Cinderella’s stepmother isn’t evil in this modern adaptation
The most dramatic change from the original fairytale is the way the wicked stepmother is portrayed.
Vivian, played by Idina Menzel, is presented less like an evil villain and more like a conservative parent who belittles their child’s progressive ideas. In the narration, voiced by Porter, Vivian is described as a “practical woman,” and the movie paints her as a character who is just trying to do what’s best for her daughters, and Cinderella, even if it hurts their feelings.
Later in the movie, we’re also given context for why Vivian is so set on her traditional ways and, as Cannon pointed out to Insider, this is the only “Cinderella” version where the stepmother is forgiven at the end.
“There’s no villain in the movie,” Cannon explained. “Whenever they’re singing to each other, Camila and Idina, at the end during ‘Let’s Get Loud’ I always tear up.”
“I’m my mother’s daughter, but how she was raised is very different than how I was raised and my worldview. And we clash sometimes, but there is so much love there,” she continued. “I just get emotional thinking about it. This idea that you can bridge the gap through love and understanding is a beautiful thing.”