And on the third day there was Disney.
CinemaCon 2014 continued Wednesday with a presentation from The Mouse House, which treated the audience to mostly familiar fare: extended trailers for "Captain America: The Winter Soldier," "Guardians of the Galaxy," "Maleficent," and "Planes Fire and Rescue." Although the Disney folks steered clear of the hoped-for "Star Wars" teases, there was some new footage among the highlights: the first sneak peek at next year's live-action "Cinderella" and a more polished clip from Pixar's "Inside Out," which was previously screened at Disney's D23 convention last August, but in very rough, unfinished form.
"Cinderella" brought loads of star power to the show. Directed by Kenneth Branagh ("Thor," "My Week With Marilyn"), the film features Oscar winner Cate Blanchett as the Evil Stepmother, Helena Bonham Carter as the Fairy Godmother, "Game of Thrones" fan favorite Richard Madden as Prince Charming, and "Downton Abbey" troublemaker Lily James as the titular Cinderella.
Based on the footage screened, the storyline (and many of the costumes) take cues straight from the beloved 1950 animated film. There are of course welcome additions here and there, like brief glimpses of Cinderella's mother (Hayley Atwell) playing with her daughter before her death and a pre-ball meet-cute between our protagonist and Prince Charming (Madden) in the forest.
Blanchett and Bonham Carter chomp all the scenery in sight and do so in high fashion. Blanchett's Lady Tremaine/Evil Stepmother wears huge ornate hats, brightly colored silks and immaculately tailored dresses — a stark contrast to Bonham Carter, who first appears as an elderly woman Cinderella sees as a beggar. The transformation from tattered, drapey rags into a beautiful, shiny fairy-like princess dress is a treat.
And let's not forget James's Cinderella, whose wardrobe enhances her wide-eyed innocence and good nature shining through every scene. The ball gown is clearly inspired by the classic film, but in a more deep blue color with embroidered or beaded accents around the top.
The tone and look of the film is very much the fairy tale, full of vibrant colors and a little bit of magic — which is what we expect from a Branagh-directed, Disney-produced version of this tale. Oh and Madden as Prince Charming is Prince Charming. All handsome smiles, impeccable manners; ready to fall in love with Cinderella and into the hearts of all the young impressionable future audience members.
"Cinderella" opens March 13, 2015.