Sneakerentola, the review: a hip-hop tale with reversed roles

The review of Sneakerentola, the latest timed adaptation of Cinderella’s New York hip-hop music, available from May 13 on Disney +.

Sneakerentola: Lexi Underwood, Chosen Jacobs in a scene from the film

The tale of Cinderella is truly one of the most rewritten and most reinterpreted in a more or less modern key, and ours confirms it. Sneakerentola reviewthe latest timed music adaptation available from 13 May on Disney +. Let’s stay at Disney then, for a story that “reverses the roles”: poor Ella becomes poor El and the Prince of the realm becomes the Princess of Sneakers, in that magical city and “full of possibilities” that is New York.

A modern fairy tale

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Sneakerentola: Lexi Underwood, Chosen Jacobs in a sequence

El (Chosen Jacobs) comes from Queens, from the Astoria district, made of murals, inclusiveness and a meeting of ethnicities, colors and flavors. Kira (Lexi Underwood) is from Manhattan, lives in the penthouse of a large skyscraper, has a private driver and her father is “the King of Skeakers” Darius King, a shoe maker that is almost a status and a statement. of intent. At least that’s how El di lei sees it, a warehouse worker in a shoe shop in Astoria run by her stepfather after the death of her sweet mother. The stepfather keeps telling him that he should stop daydreaming and stay grounded (pun intended). But he is “the boy who whispered to sneakers”, who knows how to create them thanks to what he learned from his mother, or to read a person through what he wears. Her best friend – who she opens up to the LGBTQ + theme, even though she only hints at it – obviously would like to see him as a professional designer and does everything to support her desire to “give wings” thanks to the shoes she wears but the road is winding. Just like in Amazon Prime Video’s Cinderella operation, here too the stepfather and half-brothers are not really bad, but made so of life, and the desire to escape from Queens to return “home” to a more upmarket neighborhood.

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Sneakerentola: a sequence from the film

Home is precisely the theme that recurs in the Disney + film: the one we were born into (Darius King is from Queens but seems to have forgotten his origins), the one we built for ourselves (Manhattan) and the one that is part of us (the shop and other small adjacent businesses). The other key element, new and modern that he would like to speak to today’s kids, are sneakers and their significance especially for the black community. Thanks to them El and Kira will meet in line for the release of the highly anticipated and exclusive new pair, for which he and his best friend have put aside all savings, even dividing the purchase. The meeting will be a convict to give birth to something more than a business and from there – with the due differences of the case, like a Latin fairy godmother-gardener – the story we all know unfolds before the eyes of the spectator, putting on the shoe symbol par excellence in the title e fil rouge of the relationships between the various characters. If the Ella of the last Cinderella chose herself and her working future before love, here the script of “and they lived happily ever after” is much more followed, and this could make those who would have preferred a different ending turn up their noses. and more modern, more courageous and nonconformist.

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Cinderella hip-hip

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Sneakerentola: an image from the film

Sneakerentola chooses to make use of original music – we can say successful, first of all because they remain in the head after the vision, which should always be the first goal of a musical – but with pop and hip-hop sounds to talk about and to young people today, and this is the newest and most successful part of this reinterpretation of the classic fable. The only exception is a reworked version of “I Dreams Son Desires” which is almost out of place in the general musical picture because it is more classical also in the performance between the two protagonists. Even the direction of Elizabeth Allen Rosenbaum – halfway between that of a video clip and that of a classic musical – unravels in the streets of New York, between the neighborhoods, especially Astoria, to show all the colors of a flamboyant and ultra photography. -pop that wants to accentuate the packaging in which El’s story is told to the maximum. The rhythm is fresh and dynamic, the assembly tight enough to give a key as young and modern as possible to a story that transcends centuries and traditions . And to try to overturn – such as the exchange of roles of the protagonists – some of these traditions, but still remaining in the comfort zone of the Mickey Mouse House so as not to rewrite too much a story that, for better or worse, always works.


At the end of our review of Skeanerentola we reiterate how it is a hip-hop and modern reinterpretation of a classic and timeless fairytale, reversing the roles of the protagonists, relying on an original score but remaining stuck in some Disney stylistic features of the “and they lived happily ever after “.

Because we like it

  • Two young and promising protagonists who make us cheer for them, individually and together.
  • The hip-hop musical moments and the original songs, well choreographed and directed with a wink to the video clips
  • A modern reinterpretation of a classic fairytale …

What’s wrong

  • … Without being really brave and stepping out of the Disney comfort zone.

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