The ladies of Disney fight back

By Melissa Platero, CCNN Writer

Alice in “Once Upon a Wonderland.”

The slipper may still fit, but are all these Disney princesses wearing heels? Nope! Disney is introducing an all-new kind of girl power. Taking a modern twist on the fairy tales we all know and love, Disney’s bypassing charming princes to focus on the women and their own solo adventures. In three of Disney’s newest productions, we’ll see Cinderella fight against the crown, Maleficent’s side of the story, and Alice as she tries to live outside of Wonderland. Disney’s tell-all convention, D23, let us in on some of their secrets.

You’ve heard of Cinderella, and you’ve probably seen every adaptation, but Disney’s promising that you haven’t really seen her in action. Fans who attended Disney’s D23 Expo on Saturday got the chance to see a pre-taped segment of their newest Cinderella movie. Sean Bailey, president of the Walt Disney Studios Motion Picture Productions, promised that Disney “will be faithful to the original material,” but will show the politics involving the royal court. How is Cinderella going to battle against the royal court and her evil stepmother? Well, you’ll just have to wait until March 2015 to see.

Now, no Disney story is complete without a cloud of darkness looming overhead. D23 turned heads and brought lots of applause when Angelina Jolie appeared at the Maleficent panel. Jolie was asked what she thought of her character and explained, “Since I was a little girl, Maleficent was always my favorite. I was terrified of her, but I was so drawn to her. I wanted to know more about her, know what she was like and who she was. She had this elegance and grace, and yet she was so cruel, just wonderfully and deliciously cruel.” I know you may be thinking, wait a minute, she’s the bad guy! Why do we wanna root for her!? Well, Angelina Jolie believes that for the first time, you just might change your mind.

To end the panel, those who attended D23 were also treated to a 19-minute preview of “Once Upon a Wonderland,” Disney’s newest take on Alice in Wonderland. As the spin-off for the ABC TV show “Once Upon a Time,” it focuses solely on Alice as she tries to save herself (and many others) from the disasters of Wonderland. Only this time, she’s not relying on the Mad Hatter for help… but herself.

Disney’s got a big year ahead of them, huh? With so many new movies premiering and TV shows to look out for, I can’t wait to see them all!

Featured image courtesy of Disney and “Once Upon a Wonderland” image courtesy of Disney and ABC.