Following quickly and assuredly in the footsteps of Maleficent - and with Beauty & The Beast and Dumbo yet to come - Kenneth Branagh's live action retelling of Cinderella is scoring a slew of positive reviews ahead of its worldwide at the end of the month. Cate Blanchett stars as the Wicked Stepmother in the new vision of the classic fairytale from the screenwriting team of Chris Weitz and Aline Brosh McKenna.

Lily JamesLily James plays Cinderella in Kenneth Branagh's retelling of the classic Disney animation

Made for $95 million, Branagh's Cinderella remains largely faithful to the plot of the 1950 classic animation though includes several twists. In his version, Cinderella (or Ella) and the Prince meet prior to the ball, with him telling her he is a palace employee named Kit. The Fairy Godmother - played here by Helena Bonham Carter - also has a bigger role than in previous version. 

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"Cate Blanchett is perfectly marvelous. Nothing steals a scene from her, except Sandy Powell's costumes and Dante Ferretti's production design, which are all kinds of wonderful," said Peter Travers of Rolling Stone.

"Without resorting to post-Wicked good-girl/bad-girl reversals in the manner of Maleficent and (dare I say it?) Frozen, Branagh and Weitz see the fairy tale afresh," wrote Michael Sragow of Film Comment magazine.

CinderellaCinderella could prove to be a huge hit for Disney

"Branagh and company are probably making this version not just for us jaded adults but for a generation of children who perhaps never had a chance to see "Cinderella" on a big screen. For them, it will be a brand new adventure," said Susan Wloszczyna for

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"Branagh has cracked the Disney do-over code with "Cinderella," hopefully gluing the creative dials in place for all future productions," said Brian Orndorf of

Cinderella hits theaters worldwide on March 27, 2015. 

Watch the trailer for Cinderella: