Ella Enchanted: The Book
A Huge Leap
As fans of the original novel know, the movie is based very lightly on Levine's novel. When the movie was released, many were disappointed at how it hardly resembled what it was supposed to be based on. The author herself has acknowledged the differences, such as the addition of characters and the different plot. In an interview with KidsReads.com, she says that even if she commented on how the movie was supposed to flow, the director and producers weren't obligated to follow her orders. She even suggested to her readers to '[regard] the movie as a separate creative act'.
Just like the movie, Ella was bestowed to her the gift of obedience, her mother died and her father married Dame Olga (even though it's much later in the book), but after that everything is completely different. Char actually meets Ella in her mother's funeral, her father was depicted in a more negative light and Ella, Hattie and Olive were sent to boarding school together. There, Ella meets Areida, who has a much larger role that in the movie, as Areida even teaches Ella her language, Ayorthian. Ella finds out that her father is attending a wedding with fairies and decides to attend in the hope to find Lucinda and get rid of the gift. On her way, she is capture by ogres and gets rescued by Char and his knights. When she finds Lucinda, she refuses to take away the gift and tells her to be happy about it (Mandy reverses this order later on). Her father couldn't find a rich husband for Ella, so he marries Dame Olga to pay off the debts. He leaves for business and Ella is forced to work like a slave. During the wedding, Char and Ella meet, where he gives her glass slippers in the garden. He leaves the country for a year, and Char and Ella exchange letters and fall in love. Ella pretends to be engaged when Char wants to marry her, since she knows if she did, she could be forced to kill him.
When Char returns, he holds a ball for three nights. Ella, with the help of Mandy and Lucinda (who is not as stubborn as before), attends incognito, wearing a mask but also the glass slippers Char had given her. On the third night, she dances with Char when Hattie snatches off her mask, causing Ella to flee to the manor. Before she and Mandy could run away, they get caught by Char and his men. Char asks her to marry him and she finally breaks the gift when she shouted that she won't. After her realization, she finally agrees to marry him.