|“||Well, I see no reason why you can't go...if you get all your work done and if you find something suitable to wear.||„|
|~ Lady Tremaine|
Lady Madonna Tremaine, or the Wicked Stepmother for short, is the main antagonist of Disney's 12th full-length animated feature film, Cinderella, and its second sequel. She is Cinderella's harsh and selfish wicked stepmother, based on the character of the original fairytale.
She was voiced by the late Eleanor Audley in the original film, (who later voiced Maleficent in the 1959 animated Disney film Sleeping Beauty) and by Susanne Blakeslee in its two sequels.
Lady Tremaine is portrayed as a very refined, gracious, and collected person who never loses her calm, even when furious. She speaks with great courtesy to anyone, including Cinderella, while concealing her true feelings of contempt, and revels in her victim's torment.
She is highly intelligent and perspicacious, being able to recognize small details and to use them skillfully to serve her interests. She always makes sure that she does not have to keep her promises, while staying true to her words.
Lady Tremaine is very lazy, not doing so much as a scratch of housework during and after Cinderella's time in the mansion. Once getting a hold of the Fairy Godmothers' wand, Tremaine crossed the line of greedy and selfish tyrant to power-drunk and near heartless criminal. Whilst watching the events of Cinderella's happily ever after getting undone, Lady Tremaine displayed an expression of wicked satisfaction, clearly showing the sadistic glee that Cinderella's misery inspired her.
The very least that can be said is that Tremaine avoided crossing the Moral Event Horizon by never committing murder, even when she could. When she had Cinderella captured she ordered her banished instead of killed and turned the guards advancing on her into animals.
Prior to the beginning of the story, Lady Tremaine married Cinderella's wealthy father, who wanted to give his daughter a motherly figure, and sisters in the person of Tremaine's daughters Anastasia and Drizella.
After Cinderella's father died (though the cause was unknown), Tremaine revealed her true nature, smiling wickedly while Cinderella was crying over her father's corpse, without even bothering to pretend mourning. During the following years, she wasted the family's wealth to spoil her bratty, obnoxious daughters and reduced Cinderella to a lowly servant, abusing her out of jealousy for her beauty and kindness.
When the Tremaines are invited to a ball organized by the king to find a spouse for his son, Cinderella asks to go with them, arguing that "each fair maiden in the kingdom is invited". Lady Tremaine agrees under the conditions that she gets all her work done and that she finds something suitable to wear, but Cinderella does not realize that she is giving her hopes to better crush them.
While Cinderella works very hard to do the immense amount of chores given by Anastasia and Drizella, her birds and mice friends make her a gorgeous dress from the cloths discarded by the Tremaine sisters. When Cinderella shows up, prettier than the Tremaines will ever be, Tremaine recognizes the necklace she wears as one of Drizella's old pieces of jewelry. She subtly points it to her daughters, who tear Cinderella's dress to shreds in a rage, accusing her of stealing their clothing, cruelly breaking Cinderella who dissolves into tears.
Fortunately, Cinderella attends the ball thanks to her Fairy Godmother who gives her a marvelous attire, and she and the Prince fall in love. Meanwhile, Tremaine spies on them because the unknown princess looks familiar to her and she hears them singing.
The next day, Lady Tremaine learns that the Grand Duke of the kingdom is looking for the maid who fits the glass slipper that Cinderella lost in her hurry, so that the Prince could marry her.
Overjoyed by these news, Cinderella starts singing carelessly, with her wicked stepmother recognizing her song and instantly figuring who the mysterious princess really was. Furious, she follows her upstairs and locks her in her room, keeping the key in her pocket.
The Duke arrives and tries the slipper on Drizella and Anastasia but it does not fit. As the Duke prepares to leave, Cinderella arrives, having been freed by the mice who managed to steal the key.
Lady Tremaine then resorts to a last underhanded trick, tripping the lackey to shatter the slipper on the floor. She grins victoriously, reveling in the Duke's despair, until Cinderella displays the other slipper to prove that she was the one dancing with the Prince, leaving the Tremaines dismayed and ruined.
In the sequels
Cinderella 2: Dreams Come True
Lady Tremaine makes a short appearance in the first direct-to-video sequel, in which she disapproves of the blooming romance between Anastasia (who is portrayed in a much more positive light) and a young baker apprentice.
Cinderella 3 : A Twist in Time
A few years after the first movie, Anastasia witnesses a meeting between Cinderella, the Prince and the Fairy Godmother; and gets her hands on the magic wand, accidentally turning the Fairy into stone when she attempts to get it back. Tremaine seizes the wand and uses it to travel into time, back when her daughters were trying the glass slipper. She then creates her own horrific version of a "happily ever after", more akin to a nightmare than a fantasy.
She first bewitches the slipper to fit Anastasia's foot, verbally tormenting the bewildered Cinderella while making the second slipper "accidentally" fall in the staircase to destroy the evidences. When the Tremaines are welcomed in the royal castle, the Prince remarks that Anastasia is not the one he is looking for but Lady Tremaine magically alters his memories, all this being witnessed by Cinderella's mice friends.
When Cinderella learns that the Tremaines have the wand, she sneaks into the castle and enters their quarters to get it back, while covering her face and passing for a servant. But Lady Tremaine recognizes her immediately before unmasking her, sending the royal guards after her and forcing her to flee. During the chase, Cinderella crashes into the Prince, who is eventually told the truth by the mice. The Prince, whose heart recognized his true beloved in spite of the spell, rescues Cinderella from exile and exposes Lady Tremaine's treachery, forcing her to teleport away with her daughters.
Knowing that the Prince's feelings are stronger than her magic, Lady Tremaine resolves to replace Cinderella with a shape-shifted Anastasia before the wedding. She teleports Cinderella inside a pumpkin transformed into a coach (in a gloomy retelling of the fist movie) and turns her pet cat Lucifer into a human coachman, instructing him to dispose of her for good. Fortunately, Cinderella manages to escape and she barges into the wedding, shortly after a repentant Anastasia (who knows that the Prince will never love her for what she really is) breaks the masquerade. Livid, Tremaine storms into the scene followed by Drizella. She turns all the royal guards sent to capture them into animals, and prepares to turn Anastasia, and Cinderella who is shielding her, into toads, but the Prince uses his sword to deflect back the spell, defeating her for good.
During the end credits, Lady Tremaine has been restored, but is wearing scullery clothes identical to those Cinderella used to wear, possibly implying that they will be working in her mansion under Cinderella's authority as punishment for the cruelty she showed her. This was most likely an act of mercy by Cinderella, who did not wish to see her stepmother in prison regardless of the fact she deserved such a sentence. Besides, it can be implied that the king, who was absolutely outraged by their actions, will not go easy on them.
Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep
Lady Termaine also makes an appearance in the video game Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep, the prequel of Kingdom Hearts, as one of the minor antagonists, but not as a boss. In many ways, she remains the same as in the movies, but when Aqua plays a role in helping the Grand Duke find Cinderella and matching the slipper, Tremaine vengefully vows to end her stepdaughter's happiness. This surge of negative emotions creates an Unversed in the shape of a pumpkin carriage. However, Tremaine's negative emotions prove to be her downfall as she cannot control the unversed which proceeds to blow her and her daughters away with a fireball.
In the 2015 Movie
- Main article: Lady Tremaine (2015 film)
In the 2015 movie of Disney too and which directed by Kenneth Branagh (who played Viktor Cherevin and Gilderoy Lockhart) , Lady Tremaine is the film's main antagonist too and portrayed in Branagh's movie by the actress Cate Blanchett who also portrayed Irina Spalko in Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.
- Tremaine's voice was done by Eleanor Audley, who went on to voice the evil fairy enchantress Maleficent in Sleeping Beauty, and both villainesses also share the same current voice actress Susanne Blakeslee.
- Despite singing the first verse of "Sing Sweet Nightingale" during her daughters' music lesson, Lady Tremaine is one of a few "serious and noncomedic" female Disney Villains not to have a song of her own.
- Tremaine is the first villain in a "Disney Princess" movie to not die (The second being Governor Ratcliffe and the third being Prince Hans).
- Tremaine is, along with Man, Gaston, Scar, Judge Claude Frollo, Governor Ratcliffe, Madame Medusa, Lots-O Huggin' Bear, and Prince Hans considered to be one of the most hated Disney Villains because of her cruel treatment to Cinderella and her attempts to keep Cinderella from ever being happy.
- In the sequels, Tremaine's dress color changes from her original red to purple. Either this was an animation error or that she may have more than one dress in her wardrobe.