Composed By: Patrick Doyle
Songs By: Various Artists
Distributed by: Walt Disney Records
Reviewed by Melissa Minners
Recently, Walt Disney released yet another live action film based on the story of Cinderella. Being the company who presented one of the most popular animated versions of the tale, one would think that this live action version would do well in the box office and one would be right, with Cinderella becoming so successful (along with Maleficent) that Disney has announced plans to make more live action films based on their animated classics.
This version of Cinderella finds Lily James as Ella, working like a servant to her stepmother (Cate Blanchett) and stepsisters Anastasia (Holliday Granger) and Drisella (Sophie McShera) after the unexpected death of her father. A Royal Ball summoning all maidens to the palace lifts Ella's spirits until her stepmother refuses to allow her to go, but a kind beggar (Helena Bonham Carter), a pumpkin, a few mice and a magic wand will make all of Ella's wishes come true.
The musical score of Cinderella was created by Scottish film composer Patrick Doyle. Beginning his composing career in 1987, Doyle has created musical scores for a number of notable films including Much Ado About Nothing, Carlito's Way, Dead Again, Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, Sense and Sensibility, Donnie Brasco, Great Expectations, Bridget Jones' Diary, Gosford Park, Killing Me Softly, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Eragon, Thor, Brave, Rise of the Planet of the Apes and Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit.
In creating the score for this film, Patrick Doyle seems to have taken in consideration the time period and locale in which this film is set. The score is orchestral featuring a classical air. Waltzes are interwoven throughout the soundtrack as one would expect what with a special Royal Ball taking place. Happier notes in Cinderella's life are punctuated by high flute notes while more dour circumstances are expressed through melancholy notes performed by the string section. The score is actually rather beautiful, much more so than I expected.
A real treat are the songs included at the end - two from the original animated feature and a brand new one called Strong. Performed by Sonna Rele, Strong is an empowering song that encourages us to trust and believe in ourselves even when the world is getting us down. Life isn't a storybook and only you can change your path by keeping positive. I enjoyed A Dream Is A Wish Your Heart Makes by Lily James, but my favorite song on this album is Helena Bonham-Carter's rendition of Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boo - she really nailed it!
Now, you should know that I scoffed at this version of Cinderella when I saw promos for it. All I could think was, "Another Cinderella? Really?" But I must admit, I was impressed with the Cinderella Soundtrack, especially the score created by Patrick Doyle, an incredibly beautiful score featuring some excellent orchestral sound. This is definitely a soundtrack well worth listening to.