Review? Cinderella

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SPOILERS

What is it about?

The second princess outing from the Walt Disney Company. Cinderella is the story of a kind and resilient woman under the care of her stepmother, after her parents have passed.  Her stepmother, Lady Tremaine cares for her own children’s prospects more than Cinderella’s and forces her to work as a scullery maid. Despite this, Cinderella is gentle and friends to all mice and birds. One day, the castle announces a grand  ball will be taking place for the Prince and all the eligible maidens can attend. Cinderella is excited that she will be allowed to attend as long as she can make a dress and finish all her chores. Unable to, her  mice friends finish her dress and surprise Cinderella. Enraged with her success, her step-sisters tore her dresses to shreds and go off to attend the ball. In tears, Cinderella goes into the garden and her Fairy Godmother appears, granting her wishes on the condition it disappears at midnight. Meanwhile, at the ball, the Prince rejects all girls until seeing Cinderella and dances with her. They fall in love and are about to kiss when the clock strikes midnight. She flees, leaving only her glass slipper.  The King pleased that his son wishes to marry the mysterious girl sends out a proclamation that every girl will try on the slipper.  Lady Tremaine is suspicious of Cinderella after she hums the song at the ball and locks her up in attempts to keep her from marrying the Prince. Her mouse friends steal the keys and break Cinderella free.  She asks to try the slipper but her stepmother breaks it. However, Cinderella presents the other slipper and it fits, leading the Prince and her to get married.

Opinions

Cinderella is a charming and enchanting fairy-tale that improves in areas where Snow White lacked, but still has some shallow plot points. This film could be so easily boring up until the catalyst point where the ball happens. However, it is not. We get a lot of sweet and cute moments in the beginning of this movie. It does well to establish Cinder’s caring and kind personality while establishing clearly her relationships with her sisters and mother. While her step-mother lacks motive unlike the Evil Queen, it builds a good dynamic and makes you see the clear lines of evil/good in the movie. In saying this, we build and build to the ball and when it happens, it is short lived. Not only in the romance is this movie quick but so is a lot of the ball. We barely get a couple of verses of “so this is love” before midnight happens. Cinderella does well in its side characters and gives a lot of personality to both the mice and the cat. This makes it light and adds a tone of humour to the film.

It is important to note while Cinderella dreams of better life and maybe romance, when she wants to go to the ball – it is not with the intention of being with the prince. I like this idea because it makes the character feel more independent and strong over Snow White’s characteristics. Despite her life and boundaries, she is hopeful she can attend and she wants attend because she wants to go to the party.  Therefore the romance is the film suffers and feels more like an addition on at the last moment, then a real plot point of the story. In a modern retelling it would be almost more interesting if she didn’t get with anyone and decide to have independence. However, her marrying the prince and getting out of her stepmother’s shadow is sort of that concept. It is worth remembering there were times in history where a woman being married off was a form of independence or ownership or trade. Depends on how you want to look at it.

I love the mice characters and the cat. Their rivalry is more solid than the hatred from Lady Tremaine. We lack so much understanding of her motives that it makes difficult to see why she does what she does. We can say she favoured her own children or she was jealous of Cinder’s beauty but we never really get a solid reasoning. This makes Lady Tremaine actions feel vindictive without purpose which doesn’t make her frightening but more weaken. It seems, to me, she is almost too easy to overcome and she doesn’t really pose  much adversity.

The Weird Things

  • I see her, I dance with her and I am often to marry her – The whole relationship with the prince and her is shallow. I can only assume it was her beauty that got him intrigued and their whole marrying immediately is not only rushed but so obscure. He barely knows anything about her. This is not that different from Snow White but is definitely less creepy.
  • Why does she even have a Fairy Godmother? Seriously who knows why. You can say it is due to her kindness and life of misery…but I’m so confused as into why this exist. The whole story is non-magical until this point and is really out of context.
  • Cinderella is kinda of lazy – she gets all her friends to help with her chores…and mice can’t sow, but we wish we lived this kind of fantasy.

Lessons Learned

  • Be kind and caring to all; it will earn you help in the end. Cinderella’s kindness to creatures and in general not only gets her dress made but a fairy godmother.
  • When you want something – try to get it. Cinderella works to attend the ball. She does all her chores. She is courageous to ask for it and she is fearless.

My Last Thoughts

I feel that Cinderella exudes courage, independence and kindness. I particularly like the fact she never really, well to me, seemed like she was after the prince and more wanting to just attend the ball. It’s a real moment of bravery and shows the character had independence to ask for what she wanted, work for it and try and get it.  I also can remember at least two songs from this film and the soundtrack is more impressible.

Fun Facts

  • During World War 2, Walt Disney’s company was $4 million in debt and on the verge  of bankruptcy.
  • Considered to be one of the best American animated films ever made, as selected by the American Film Institute
  • Received three Academy Award nominations.
  • There is a 2015 live action remake starring Lily Collins, directed by Kenneth Branagh

Verdict

  • Movie will be kept in DVD collection
  • 7/10 for personal enjoyment
  • 7.5/ 10 for overall era
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