The tale of Cinderella has been heard and read for many generations. The idea of rags to riches has appealed to countless readers through varying accounts. The plot of Cinderella has become a traditional theme. Through different cultures and eras the theme has seen many copies, remakes, twists and views in literature, theater and film. Today’s era of blended families and conflicts in class statuses may be why Cinderella has been a classic. One of those twists is seen in the film Ella Enchanted. Ella Enchanted is not the same story, Cinderella redone, but has similar theme with varying differences.
A version of Cinderella has been written by Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm. The brothers collected and researched folk tales early in the 19th century in Germany at a time of the French invasion under Napoleon in an effort to preserve the folklore stories. The brothers “are recognized as pioneers in the field of folklore research” (O’Niell). Although it was not their original intention, the brothers became famous children’s literature writers.
Jacob Ludwig Carl Grimm and Wilhelm Grimm were born in Hanau, Germany. Jacob was born on January 4, 1785 and Wilhelm on February 24, 1786 to Philipp Wilhelm and Dorothea Grimm (Ashliman). The brothers’ upbringing began in a middle class lifestyle. Things drastically changed upon the death of their father in 1796. With financial assistance from an aunt Jacob and Wilhelm move to Kassel to attend Lyzeum. They proved themselves through hard work and ten hours a day studying. Sharing the same quarters, the long hours of immersing themselves in their studies was in effort to cope with loneliness and enduring social slights. Both brothers graduated head of their class. Wilhelm, already in poor health, suffered under the strict educational schedule. He struggled with bouts of asthma (O’Niell).
In 1808 the brothers lost their mother leaving Jacob and Wilhelm to manage family matters and provide for their siblings (Tartar 391). Jacob accepted a position as a librarian in Kassel and Wilhelm soon joined him. It is during this time that the brothers began collecting folklore. In 1812 their first volume, Children's and Household Tales, is published. Wilhelm passed away at the age of 73 in December 1859 followed by Jacob in September 1863 at the age of 78 (Ashliman). Their stories have been redone and retold many times over.
One such story line is seen in the movie Ella Enchanted, financed by Miramax films and directed by Tommy O'Haver. Tommy O’Haver, born October 1968 in Indianapolis, Indiana, began his career making Super-8 movies at a young age (IMDb.com: Tommy O'Haver). Studying journalism, he intended to become an art critic and moved to Los Angeles in 1991 to work in the film industry. He began in the mailroom at New Line and worked his way up to video publicity. During his studies at University of Southern California, he made several short films that were shown at film festivals that received positive responses. He directed Billy’s Hollywood Screen Kiss in 1998 and Get Over It in 2001 before directing Ella Enchanted in 2004 ("Tommy O'Haver"). He continues to direct with six more features under his credit up to his most recent film, An American Crime, in 2007.
Miramax Films, a subsidiary of the Walt Disney Company, backed the production of Ella Enchanted. The company was founded by the Weinstein brothers, Bob and Harvey, in 1979. In 1993 they sold Miramax to the Disney company “for the greater stability that outside funding would bring” (Uhle). The company would still remain in New York but films would be distributed through Buena Vista, another subsidiary of Disney. In 2005 they left and formed their own company but Miramax remained a part of Disney.
The story of Cinderella opens with the death of her mother and the grief she feels of her loss. Soon her father remarries a woman with two daughters. Although the daughters were beautiful on the outside, on the...