Fairy Tale Princess Face-Off: Cinderella Edition

Fairy Tale Princess Showdown: Cinderella Edition
(20th Century Fox l Disney l NBC)

With folk tale roots and everywoman concerns, Cinderella has long been a champion of all things nice, common, and unbelievably lucky. And many, many actresses have slipped their foot into Cinderella's glass slipper (though it's not always glass or a slipper) — even now, we're anticipating Anna Kendrick's turn as the infamous gal in Into the Woods and Lily James' go in Disney's live-action Cinderella. While we welcome these cinder girls, one and all, we're not down with loving each of them equally. Sorry, ladies — only one of you can wear our Cinderella crown. 

Let's investigate the Cinderella candidates: 


Ilene Woods (voice) in Cinderella 
Fairy Tale Princess Showdown: Cinderella Edition

Pros: For many of us, she's the original Cinderella. An icon since her debut in 1950, she represents everything lovely, hopeful, and fashionable about fairy tale romances. 

Cons: It's a new century, folks — maybe we can do better than a dreamy lass who relies on fairy magic and some animals to save the day. Plus, like, what's Cinderella's personality really? Nice? Yeah, she's nice. Hmm...

Fairy Tale Princess Showdown: Cinderella Edition


Drew Barrymore in Ever After
Fairy Tale Princess Showdown: Cinderella Edition

Pros: Whip-smart and tough as nails, Ever After's Danielle is a true modern-day heroine — stuck in sexist, racist, classist 16th century France. 

Cons: Are you too perfect, Danielle? You read Thomas Moore, fence better than villains, outshine everyone everywhere, and are beloved by all (except your step-family, obviously). We're not buying your nervous, I'm-just-a-normal-peasant act. 

Fairy Tale Princess Showdown: Cinderella Edition


Anne Hathaway in Ella Enchanted
Fairy Tale Princess Showdown: Cinderella Edition

Pros: Ella's spunky, stubborn personality shines, but it's her story's unusual "gift of obedience" twist that sets her journey apart. Also, she ends up saving the prince's life, which is always a plus.

Cons: Elle's accent doesn't really make sense (which is more distracting than anything else), and she often comes off as more of a cartoon version of a real person than the other way around.  

Fairy Tale Princess Showdown: Cinderella Edition


Brandy in Cinderella
Fairy Tale Princess Showdown: Cinderella Edition

Pros: She sings, she dances, she gets advice from her fairy godmother WHITNEY HOUSTON. And that's not even mentioning the beautiful pairing of Brandy and her Asian Prince Charming, Paolo Montalbán.

Cons: This version of the fairy tale seems somehow less than the sum of its awesome parts, and while Brandy's Cinderella is utterly charming, we're not sure if she necessarily distinguished herself from her peers enough to earn our crown. 



Jessy Schram in Once Upon a Time
Fairy Tale Princess Showdown: Cinderella Edition

Pros: Schram's character only showed up in one episode of the ABC fantasy show, but she proved she was made of tougher stuff than some of her peers. She struck deals and took risks to ensure her happily ever after.

Cons: About that aforementioned deal... This Cinderella accidentally agreed to trade her first-born child for a night out at the palace. Oops.

Fairy Tale Princess Showdown: Cinderella Edition


Kristen Wiig on Saturday Night Live
Fairy Tale Princess Showdown: Cinderella Edition

Pros: Um, it's Kristen Wiig — isn't that enough? The epic funny lady brought her spirited sense of humor to SNL's sketch "The Real Housewives of Disney." Hilarity ensued. 

Cons: If you can't tell already, we take our Cinderellas pretty seriously. Does Wiig really deserve the fairy tale crown for a quick bit of comedy gold?




Hilary Duff in A Cinderella Story
Fairy Tale Princess Showdown: Cinderella Edition

Pros: Secret identities, sports-themed diners, kisses in the rain, a plucky Lizzie McGuire-esque heroine — what's not to love? 

Cons: Apparently, a lot if you weren't a teenage girl. Duff received a Razzie nomination for Worst Actress for the role. (But that's just because silly Razzie voters don't understand Duff's charm, right?)

Fairy Tale Princess Showdown: Cinderella Edition


Selena Gomez in Another Cinderella Story
Fairy Tale Princess Showdown: Cinderella Edition

Pros: Selena Gomez's Cinderella character (who's actually called Mary) bonds with her Prince Charming (a pop singer) through their love of dancing and music. That's kind of cool. And instead of a glass slipper she leaves behind her ZUNE. Remember Zunes?

Cons: A Zune is a major plot point — and nothing incredibly unpredictable or inspiring happens. 

Fairy Tale Princess Showdown: Cinderella Edition

Who do you think deserves the Cinderella crown? Vote in our poll!

Poll: Who is the best Cinderella?
Click to vote:
  • Drew Barrymore in 'Ever After'
  • Ilene Woods in 'Cinderella' (1950)
  • Anne Hathaway in 'Ella Enchanted'
  • Kristen Wiig on 'Saturday Night Live'
  • Hilary Duff in 'A Cinderella Story'
  • Brandy in 'Cinderella' (1997)
  • Jessy Schram on 'Once Upon a Time'
  • Selena Gomez in 'Another Cinderella Story'


And hot on their transparent heels, here comes Anna Kendrick! Check out the trailer for her upcoming fairy tale film, Into the Woods






I am a former Senior Associate Editor for Livingly Media.
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