Richard Corliss of Time magazine said that Branagh's Cinderella successfully updates and revitalizes Disney's "ill-conceived" animated film, and praised the empowered Ella, the visuals, and Blanchett's performance. Katy Waldman of Slate similarly deemed the film a commendable and authentic upgrade that does not undermine its heroine while maintaining its classic splendor and charm. Joe Morgenstern of The Wall Street Journal commended James' and Blanchett's performances, the sets, costumes and minimal digital effects, as well as Branagh's direction, stating he "set a tone of lushly sustainable fantasy that's often affecting, frequently witty, seldom cloying, nearly free of self-comment and entirely free of irony." Likewise, Claudia Puig of USA Today complimented the performances along with Branagh and screenwriter Chris Weitz for "ground[ing] this romantic tale with sincerity amid the dazzle." Los Angeles Times' Betsy Sharkey praised Blanchett's and James' performances and considered the film a "poetically, if not prophetically, imagined storybook fable" that succeeds because of its earnestness, humor, its lack of modern-day pretenses, and Branagh's "singular focus". Lawrence Toppman of The Charlotte Observer proclaimed, "This version has more psychological depth than usual and answers questions we may always have had. Branagh's 'Cinderella' does something extraordinarily rare among fairy-tale adaptations: It leaves out nothing we want and adds nothing we don't." Noting the religious themes and symbols of the film, cultural commentator Fr. Robert Barron writes that due to Branagh's traditional telling of the story, "he actually allows the spiritual -- indeed specifically Christian -- character of the tale to emerge."
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Walt Disney hired actress Helene Stanley to perform the live-action reference for Cinderella, that she before artists began sketching, playing the role of Cinderella in a particular scene, and artists to draw animated frames based on the movements of the actress. She later did the same kind of work for the characters of Princess Aurora in Sleeping Beauty and Anita Radcliff in One Hundred and One Dalmatians. Animators modeled Prince Charming on actor Jeffrey Stone, who also provided some additional voices for the film. Mary Alice O'Connor served as the live-action reference for the Fairy Godmother.
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The first official trailer debuted on May 15, 2014. In the minute-long teaser, which doesn't include any footage from the film, a sparkling glass slipper is slowly revealed over a black background. The second official trailer, two-and-a-half minutes long and containing footage from the film, debuted on Good Morning America on November 19, 2014, with a 15-second trailer preview released two days prior. In its first 24 hours of release, the trailer was viewed 4.2 million times on YouTube and 33 million times on Facebook, the highest views among all Disney films in history, except for Marvel Studios releases. The movie's official poster was also released on November 19, featuring James as Cinderella and photographed by Annie Leibovitz. Disney released an international trailer on December 16, 2014. A new trailer was released on January 1, 2015. On February 11, 2015, Disney released a final trailer for the film.
David Rooney of The Hollywood Reporter reviewed the film at the Berlin Film Festival and praised the special effects, the screenplay, and Blanchett's performance and said that "anyone nostalgic for childhood dreams of transformation will find something to enjoy in an uplifting movie that invests warm sentiment in universal themes of loss and resilience, experience and maturity." Peter Debruge of Variety said, "It's all a bit square, big on charm, but lacking the crackle of Enchanted or The Princess Bride. But though this Cinderella could never replace Disney's animated classic, it's no ugly stepsister either, but a deserving companion." Guy Lodge of The Guardian gave the film three stars out of five and said, "While it might have been nice to see the new-model Cinderella follow Frozen's progressive, quasi-feminist lead, the film's naff, preserved-in-amber romanticism is its very charm." Scott Mendelson of Forbes admired the film's visual effects, production design, and called the costume design as Oscar-worthy, adding, "with an emphasis on empathy and empowerment, Walt Disney's Cinderella is the best film yet in their 'turn our animated classics into live-action blockbuster' subgenre."
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Following the theatrical release of Fun and Fancy Free, Walt Disney Productions' bank debt declined from $4.2 million to $3 million. Around this time, Disney acknowledged the need for sound economic policies, but emphasized to the loaners that slashing production would be suicidal. In order to restore the studio to full financial health, he expressed his desire to return to producing full-length animated films. By then, three animated projects—Cinderella, Alice in Wonderland, and Peter Pan—were in development. Disney felt the characters in Alice in Wonderland and Peter Pan were too cold, while Cinderella contained elements similar to Snow White, and greenlit the project. Selecting his top-tier animation talent, Ben Sharpsteen was assigned as supervising producer while Hamilton Luske, Wilfred Jackson, and Clyde Geronimi became the sequence directors. Nevertheless, production on Alice resumed so that both animation crews would effectively compete against each other to see which film would finish first.
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Although the story's title and main character's name change in different languages, in English-language folklore Cinderella is an archetypal name. The word Cinderella has, by analogy, come to mean one whose attributes were unrecognized: one who unexpectedly achieves recognition or success after a period of obscurity and neglect. The still-popular story of Cinderella continues to influence popular culture internationally, lending plot elements, allusions, and tropes to a wide variety of media. The Aarne–Thompson–Uther system classifies Cinderella as Tale Type 510A, Persecuted Heroine.:24–26
For the Fairy Godmother, Powell took a major departure from the animated film of the 1950s, instead giving actress Helena Bonham Carter an opulent white ballgown, featuring fairy wings, puff sleeves and a very full skirt. The skirt also had battery lights underneath it, which Helena said caused issues when filming scenes as the batteries would run low quite quickly. For the stepmother and stepsisters, Powell had a very clear idea about the look; "They are meant to be totally ridiculous on the outside—a bit too much and overdone—and ugly on the inside." The silhouette of the prince came from the original animation, however she created a more fitted look and less masculine colors. Some of the prince costumes were dyed to accentuate Madden's eyes.
A stroke is an interruption of the blood supply to part of the brain caused by either a blood clot (ischemic) or bleeding (hemorrhagic). Symptoms of a stroke may include: weakness, numbness, double vision or vision loss, confusion, vertigo, difficulty speaking or understanding speech. A physical exam, imaging tests, neurological exam, and blood tests may be used to diagnose a stroke. Treatment may include administration of clot-busting drugs, supportive care, and in some instances, neurosurgery. The risk of stroke can be reduced by controlling high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, and stopping smoking.
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