Monday, January 04, 2016

Cinderella Week Tag

Here are my answers to Heidi's tag.  Don't forget to visit the kick-off post at Along the Brandywine for all the info and links you could possibly desire :-)

1. In the vast array of fairytale heroines, what particular character qualities most define Cinderella? 

Patience and kindness and helpfulness.  I've come to realize that any adaptation where Cinderella lacks one of those three things doesn't please me.

2. What are some of the deeper, big picture differences you see between retellings where both stepsisters are nasty and others where one is nasty and one is kind? How do you think the two takes differently develop/illuminate/affect Cinderella’s character and also the overarching story itself? 

I think that retellings where one of the sisters is kinder are a little more realistic -- probably because I know a lot more siblings where one is nice and one is not than siblings who are all mean.  But that means that Cinderella isn't quite so lonely, and that she needs to be nicer when she renounces her stepfamily, or maybe not even renounce them altogether.  Also, if she's got a nice stepsister, she's not quite so lonely, so there needs to be more to her attraction to the prince than just "finally someone who is nice to me!"

3. Are you an animal lover? Would you eagerly count mice, lizards, cows, and geese as friends? Dogs and cats? 

I am!  And I have.  Although I've never had a pet mouse because my mom is Terrified of them (she feels about them like I feel about spiders -- sorry kids, no pet tarantulas for you), I would actually like to have a little white mouse as a pet.  And I always count pets as friends.  Well, except fish -- it's hard to love fish.  I enjoy our Betta, but I'm not all that attached to him.  (Sorry, Silver!)

4. After asking question #3, I realized how remarkably many of the adaptations I’ve seen have Cinderella either horseback riding or involved with horses. Have you ever ridden? If so, have you ever ridden sidesaddle or bareback? 

I love riding, though I don't get to do it much.  I've ridden western and English, and by far prefer western because a) I should have been a cowboy, and b) so many fewer rules!  I get annoyed by all the rules in English riding, though I do find posting to be a much superior way to ride while a horse is trotting than bouncing around like sack of oats.  But I've never ridden sidesaddle or bareback.  Yet!  Horses have been my favorite animal since I was about 3, so yeah... horse riding was inevitable.

5. Your favorite Cinderella dress/s? 

Hmm.  Probably the black one that Sabrina Fairchild (Julia Ormond) wears to the party in Sabrina (1995).  I've always wanted to wear it, though I suspect the glittery jacket might be itchy.

6. Do you ever think of Cinderella while doing your household chores? :) 

Once in a while.  I did say to Cowboy a few months ago that I had felt like Cinderella all day because I'd been cleaning up messes made by three people who did not appreciate my efforts At All, which made him the handsome prince, and as such, he needed to rescue me by taking me out to supper.  Yeah, my kids were particularly naughty that day...

7. What major character traits do you think are essential in a faithful prince? 

Determination and integrity.  He needs determination to see him through this whole "I'm going to marry a commoner and you can't stop me!" idea, and integrity so that when he says he loves Cinderella, we know he will stick by that.

8. Your top THREE favorite fairy tales (as in the original folk tales, not adaptations). 

Rapunzel, The Twelve Dancing Princesses, and Cinderella.  I've read those far more often than any others, since I was very small.

9. Your top FIVE current favorite fairy tale/legend type films (BESIDES any Cinderella adaptations). 

1.  The Princess Bride (1987) (Hilarious!)
2.  Tangled (2010) (Adorable!)
3.  Mirror Mirror (2012) (Silly!)
4.  Aladdin (1992) (Exciting!)
5.  Jack the Giant Slayer (2013) (Fun!)

10. If you could play Cinderella and the story could be set in any region of the world and any time period, what would you pick? And what would your dream ‘ball gown’ for it be like? 

Oh my goodness.  What a daydream-inducing question!  Okay, well if I could make only one movie ever in my life (which is undoubtedly more than I'll ever actually get to make), it would have to be a western, so I'd choose a Wild West setting.  And I would love to wear this dress (but not the hat):


That dress is actually available here for *only* $90...

11. And (purely for fun :))… what color/s do you immediately associate with Cinderella?

Light blue and grey.  I did grow up with the Disney animated version, and her ball gown in the movie is actually a pale, silvery grey, not blue like it's generally pictured now in all the "Disney Princess" merch my daughters inhale.  But the blue has gotten stuck in my head due to aforesaid merch and the 2015 movie :-)


  1. Loved your answers, Hamlette! The story of Cowboy 'rescuing you' on a day where you felt like Cinderella is so lovely. :-)

    (And I'm SO with you on spiders. UGHHH.)
    (Although I'm also with your mum on mice. Hahaha.)

    Light blue just IS the Cinderella colour. For me, at least! :-)

    ~ Naomi

    1. Thanks, Naomi :-) It was a nice ending to an awful day.

  2. Wow--that black dress is pretty cool! I've never seen "Sabrina"--would you recommend it?

    You're right--the prince DOES need a lot of determination if the story is to be realistic.

    Ohhhh--Tangled!! Rosie just got the DVD for Christmas and we are both in a fever of excitement to finally watch the whole thing :-)

    1. Jessica, I heartily recommend Sabrina. It's delicious. One bit of dialog I don't like, but other than that, perfectly perfect.

      Tangled is wondrous!!!!

    2. Thanks! Maybe one of these days I'll get a chance to watch it! :-)

  3. Loved reading your answers, Hamlette! Cute blog ;)

  4. You know what's funny? I never really thought of Sabrina as a Cinderella story, but I guess it is, a bit. The 1954 version is my favorite--Audrey Hepburn and Humphrey Bogart! But the newer one is good, too. And I find it interesting that Rapunzel is your favorite fairy tale. There's a lot of brutality and blinding in that one; it always creeped me out a little.

    1. I hadn't realized Sabrina was a Cinderella story either until someone said they'd review it for this blogathon. And then I went, "Whoa! It kind of is!" I prefer the 1995 just because the lead trio have way better chemistry than those in the 1954 -- even though I love Audrey Hepburn and William Holden and Humphrey Bogart, they just don't click for me.

      Yes, the original Rapunzel is kind of creepy. But so is the original Cinderella, with the stepsisters chopping off their toes and heels to make their feet fit the slipper. I can never forget those birds following the prince chirping, "There's blood in the shoe! There's blood in the shoe!" Eeeeeeeeeeeee -- original fairy tales were so not aimed at children.

    2. "Blut im Schuh--Blut im Schuh!" ;-)

      No, CERTAINLY not for little kids. I do remember my brother and myself really enjoying the "original versions" when we were middle schoolers . . . but that's different.

    3. I read an article recently about the appropriateness of fairy tales for children in the time period they were originally told--it was really interesting. Because a lot of the concerns in these tales were legitimate at the time. Crazy to think about now.

    4. Hannah, from what I've read, yes, they were originally cautionary tales for everyone. Don't go into the forest, don't be mean to those beneath you, don't steal, don't talk to strangers, don't dawdle when you're walking to Grandma's house, etc.

      Then in the Victorian age, fairy tales went from something for everyone to something strictly for children. The Victorians wanted more books for their nurseries, there weren't a lot of children's authors, and the publishers grabbed these totally-not-copyrighted-in-any-way-anymore fairy tales, cleaned them up a bit, and made them into children's books. And for several generations after that, fairy tales were only for kids, not for everyone. Adults looked down their noses at them. Until, of course, J.R.R. Tolkien came along.

  5. I. love. your. answers!!! :)

    #2: Super excellent points about how having someone else "nicer" also develops her relationship with the prince story-wise.

    #4: I have a feeling I HAVE to have Eowyn give me a few lessons on her horse. It's important on-the-ground research for ODS, right? :D

    #6: *grinning* That's absolutely hilarious. So did he take you out? :)

    #7: Love it!!!

    #9: TANGLED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ;D (Okay, I was just hunting down a screencap for it the other night and had to restrain myself from sitting down and watching the entire thing right then and there at 11:30-ish. ;P Rather agonizing, really.)

    #10: I'd so like to see you in a Western Cinderella! :) Hee. And then maybe I could tag along and we would both be meeting some actors and directors etc. who like doing westerns... (Hey, one can dream, can't one? ;D)

    1. Heidi, thanks! I had meant to not post this until today, but I got so excited filling it out, I just went ahead and posted it :-)

      #4 DO IT!

      #6 Of course he did!

      #10 Oh, if only :-D

  6. Loved reading your answers.
    It was an interesting point in #2 that having a friend would make her story with the prince a bit deeper - hadn't hought of that before.

    #10 A Cinderella in the Wild West would no doubt be an interesting adventure, and I love the dress.

    1. Thanks, Rose!

      If you like the idea of a western Cinderella, I heartily recommend the novella "Coral Nocturne" by Elisabeth Grace Foley. It's charming, sweet, and wholesome.

  7. Lovely answers! Aaaahhh! Sabrina! I'm actually just about to post my review of that :D

    A Western Cinderella sounds awesome. Yuss.

    1. Olivia, thank you! I'm sooooo looking forward to your review about Sabrina because it is one of my absolute favorite movies. Yum yum yum.

  8. I love all your answers! Yay, you like Princess Bride and Tangled, too! :) I hadn't really ever thought of Sabrina as a Cinderella story, but it totally is. The sparkly jacket is awesome. I love that you chose a Wild West setting :) so much fun. I am loving this Cinderella-themed blog party!

    1. Thanks, Jenelle! I know, this party is such fun, isn't it?

      The Wild West is kind of my favorite setting for anything, ever :-D

  9. It was fun reading your answers, Hamlette! I love that Wild West outfit:D (minus the hat :P)

    1. Thanks, Mikayla! Yeah, the hat just kind of needs to go, hee.

  10. I love the color blue as a Cinderella color, but I do love her silvery-gray white gown in the 1950 movie. I think it's absolutely stunning in that color, and I'm kind of sad that they changed it for all the toys and such.

    I've never read the original tale of The Twelve Dancing Princesses. Is there a version you'd recommend? Although, I have read Princess of the Midnight Ball by Jessica Day George and Entwined by Heather Dixon, with are both young adult novels based on the fairy tale. They're both really good stories and I'd recommend them, since you like the original fairy tale. :)

    Anyways, I enjoyed your answers!

    1. Natalie, yes, it's so ethereal when it's pearly grey like that. But I suppose blue is more appealing to kids or something.

      I had this old book of fairy tales and folk tales that was my dad's, and I know that's where I first encountered Rapunzel, and maybe the 12 Dancing Princesses too. I'll have to see if I can find that book somewhere -- I'm pretty sure I have it. But the version of 12DP I liked best was from this set of little children's learning books from the late 1970s that my parents got me when I was little. The illustrations were really groovy and kind of '70s meets Mucha, if that makes sense. My book of Grimm's fairy tales calls it "The Shoes That Were Danced to Pieces" instead, and it ends a bit differently as to which princess the hero marries in the end -- Cowboy looked this up the other day, and some versions have him marry the eldest, and some have him marry the youngest. Either way, I like the story still :-) I'll see if my library has either of the versions you suggested!

    2. Oh, those stories sound interesting! It would definitely be funny seeing 70's-ish drawings. :)

      I hope you like them if you do read them!

    3. If I get a chance, I'll scan some in -- I know where the '70s book is :-)


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