Disney Icon Speaks Out on Returning To Decades-Old Role

in Disney, Movies

Cinderella in Disney's Cinderella with a soap bubble reflection

Credit: Disney

Disney icon Brandy Norwood is returning to the role of Cinderella for a new Disney Channel movie after nearly 30 years away, and we could not be happier about it. It turns out neither could the singer/actor.

Brandy as Cinderella and Paolo Montalban posing
Credit: Disney

Brandy Norwood portrayed the title character in Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella, which co-starred Jason Alexander, Whoopi Goldberg, Bernadette Peters, Veanne Cox, Natalie Desselle, Victor Garber, Paolo Montalban, and the late, great Whitney Houston as the Fairy Godmother. Houston also produced the film, which re-launched The Wonderful World of Disney anthology series; although the movie received middling reviews from critics, it was a huge ratings hit and quickly became a beloved part of 1990s kids’ childhood.

Related: ‘Cinderella’: The Top Ten Movie Versions Ranked

Despite the critical dismissal, Cinderella was nominated for seven Primetime Emmys, while Brandy herself was nominated for the NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Television Movie or Mini-Series. Over time, the reputation of the movie has increased and, in 2022, Cinderella: The Reunion, A Special Edition of 20/20 was viewed by 1.5 million people.

Malia Baker and Brandy Norwood posing
Credit: Disney

In short, the Brandy version of Cinderella is a pretty big deal to an entire generation of Disney fans. That’s why it’s pretty huge that the icon is coming back for Descendants: The Rise of Red (previously titled The Pocketwatch), in which she will reprise Cinderella, now married to King Charming (a similarly returning Paolo Montalban). In the upcoming Disney Channel movie, Brandy plays the mother of Chloe Charming (Malia Baker), who teams up with Red (Kylie Cantrall), the daughter of Queen of Hearts from Alice in Wonderland, for a new adventure.

The film’s synopsis describes it as:

Former Villain Kid Uma, now headmaster of Auradon Prep, extends an invite to the school to another VK – Red, the rebellious daughter of the Queen of Hearts from Wonderland. After the Queen of Hearts incites a coup against Auradon, Red must team up with Cinderella’s perfectionist daughter Chloe and travel back in time to try to undo the traumatic event that set Red’s mother down her villainous path.

Related: No, Cinderella Castle Has Not “Burned to the Ground” at Disney World

Kylie Cantrall and Malia Baker in Descendants: The Rise of Red
Credit: Disney

In an interview with Essence, Brandy spoke up about her decades-later return as Cinderella:

“Stepping into a new set of Cinderella’s glass slippers after all these years feels like a true homecoming. I’m so thrilled to be a part of the next chapter for Auradon. I’m most excited about seeing the next generation step into these iconic roles. Morgan Dudley [who plays a younger version of the character] is an incredible talent, and I have no doubt she’ll bring her magic to ‘Ella.’ It’s been an honor to be a part of the Descendants legacy, and I can’t wait for fans to see how the new story unfolds!”

How many times have you seen Brandy in Cinderella? Tell us your favorite song in the comments below!

Descendants: The Rise of Red will premiere on July 12 on Disney+ and on the Disney Channel on August 9. The film co-stars China Anne McClain, Melanie Paxton, and Rita Ora, and was directed by Jennifer Phang from a script by Dan Frey and Russell Sommer.

Be the first to comment!