Kenneth Branagh‘s “Cinderella” is an enchanting take on an age-old tale — but don’t let the live-action version fool you, there are plenty of references to it’s animated predecessor.
While Disney’s original was full of music, talking animals and fairy dust, the update winks at its classic in moments that all audiences will appreciate.
Cinderella’s signature blue birds
While the cartoon version has a team of bluebirds bathe and dress Cinderella, they’re not entirely missing from the new film. A pair of the winged helpers appear in sweeping shots of Cinderella’s (Lily James) pastoral estate and occasionally on a windowsill.
The troublemaking, over-eating brown mouse Gus makes an appearance — and even gets a name-check from James — hoarding his signature stack of cheese.
Fairy Godmother Catchphrase
Again, there’s no music in Branagh’s take on “Cinderella,” but Helena Bonham Carter in the role of fairy godmother manages to eek out a “Bippitty Boppity Boo.” What would the film be without it?
Cate Blanchett is plenty terrifying as Lady Tremaine, her version of the Evil Stepmother with a Bette Davis twist, but she comes armed with the same sidekick as the animated film — a villanous grey cat named Lucifer.
Bells, Bells, Bells
The lyrics didn’t lie — night and day, it’s “Cinderella!” After the death of her father, James’ heroine is forced into servitude and plays maid to her stepmother and stepsisters. In a quick flash, we see the famous service bells clanging off the hook, demanding chores and assistance from the future princess.
Perhaps the sweetest of Easter eggs, “Sweet Nightingale” is a simple ballad penned for the 1950 animation, and James gets to belt a verse while feeding a stable full of animals.
The Harried Kingsman