But somehow, it's not a carbon copy of the cartoon. In fact, we get to learn a lot more about Ella's childhood (her nickname gets added later) and what shaped her ideals. They give the character some really nice depth and make you understand actions that to a modern mind might seem questionable. She has her roots in the animated character, but we can see a little more behind her motivations. However, she's not the only character to be fleshed out in this adaptation: Cate Blanchett's Lady Tremaine and Richard Madden's Prince Kit gain another dimension in the process as well. While I loved how coldly evil the animated stepmother was, instead of recreating her they give us another take entirely. Blanchett isn't trying to play the same character, she's giving us someone else; which is another reason why it works so much better than Maleficent. The villains share the same name and relationship to the heroine, but Blanchett made the character her own whereas Jolie made her character a hero. She rightfully stays a villain, she just becomes a more human one...which is exactly the right move. And the Prince? I'm happy to report he's not a prop! We see a lot of his life in the palace and what attracts him to Ella. He is one of the most likable princes I've ever seen. You definitely root for him.
But I will say it needed more Lucifer. A LOT more Lucifer.