Kay Cannon’s Cinderella, a 2021 take on the classic story, will be not be available to watch on Disney+. We break down the history surrounding why.
The new Cinderella, starring Camila Cabello in the titular role, is on Amazon Prime instead of Disney+. There have been several adaptations of the classic story over the last several decades, including Disney’s beloved animated film released in 1950. That adaptation ultimately led the studio to remake Cinderella in live-action in 2015, nearly two decades after it released the Brandy and Whitney Houston-starring Cinderella musical in 1997.
However, the latest iteration of Cinderella isn’t a Disney film. Produced by Columbia Pictures and distributed by Amazon Studios (in theaters and on its Amazon Prime Video streaming service), 2021’s Cinderella, a modern twist on the classic fairytale audiences have come to know and love, has no association with Disney. While the story of Cinderella is so closely tied with Disney, the studio actually doesn’t own the original story of the young woman who went on to become a princess. It’s a story that has been retold throughout the centuries, and has many different iterations depending on the region and time period from which it hails.
It was popularized in the English-speaking parts of the world by Charles Perrault, with one of the more recognizable versions of the story being written by the Brothers Grimm. It’s just that Disney, due to its movie history with the story since 1950, is most closely associated with it and it’s easy to assume that Kay Cannon’s Cinderella would also be a Disney production. Considering Cinderella’s place in pop culture, however, the story can be (and has been) adapted by several different studios. Before Disney acquired the studio in 2019, 20th Century Fox released Ever After, starring Drew Barrymore and Dougray Scott, with Miramax Films (formerly a Disney acquisition) releasing Ella Enchanted starring Anne Hathaway in 2004.
Beyond these titles, there have been a plethora of movies about Cinderella. And while they all had different takes on the story, most of them involved some core and recognizable element from the story — be that losing a glass shoe, having a terrible stepmother, or employing the rags-to-riches trope. 2021’s Cinderella, a musical version of the tale with a lot of new twists on the story, including the title character’s ambitions to become a fashion designer, will be available to stream on Amazon Prime Video. And, because it was produced and distributed by two studios that are not associated with Disney in any way, won’t be available on Disney+ (now or in the future).
So while Ever After can now be streamed on Disney+ due to the company’s ownership of 20th Century Studios, the latest Cinderella won’t be going that route. The story of Cinderella is a timeless one and is not under the same restrictions as others because of its history. To that end, it belongs to pop culture at large instead of a single studio and that’s a good thing. Ultimately, Cinderella will likely continue to be made into movies in the future, be it under the Disney banner or otherwise.
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