The first look at Disney's new live action "Cinderella" is definitely the latter. With no actual footage from the film (and without a title card, even), the bold, minute-long spot is heavy on magical atmosphere and light on specifics. Still, it does the job.
If you're not excited about this re-imagined fairy tale, opening next spring, then you probably haven't communed with your inner child in a very, very long time.
The spot features a nearly abstract image: swirling, glittery shapes (to borrow a phrase from another recent Disney classic, "swirling fractals all around") that actually takes a few seconds, even for the biggest Disney nerd, to figure out what you're looking at. Then it suddenly snaps into focus: it's a rotating angle on a glass slipper; the glass slipper. At the very end of the teaser, a gilded butterfly drifts down and settles on the toe of the slipper. The title of the movie and a mention of the starry cast don't even appear at the end of the teaser, just "Disney" and "March 2015."
This approach, which is both elliptical and alluring, is pretty gutsy, especially considering the cast, which includes "Downton Abbey"'s Lily James as Cinderella, "Game of Thrones'" Richard Madden as Prince Charming, Helena Bonham Carter as the Fairy Godmother, and Cate Blanchett as the Wicked Stepmother Lady Tremaine (Stellan Skarsgard, Derek Jacobi, and Hayley Atwell also star). The clip could have been a minute-long shot of Blanchett cackling (assuming she actually, you know, cackles), but instead Disney and their marketing teams chose something more restrained and refined and, in the long run, probably more memorable.
Expect this teaser to play like gangbusters to everyone that shows up to Disney's "Maleficent," starring Angelina Jolie as the titular sorceress, when that opens on May 30th. And there will be more looks into the world of "Cinderella," as directed by "Thor's" Kenneth Branagh, before the movie's March 13th, 2015 release date.