There are many iterations of the famous Cinderella, from the blonde and blue-eyed 1950s animated one to Camilla Cabello’s ambitious (and brunette) version of the character. But for a lot of ‘90s kids, especially Black girls like me, Brandy reigns supreme as the best Cinderella. She starred in the beloved 1997 TV film Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella. Her Cinderella is curious, kind, gorgeous with microbraids, and has the legendary Whitney Houston as her fairy godmother. A true legend. Decades later, we finally get to see Brandy and Paolo Montalban reprise their roles as Cinderella and Prince… ahem, KING Charming in Disney’s Descendants: The Rise of Red. Brandy in her Cinderella gown and Paolo’s regal uniform feels like a magical dream. 

split image of 1997 Cinderella and Prince Charming and 2023 characters played by Brandy and Paolo Montalban

You can also see her in action in the latest trailer for Descendents: The Rise of Red.

For those who aren’t familiar with the Descendants franchise, here’s a brief explainer for ya. Basically, it is a live-action world that focuses on the children of famous Disney characters, hence the name. It takes some time, but eventually the “evil” kids and “good” kids learn how to get along. Over the years, we have seen characters like Maleficent, Cruella, Belle, and Aurora interact with their offspring. But only now are we meeting Cinderella, King Charming, and their daughter Chloe (Malia Baker) in this series.

Chloe will go on a time-traveling adventure with the Queen of Hearts’ daughter Red (Kyle Cantrall) to stop a terrible event. While they are the main focus of Descendants: The Rise of Red, we will certainly have our eyes on Chloe’s mom and dad.  

We even get to see Brandy’s Cinderella and Montalban’s King Charming on set in this adorable video clip. 

Descendants: The Rise of Red will release on July 12.

Originally published on March 22, 2023.