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5 Surprises in Disney's Cinderella Reboot Trailer

This, my friends, is not your mother’s "Cinderella." Walt Disney Studios recently released a trailer for the new-fangled version of their princess reboot. This was one of those “trailer” events with the two minutes and 40 seconds of fairy tale fanciness trending on Facebook, Twitter and snagging over 4.5 million views on YouTube.

Yup, this was big news for princess lovers both young and old.

Disney’s new "Cinderella" features bigger dresses, grander carriages and a cast that is way more human than Disney’s original 1950 animated telling of the centuries old tale. And you know what? There are some things that kinda shocked me. Plus, one big question loomed large in my mind. What surprises were presented in the teaser?

1. We meet Cinderella’s mother!

Of course she’s beautiful and has a soothing voice perfect for story time — or even just reading through the dictionary. Her voice in like honey. She totally looks like what you’d think Cinderella’s mother would look like. But in the small amount of screentime that we see her, you can tell she’s not long for this world. She has “I’m gonna die soon” written all over her. And it isn’t a Disney movie without a missing parent.

2. Apparently, Cinderella’s name is Ella.

Makes total sense right? I just never thought of it. There is a scene where her obnoxious step-sisters bestow this new moniker onto Ella with much laughter. And you know, she totally looks like an Ella.

3. The mice are naked!

One of my favorite things about the 1950 version is that the mice are so unlike those who invade my own basement. They walk on their hind feet, they talk and they wear cute little outfits. The mice in the reboot actually look like mice, scampering about on all four totally naked without a blazer or vest in sight.

4. The Fairy Godmother is hot.

The Fairy Godmother of yore was a plump, oversized, robe-wearing and grandmotherly senior. We meet this new version of the Fairy Godmother looking like Snow White’s Hag, but she transforms into a corset wearing, cleavage showing babe played by the one and only Helena Bonham Carter.

5. The glass slippers are actually wearable.

I could never get down with the concept of glass slippers. Of all the things that could be made of glass, shoes would be at the top of the “not” list. But there is Cinderella, not just wearing glass slippers but dancing and running in them. They, thankfully, address this leap of fashion logic with the Fairy Godmother declaring to Cinderella that, “You’ll find they’re really comfortable.”

6. Cate Blanchett makes a really good “Big Bad.”

Well, this one really isn’t a shocker because Cate Blanchett can do anything. Here, we get a taste of the Academy Award-winning actress as Lady Tremaine, aka: the evil stepmother. Oh, and she is oh-so-good at being bad!

7. There are not so subtle life lessons.

This film has a message that apparently Cinderella takes to heart (even when she is forced into servitude). Her mother gives her the advice to “have courage and be kind,” and that “where there is kindness, there is goodness and where there is goodness there is magic.” I’m all for kindness, goodness and magic.

But my biggest curiosity is about the overall narrative of the classic Cinderella tale – the one where Prince Charming comes to rescue the poor helpless Cinderella from a life of slavery and abuse. Will this new Cinderella be more powerful than powerless?

Recently, Disney has been taking a far more, may I say, feminist stance in their films? Tiana of "Princess and the Frog" became a driven business woman. In the end of "Tangled," Rapunzel ended up saving the life of her male co-star. Merida in "Brave" was one tough cookie, who really didn’t need or want a prince. And in "Frozen," the overall story was about sisterhood, not boys, and it turns out that sometimes those who present themselves as Prince Charmings turn out to be neither princely or charming.

In keeping with these more modern narratives, it seems that there will be some sort of twist a la "Maleficent" (where Maleficent becomes more mother than adversary to young Aurora) in "Cinderella." The details of a twist or changes in narrative are yet to be announced. But if they opt to go the road they’ve been going, then I, for one, am excited to meet another kick-ass princess — mostly for the sake of my Disney-loving daughter. The more strong roles in movies, the better. But we’ll have to wait and see. The trailer is out now, but the movie doest hit theaters until March 2015.

Image via Walt Disney Studios

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