into a modern setting. It’s a beautiful bittersweet tale that is very emotionally charged.

Number #3

Drew Barrymore as Danielle and Dougray Scott as Prince Henry Ever After: A Cinderella Story picture image

Drew Barrymore as Danielle and Dougray Scott as Prince Henry

Ever After – Let’s not pretend that this isn’t the best Cinderella movie. This movie gives story gives Cinderella a.k.a Danielle  the most acengy she can possible have while still being the Cinderella character and it does it well. All the Cinderella elements are there is someway but the are elevated in such a way that makes them make sense in the story and the world. Plus it’s a fun movie with great costumes.

 

Number #2

Cary Elwes as Westley and Robin Wright as Buttercup The Princess Bride picture image

Cary Elwes as Westley and Robin Wright as Buttercup

The Princess Bride – Another nostalgia bomb. I’m not sure would really understand a person if the didn’t like something about this movie, it literally has everything and it’s super entertaining and vastly quotable.

 

Number #1

Josette Day as Belle and Jean Marais as The Beast La Belle et la Bete Jean Cocteau 1946 picture image

Josette Day as Belle and Jean Marais as The Beast

La Belle et la Bete – There should be no surprise here, that the 1946 Belle et la Bete movie would be number one.  It’s just so perfect. It’s only flaw is that it knows it’s flawed and the story doesn’t make sense so it tells you to keep your childlike sensibility and just hits you with a dream-like movie.

I do hope the Disney Live-action remake will be on the level of the 1946 movie. Maybe when it comes out next year I will review it but till then the blog is moving on.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Slipper and the Rose Cinderella picture image

The Slipper and the Rose

The Slipper and the Rose is another title I randomly found. It was made in 1976 and it was based on a book of the same name. From what I can gather it was musical movie not based on a stage show, which was more of the standard back then. These days it’s more typical that movies are based of a pre-exiting stage show unless it’s Disney.

Anyway this is a Cinderella movie. So we have have seen intellectually ass-kicking Cinderella, a Gandhi type Cinderella and one who likes nuts but how does this one compare? Well Cinderella in this one is nice, as in the norm but this movie isn’t really Cinderella’s story it’s more about the Prince.

Gemma Craven as Cinderella and Richard Chamberlain as Prince Edward The Slipper and the Rose Cinderella picture image

Gemma Craven as Cinderella and Richard Chamberlain as Prince Edward

The plot is quite simple but have some differences. Prince Edward of some made-up European country, Euphrania, is being pushed to marry a royal princess for both succession and secure an army. Edward however would rather marry for love and doesn’t fancy any of the princesses.

Meanwhile, Cinderella’s‘ father has died and she is pushed into serving for her mean stepmother and dum-dum step sisters. It was either that or go to an orphanage. One day Cinderella seeks off to her parents graves. She then spies on the Prince who does notice her. When she returns home her stepmother is mad at her and gives her a mountain of vegetables to prep. She then gets a visit from a woman who has magical powers who gives her a dog and while Cinderella’s back is turned finishes her prep work.

The King arranges a ‘Bride Finding Ball” for the Prince which he is not keen on but his  foppish cousin wants a lady. Also there is a subplot that Edward’s servant companion, John, is in love with a lady too far above him and his position in life makes him unable to anything about. The king extends invite to his subject to fill up the room. The stepmother and the step-sisters miss their chance to get new gowns she Cinderella is forced to rework old gowns into new ones. She doesn’t do a good job and the magical woman visits her again and she reveals she is a fairy Godmother. The Fairy Godmother does Cinderella work and stepmother and the girls are please. The Fairy Godmother decides to revisit Cinderella and decide she will borrow magic to get Cinderella to the ball. The magic has to be return at midnight so she must leave before then.

Cinderella makes her entrance as Princess. Edward falls instantly in love with her. They dance and bond for a little but she runs away at midnight and leaves her very dainty glass slipper. Edward does the customary slipper search but can’t find her. Three months later Edward makes a monument to his lost love. He then elevates John to a knight so he can go after his lady love. Edwards get mad and throw the slipper away off some tower.

Cinderella’s dog finds it and brings her to it. John sees Cinderella and tells Edward. Edward and Cinderella reunite and decide to get married. Edward asks the stepmother for permission which she grants and Cinderella forgives her which the stepmother doesn’t take kindly too.

The political implications of Edward marry a girl without the aid of a strong country backing her prompts the king to send Cinderella into exile. Cinderella then asks the Chamberlin to lie to Edward saying that she never loved him. Edward mad that he has lost his love twice says he will marry who ever father wants but the line ends with him.

On the day of Edward’s wedding, The Fairy Godmother sees Cinderella in exile saying this wasn’t her plan and now she will have to something spectacular. As Edward is getting married Cinderella comes down the aisle after the bride which causes a commation. The Fairy Godmother convinces the King to allow the marriage and makes it so Edward’s cousin and the Princess Edward was suppose to marry to fall in love. And thus Cinderella and Edward get married.

Gemma Craven as Cinderella and Annette Crosbie as the Fairy Godmother The Slipper and the Rose Cinderella picture image

Gemma Craven as Cinderella and Annette Crosbie as the Fairy Godmother

I knew nothing about this movie so I was very surprised to actually like it as much as I did. It’s very entertaining. Is it deep with developed characters? Yes and no. There isn’t much to Cinderella though she does have a bit of a mouth of her when the stepmother first made her a maid. She also doesn’t except anything from the ball and meeting the Prince. He wanted marriage and she wanted a fun night out, they make that clear. But this movie does give the Prince a.k.a Edward and the Fairy Godmother more to do.

A common complaint I have seen about the Fairy Godmother is that she only helped Cinderella go to ball after years of abuse. Here she does help her more than once and Cinderella wasn’t subject to years of indentured servitude, maybe nine months, tops. Also I like that movie gives a reason for why Cinderella must leave before Midnight instead the standard magic shit just wears off.

Gemma Craven as Cinderella and Richard Chamberlain as Prince Edward The Slipper and the Rose Cinderella picture image

Gemma Craven as Cinderella and Richard Chamberlain as Prince Edward

This movie is really about the Prince. His motivation is just he just wants to be in love with someone he wants. Not a deep or novel motivation but it works. The movie builds up the class systems and how it’s in opposition to Edward’s desire. In fact every song with the exception of the the Fairy Godmother/Cinderella’s make over song is either about Positions in society or love/marriages.

Gemma Craven as Cinderella The Slipper and the Rose Cinderella picture image

Gemma Craven as Cinderella

The reason why the simplicity of the characters work is because this movie is really well acted. The actors sell everything. Edward and Cinderella have such a good chemistry with each other that it makes up for their love at first sight love. I don’t think the roles are hard to play but they do a good job conveying everything. For example right before Cinderella enters the ball Edward makes this face the indicated he annoyed by another Princess arriving but then his face lights up when he sees her. It’s a subtle little thing but it a good example of the acting in this movie.

Gemma Craven as Cinderella and Richard Chamberlain as Prince Edward The Slipper and the Rose Cinderella picture image

Gemma Craven as Cinderella and Richard Chamberlain as Prince Edward

So at last we come to the technicals. Well this movie is very stagey in its editing and direction. I can see this being off putting to some. I didn’t mind it. It’s not the best but I think it adds the tone of the movie. The songs aren’t amazing but they are fun. I didn’t hate any of them. Protocolligorically Correct might have been my favorite.

Now the costumes. They were wonderful. They were all impeccable and just added so much to the vibe of the movie. They were in that 1740’s style of fashion. They even recreate Jean-Honoré Fragonard’s Swing painting for Cinderella’s exile gown. Even Cinderella’s working dress is pretty. However there is an subtly in the way the movie presents the costumes that it doesn’t really call attention to itself as it just woven seamlessly into the film. I think comes the movie keeps to one style and all the costume even for the extra seems just as lovely as the ones for the leading characters, with some exceptions.

Gemma Craven as Cinderella and Annette Crosbie as the Fairy Godmother The Slipper and the Rose Cinderella picture image

Gemma Craven as Cinderella and Annette Crosbie as the Fairy Godmother

Is The Slipper and the Rose the best Cinderella movie version? Maybe not but it is very enjoyable. I would recommend it if you want 2 hours of fun songs, beautiful costumes and likable acting.

One clue this week because I’m making it too easy.