An underdog of magical proportions, a victim who overcomes adversity, Cinderella is one of the most used archetypes in all of modern adaptations of fairy tales. Ella Enchanted, a 2004 film adaptation of the genre, was directed by Tommy O’Haver and is a fantasy romantic comedy the follows a young woman named Ella on a journey to self-discovery, empowerment, and ultimately to a life of happiness. By using characteristics of the Cinderella genre along with modern adaptations involving female strength, Ella Enchanted gives a new look on what it exactly means to be a modern Cinderella in a world that would rather keep women subordinated.
The Cinderella genre is a general plot structure that follows an oppressed young woman who is eventually met…show more content… This inclusion allows the initial platform of the genre to be put into motion because each included character plays a specific purpose in pushing Ella to her goal: marrying the prince. For example, the fairy god mother gives her the gift of obedience, which aids her in domestic duties but also in her journey to the castle throughout the plot. Her step siblings bully and punish her, allowing Ella to develop an attitude having nothing to do with arrogance. This is essential because Cinderella cannot be someone who is not sincere. She must be deserving of her good fortune. But ultimately it is Ella herself who accomplishes her goal by breaking her magical vow of obedience in order to stop herself from killing the prince. It also helps that her name “Ella” is the last two syllables of Cinderella, as if the film could not follow the genre more…show more content… Having an oppressed protagonist be met with good fortune is something that is universally relatable to many audiences. For example, in Russian folklore, the Afanas’ev tale entitled Valissa the Beautiful fits into the Cinderella genre. In the tale, a young girl is given a doll by her dying mother. With directions to feed it, the doll aids Valissa into doing her countless chores. Although not a fairy god mother with wings, Valissa is aided by a magical being in order to surpass the obstacles given by her step mother and siblings. Valissa’s good deeds are rewarded by the end, and she marries the handsome Tsar. Although the cultural undertones are much different, the generality of the Cinderella genre allows the plot structure to be molded to fit almost any folk