‘Sneakearella’ takes a new look at Cinderella with sneakers and rap

Sneakearella Disney

By Carolina Cerda Maira, MWN

The story of Cinderella is well-known worldwide. And, despite the passage of time, its elements – the young orphan girl, the stepmother and evil stepsisters, Prince Charming and a touch of magic from the fairy godmother – continue to make it irresistible. That’s why there are several adaptations: one of them with Lily James, Richard Madden and Cate Blanchett debuted in 2015; and recently Disney+ “Sneakearella” with sneakers, dancing and rapping. 


But those are not the only components that give a new look to the classic. It is a modern version of the story set in New York. Its protagonist is El (Chosen Jacobs), a teenager who lives with his stepfather and stepbrothers, and is forced to work in a sneaker store, when his dream is to design them.

His close friend Sami, another sneaker enthusiast, and his neighbor Gustavo, support him in his dreams and, more importantly, in winning the love of Kira King (Lexi Underwood), who is the daughter of former basketball player and sneaker mogul Darius King (John Salley).     

Jacobs, Underwood, Salley, and director Elizabeth Allen Rosenbaum were part of a press event where Underwood said she liked the fact that there are different characters:

“First of all, there have been a lot of princesses that don’t look like me that I haven’t necessarily been able to relate to… Growing up as girls, we’re told and taught that in order to feel like princesses or bosses, we need a man to validate it… So, I’m very fortunate to feel like I’m in this new era creating these central memories for children where we can re-imagine the way we see our childhood stories that hopefully affect them as they grow up,” she stated.

A play of words in the name of the film is no accident because the actual importance of those shoes for some people in showing individuality – especially the younger audiences – runs through the whole plot. But does the film help parents understand the things their children are interested in?

“Yes, part of the reason I was excited about the sneaker culture aspect of the film is because I have seven nephews, and each of them is obsessed with sneakers in their own way,” the filmmaker told Metro. “Each one of them has a very deep connection to sneakers and has found a way to express themselves through them, and it’s something in common that we all share… I think it’s a great way for parents to start educating themselves about why, you know, the whole sneaker culture exists and why it’s so amazing.”

Jacobs added: “I feel like not only does it help parents know what their kids are into, but it’s also common ground. Certain models have transcended generations. I love the Air Force and I have a picture of my dad wearing them when he was my age.” 

Salley, meanwhile, concluded: “I love it, because I’m a parent. I would constantly say to my wife, whenever she was confused about something, ‘What were you doing at 16? What were you doing at 19?'” His case is different when it comes to sneakers, because he has a special closet to keep them in.”