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Have Courage and Be Kind | Cinderella Review

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I was provided complimentary tickets to preview this movie.  I was not compensated in any way for this review and all thoughts are my own.

I went to see the live action remake of Cinderella this week  in an advanced screening.  There’s a lot to say about the movie- but to get to the point: go see it and take your kids.

The new live action Cinderella is the perfect movie for girls who believe in the grand Happily Ever After.

Claire Cindy

Claire (age 9) and I loved the new Cinderella in theaters now.

Most of us know the story:  a young girl loses her father and is left to grow up with a wicked step mother and her two mean-girl step sisters.  With the help of her animal friends and a gentle Fairy Godmother, she experiences one night of amazing before it’s all dashed again at midnight.  The fairytale doesn’t end there, of course.  Her Prince finds her with the help of the glass slipper she left behind and they live happily ever after.

This is the Cinderella of our youth.  It’s also essentially the story that the live action remake (in theaters TODAY!) follows.

cinderella 2

With some charming additions.

As in Prince Charming.

He’s adorable.

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I wanted to hug him through the screen.  My daughter reminded me that I was married and I should only want to hug Daddy.

Fair enough.

But Prince Charming is totally going on the list as a back up.

Everything in this film is gorgeous: the actors, the backgrounds, the costumes and oh my word, the shoes!

shoes cinderella

I’ll admit that change scares me.  When people start talking remakes I get a little freaked out!

Cinderella was my favorite Walt Disney movie as a child and into my adulthood- I even named my dog Ella after the title character. I had concerns that my favorite would be changed too much or even – gasp– ruined!

This did not happen.  Every actor and every scene had us enthralled.  Claire and I simply loved this fairytale.

There were some minor changes, but changes I felt gave more depth to the movie and the story.

My favorite change from the original was getting to know the parents: Ella’s mom and dad as well as the King are given ample screen time for us to fall in love with the parent/child relationships.

Cinderella 4

They ring true. These parents all cared exceedingly for their children.  There is true loss even for the audience as we witness their passing(s).

When asked to describe the movie I keep using the same word: it’s sweet.  It’s light and sweet and lovely.

Yes, even with the parents passing away (spoiler alert?  Nah- I think we all know how this story goes!) it’s STILL sweet and lovely.  The deaths are not presented in a scary or frightful way at all and lend meat to the back story.

Oh- and the dresses!  THE Wedding dress of my dreams is featured in this Cinderella.  I swooned when I saw it on the big screen.  I need this in my closet.  We ALL need this in our closets.

I could go on and on about the costumes- expect to see some awards coming their way!

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My only slight disappointment in the movie came from the Step Sisters.

They were just okay.  They were mean-funny and played their parts well enough.  I don’t fault the actresses here- I think their direction was just a smidge off.

We’ve come to expect them to be over the top- and they certainly were not in this edition.  And I kinda wanted some of that.

Cate Blanchett is flawless, as always.  Even though we are supposed to dislike her, I wanted more Step Mother.

She’s just that good.

The message Ella grows up with is one we can all embrace:  have courage and be kind.  There is nothing in this sweet fairytale that should keep your family from seeing the movie together.

I’ve got to get this off my chest.  There’s a blog out there giving something like “7 reasons I won’t take my daughter to see Cinderella“.

Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, of course.

So here’s mine, said with courage: those reasons are all poppycock and hogwash and whatever other polite term you want to insert here.  I was a little upset that such a negative review was posted before she had even seen the movie.

I’ll also try to be kind, but there’s no easy way to say it.  That blog is click-bait (what bloggers do when they just want to seem controversial and get some hits).   If you’ve read it, ignore it, and read the other reviews by parents who’ve SEEN the movie to decide if this is  appropriate for your family.

Have you seen the new Cinderella?  What was your favorite part?

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Wednesday 18th of March 2015

What did you think of the Frozen short? I'm disappointed Disney is going to do a Frozen sequel. I don't think sequels ever live up to the hype.


Wednesday 18th of March 2015

I liked it for what it was. I don't know how they will re-create the magic of Frozen 2, but I am sure it will be a financial hit anyway.


Saturday 14th of March 2015

I'll be honest. I followed the click-bait, just to see what upset you so much. Don't be upset, but I don't see the post as being entirely wrong. She makes some good points. I do, however think that in the current drive to teach children all this self-value, what we're missing is teaching them media literacy and critical thinking skills. Instead of just "Oh, it's only a movie" or the opposite reaction, "I won't let my child see that movie" wouldn't it be better to have a conversation about what is and is not representative of real life? Why is the movie telling us this? What does Cinderella gain? What could she have done differently? I know that's not anywhere close to where you're going with this post, but the idea of media literacy and children has been a pet project of mine since long before I even thought of becoming a teacher. Fairy tales are an excellent stepping off point to having conversations about stories and how they're part of our culture. There's so much there, it seems a shame to try to cut your kid off just because the actress has a small waist.


Saturday 14th of March 2015

Not upset at all. I love the discussion.

I don't think her argument holds based on the age of her child. At almost 4, my Lucy would never even notice the size of Ella's waist. It's a ridiculous argument for the age. It's simply not going to be noticed by a child that age unless the parent decides to point it out.

If her daughter was older, sure, there could be some discussion. But even with my 10 year-old I didn't feel it was something so glaringly important to discuss. If the movie made a point to discuss her size (think gone with the wind and Scarlett's waist) I'd hold that discussion.

But this post felt more like searching for drama that didn't exist until she created it just to have drama in her life. Or clicks to the page.

Media literacy: yes a million times yes!!! There absolutely needs to be more discussion in this area with our kids.

Erin / Hanscarlet

Friday 13th of March 2015

Hey Patty - I am pretty sure this is going to be on our cruise next month, do you think Ava would be OK with it? Would Lucy be ok with it? I am not sure she understands death yet so that's why I wasn't sure? Great review, thanks for sharing!


Friday 13th of March 2015

It would totally go over Lucy's head as far as the deaths. I would take her if the whole family was going, but wouldn't take her one on one if that makes sense. I don't think it would be her first choice in movies (she will do a cartoon for sure- but doesn't usually sit and watch live action straight through!) There's nothing in theme or tone that I'd keep her home from- just that she prefers cartoons.


Friday 13th of March 2015

We are going tomorrow! Both L & E are excited to see it.


Friday 13th of March 2015

You'll ALL enjoy it!


Friday 13th of March 2015

What's a good age range for the movie, do you think?


Friday 13th of March 2015

There was a 5 year-old next to us who was engaged with the movie and enjoyed it. #ohlucy would mayyyybe stay entertained through it- as long as there were snacks. I didn't feel it was too adult themed; more just a slow start for someone under 5. If your kids enjoy live action movies I think it's fine. If they really only sit through the cartoons you may want to wait.

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