England Football film, Ella: A Modern Day Fairytale

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England Football and Disney create an animated short film to inspire more girls to try football

Ahead of the FIFA Women’s World Cup kicking off next month, England Football and Disney have today unveiled a new animated short film, Ella: A Modern Day Fairytale, which shines a light on Disney inspired Shooting Stars – a programme for primary school aged girls, supporting them to develop fundamental movement skills and introducing them to football through Disney storytelling.

The film is a modern re-telling of Disney’s Cinderella story, and is narrated by Lioness legend and broadcaster, Alex Scott. It tells the story of Ella, a primary school girl who follows her passion to play football, overcoming barriers along the way. She receives help from her ‘three Lioness Godmothers’, England Senior Women players, Leah Williamson, Lucy Bronze and Lauren James, who have all been animated as Disney-inspired characters for the film.

The idea behind the England Football and Disney collaboration is to ensure that Ella: A Modern Day Fairytale shows that football is for everyone and inspires girls to give football a go in the playground at school or at their local club.

Nicole Morse, VP of Brand and Franchise Marketing, Disney EMEA said: “Disney is so proud of the Shooting Stars programme. To see our characters having a real impact and being a force for good to help young girls begin a love of football, as well as get active and develop the confidence that Shooting Stars gives, is wonderful. The programme has been a great success, and this brilliant new take on a Disney classic in inspiring Ella: A Modern Day Fairytale will help spread the word of Shooting Stars meaning even more girls will benefit from it.”

The FA’s Head of Development, Louise Gear, said: “As a mum, I’m really excited that we’re able to work with our partner Disney on bringing to life a much-loved classic film in Ella: A Modern Day Fairytale. Football is a game for all and Disney inspired Shooting Stars aims to provide opportunities for girls in schools up and down the country to play the game they love from an early age. Ella: A Modern Day Fairytale highlights the barriers that many girls face when trying to play football, and ahead of a huge summer for women’s and girls’ football, we hope this not only inspires more girls to have the courage to play, but changes perceptions in the playground.”

Printed versions will be distributed for free to primary schools up and down the country from September. The ambition is to get Ella’s tale of positivity and triumph into the hands of as many children as possible and to encourage more schools to bring the Disney inspired Shooting Stars programme to their playground. The programme supports girls aged 5-11 nationwide to develop fundamental movement, listening and speaking skills through the magic of Disney storytelling, in partnership with England Football.

Since launching in 2019, the programme has seen over 70,000 girls take part, which is live in over 3,600 schools across the UK. Recently, a new e-learning training platform has launched, meaning that all 16,000 English primary schools now have access to the assets provided by the programme.

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