Kenneth Branagh: the mice DO talk in live-action Cinderella – you just have to slow the sound down

"We created a whole mouse drama - there is a mouse script," the director of Disney's Cinderella tells RadioTimes.com. Hear an excerpt here...

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Disney’s new live action Cinderella is, in many ways, completely different to the 1950 animated classic. Cinderella is a strong, modern role model, her prince is called Kit, not Charming, and there is very little singing. Mice don’t make her ball gown for her, and they don’t talk either.

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Or at least, we didn’t think they did, until director Kenneth Branagh told us otherwise…

“We created a whole mouse drama – there is a mouse script,” Branagh told RadioTimes.com. 

While he decided to steer clear of singing, dress-making mice in his movie – “we wanted to concentrate the magic into a single visit from the fairy godmother” – he couldn’t help giving the little rodents a voice. So although our human ears just hear Gus Gus and his pals squeaking, the rodents are in fact speaking to one another – you just have to slow down those squeaks to hear what they’re saying…

“We found ourselves creating things for them to say, which we had actors say and which we then slowed down or sped up and turned invisible mouse lingo,” says Branagh.

The script, he tells us, is made up of “everything that the mice in this movie do and everything they say. Every element of this story.

“I invite those who want to play with the sound speed on their home entertainment system to work out exactly what they say! I promise you there are no swear words in there but it is interesting dialogue.”

“I wish I could tell you it was more interesting than eating cheese,” he added. “It’s a lot to do with the acquisition and the eating of cheese, particularly with Gus Gus.”

Branagh also discussed his decision to keep the name Gus Gus, which originated in the 1950’s animation: “When people heard I was doing [Cinderella], particularly women across all ages, would say, ‘Is Gus Gus in it?’ He was clearly a character that really stuck with them.

“The more I heard people say it, the funnier it sounded to me. It has a little oomph to it, Gus Gus. It’s ticklish, a ticklish kind of word, a ticklish sound. I thought, you know what, people own that bit of this movie, we should let them have it, so Gus Gus came in.”


We’ve attempted to slow down the film’s squeaks to hear the mice’s cheesy dialogue, but we keep getting distracted by how strange Lily James sounds in slow-mo.

Let us know in the comments box below if you can decode any of their chatter… 

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Cinderella is in UK cinemas 27th March