I have 2 daughters and as I have often said, they are day and night. One is a tomboy, for sure, although puberty has stretched Amelia into starting to think about personal style. But Zoe? Zoe is all, pure girly girl. Yea, she loves her sports too but she may decline time outdoors if it means removing her fingerless Frozen gloves. All scarves are skirts, head coverings or princess trains, after all, weren’t they made for that. So while she, like so many kids, loves “Frozen,” it’s no more special to her than “Cinderella,” one of her long time, tried & true favorites for years now.
So, OF COURSE, I had to take to her to see “Cinderella.”
I had my worries, of course. She still struggles with 2 hours in a movie, especially live action – she’s still more of a cartoon movie fan. What really concerned me was that she’d be devastated after the “Frozen Fever” short (or what my hubby calls, the “super short”) was over.
I didn’t have much to worry about though. The theater was crowded so Chris and I each took a child and we at in 2 rows. About a third of the way through the movie, she got up and I thought “uh oh,” but as Chris later confirmed, she just “wanted to sit with Mom.”
I’m TOTALLY ok with that.
She got a little antsy in the plotline leading up to the fairy godmother and when when the stepmother and stepsisters strip down her dress, she got upset.
Ah but then….the magic started. Except for the tense green house scene, she didn’t make a PEEP from the time the mice turned into horses until THE BALL WAS OVER. When Cinderella lost her shoe, she had raised her hand…and in it was her OWN shoe, to which she yelled, “Slipper!” I quieted her down and she repeated “slipper” over and over, holding her own sneaker until Cinderella safely hid the shoe.
Yes, she talked a bit too much (repetitive phrases) during the film, but some people brought babies to see this film (??), so I wasn’t going to feel so bad. And honestly, she was quieter than she’d been through any long film we’d seen ever (I’m talking to you, “Boxtrolls”) – and she was so happy.
And as LONG as we are discussing the virtues of the new “Cinderella,” I’m going to recommend it…and here’s why:
- The mother gets a voice! Cinderella had two awesome parents, and her mother is a gem. OK, maybe a little too perfect, yea, but the memory of a beloved parent lost in youth WOULD be like that. I’m not sure Walt would approve, but it’s nice to see that it was a whole family that raised that lovely child.
- Lots of homage to the original film, even with plot changes. I actually thought the altered plot lines made it more interesting, but I LOVED how they staged scenes RIGHT out of the 1942 cartoon. For example, the tableau of her father and her as a child in front of the fountain (which is a sketch in the cartoon movie) and the scene of her crying in the dark at the water fountain before Fairy Godmother shows up were lifted directly from the cartoon and we all knew it. Nicely done.
- We learn why the dad remarries and it’s not for the reason in the cartoon. Makes a better turn of events, IMO.
- The coach, the beautiful, beautiful coach! Wow, no words for what a good job the set designers did on this – even Chris was impressed.
- The dress. Beautiful and in this version, Fairy Godmother REWORKS Cinderella’s ruined dress at her behest, because it was her mother’s and she couldn’t imagine going to the ball without it. She spins, she lifts, the way it magically changes is revisioned – so awesome and another beautiful scene.
- The prince doesn’t fall in love with her just because she’s an enigma he must solve (like in the cartoon) but because she’s witty, smart and kind (they have a pre-ball encounter) ….and not the cookie cutter princess his father wants him to marry. Although, yes, it is still a kind of silly, love at first sight thing, it’s more believable than the original.
Surprisingly, I really liked this movie and it had a good theme. We see Cinderella’s true nature – how she does not let dark times compromise her spirit – and we also see the heart of someone who takes tragedy and allows it to ultimately corrupt them. It was an interesting play: the movie reveals how Lady Tremaine’s loss of her husband turned her into a bitter abuser who despises even her own children, while Cinderella’s loss of BOTH parents simply entrenches her faith in hope, courage and kindness much more deeply.
I dare say (as I have maintained about the cartoon as well) that there are good, Christian values that can be learned from the tale of “Cinderella,” and they are even more evident in this live action version.
Now, I know some will say this is not their cup of tea, that it’s not a forward movie, that it’s still “boy saves girl,” blah blah blah.
All I know is Zoe was happy as a lark after this movie and Amelia enjoyed it too. There were 2 hours without even so much as a hidden adult innuendo. (Starting to really HATE that, let’s talk about “Mr. Peabody & Sherman” sometime, grrr.) It’s totally a feel-good movie and I recommend it for anyone who has a Girly Girl OR a princess fan in their home!