Room for Improvement:
Gender Roles – Women
Gender Roles – Men
Self-Esteem and Body Image
Gender Roles - Women: 2 Stars
Cinderella is a surprisingly endearing character, and even shows some occasional spark. She’s patient, kind and even funny, but mostly unambitious and far too accommodating. She sings to us about the importance of believing in your dreams, but never actually tells us what her dreams are. We’re left to assume they have something to do with castles and princes. She never indicates that she’s made any plans to make her dreams a reality. She simply waits and hopes that her kindness will be rewarded.
Gender Roles - Men: 2 Stars
Cinderella scores some points for its warm and humorous depiction of the king, a widower who appears to have raised his only son on his own. He is a lonely and devoted father who is watching his only son grow further and further away from him. He is anxious to see his grandchildren before he passes on, and takes on the responsibility of finding his son a bride. This heartwarming character deftly illustrates the fact that fathers also have maternal instincts and hurt a little as their children grow up.
Self-Esteem and Body Image: 2 Stars
One of the more troubling aspects of this film is its focus on external beauty. From the very beginning we learn that Cinderella has been forced into the role of family servant for no other reason than because her stepmother “was bitterly jealousy over her charm and beauty.” This immediately suggests that beauty is a thing of such consequence that it may inspire both envy and cruelty from relative strangers. In addition, the story sets up what seems to be a deliberate contrast between Cinderella, who is beautiful and saintly, and her stepsisters, who are both cruel and ugly. The underlying message seems to be that a person’s appearance is a trustworthy indication of the sort of person they are on the inside.
Plot: 2 Stars
Cinderella is one of the original Disney princess stories, and unfortunately, there isn’t much about it that’s progressive or empowering. There is a brief moment, after the invitation to the ball arrives, when Cinderella stands up to her stepmother and insists that she be allowed to attend - as ordered by royal command. She has an old dress in the attic and plans to make the necessary alterations herself, without being rescued and without magic. Unfortunately, her plans are destroyed and Cinderella is left alone to cry for a miracle.
There is something about this story that still speaks to us, encouraging us to root for the poor girl who deserves better than the lot she’s been given in life. And if winning the heart of a Prince wasn’t her only hope for happiness, there might be something triumphant about Cinderella’s happy ending. But in the end, it’s really just about a fancy ball and a killer dress.
Character Development: 2 Stars
Cinderella is a good-natured person who accepts her situation without much complaint. While more modern adaptations generally try to provide some explanation for Cinderella’s obedience to her stepmother and stepsisters, this version paints her mild-mannered complacence as something of a virtue. Cinderella doesn’t complain about the injustices that are done to her or explain the various reasons she can’t or won’t run away towards a better life. She’s an engaging young girl who is undervalued and humiliated, and hopes against all odds that one day she will be allowed to shine - that she will be recognized and appreciated for all that she is. But sadly, she does little to help her own miracle along.
Love: 1 Star
Most modern retellings of Cinderella involve at least one encounter between Cinderella and her Prince before they fall in love at the ball. Something to tell us that their attraction is based on more than physical beauty. In this version, however, Cinderella does not meet her prince until she appears in her magic gown. He is bowing simply to another young lady, and looks up to see her in the distance. He is immediately drawn to her and the rest is history. They fall in love in an evening of dancing and strolling through elegant gardens, gazing into each other’s eyes. In the end, it comes across as nothing more than another magic spell. By the time the clock strikes midnight, the prince doesn’t even know her name.
A beautiful young girl, Cinderella, is abused and mistreated by her stepmother and two cruel stepsisters. She is forced to wear rags and work as a servant in her own home, with the mice and other animals as her only friends. Cinderella still dreams of a happy ending, and believes her chance may have come when an invitation arrives to attend a royal ball in honor of the prince. With the help of her fairy godmother, Cinderella arrives at the ball just in time to win the heart of the prince. Cinderella leaves behind a glass slipper, which is the prince’s only clue to finding the woman of his dreams.
Kelly is a labor law