The Cinderella story apparently has been there since forever — at least ancient Greek times. This French production (it was originally called Cendrillon au Far West) sets the story in the Wild West. The film broadly follows the Cinderella story. There is the evil step mother, Felicity, who runs the town of Felicity with capricious cruelty, the stepsisters are suitably ugly, Cinderella is feisty, the prince, Vladimir, is charming, while his mum, the duchess, is hilarious. A shaman, Little Cloud, is the fairy godmother while there is a demented pirate who hangs out in a ship in the desert and commandeers a crew of villainous baboons to kidnap the prince.
Cinderella goes to the ball (in the saloon) and tosses back a couple of shots of cactus juice and dances with the prince before the wicked baboons step in to make away with the prince. Cinderella is not a young lady to be trifled with and gives as good as she gets losing a tooth in the process. The clock strikes 12, the magic fades and the mysterious stranger vanishes leaving a tooth behind, which the smitten prince keeps, in the hope of finding the owner.
At 80 odd minutes, the film moves briskly. The music is foot tapping and the animation and visualisation is organic — very different from Hollywood. The characters all have animal heads but human bodies thus solving the anthropomorphic dilemma. The bison were cute and the bodyguard mutts divinely duh. All in all it is a rousing, swashbuckling saga with a French connection. Oooh la la!
Genre: Animation/ adventure
Director: Pascal Hérold
Voice cast: Yolande Moreau, Alexandra Lamy, Isabelle Nanty, Antoine de Caunes, Michel Boujenah
Story: Cinderella reboot set in the wild west
Bottomline: Different, quirky, fun