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Cinderella strikes again – the durability of a single fairy tale

As Disney releases another Cinderella adaptation – this one live-action, directed by Kenneth Branagh, starring Lily James as Cinderella and Cate Blanchett as her evil stepmother – we see again how perplexingly durable this story is, particularly for something so slight. The film that’s coming out this weekend may be bent and polished, stripped of some of its themes and relieved of its bone-burying — and Cinderella may now be an established part of the Disney princess racket — but this is still recognizably a story of which 345 versions could already be found almost 125 years ago.

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