This past week, I had the chance to bring my family to an early screening of Disney’s Cinderella at a local theater. Although admission to the screening was free, all thoughts and opinions on the movie are my own. All photos are courtesy of Disney. Cinderella is in theaters now!
When I mentioned to my husband that I might be able to bring the whole family along with me to a screening of Cinderella, I had to chuckle at his reaction. “Of course! Definitely! I’m going to want to see it anyway.” I could hear a “Well, DUH!” behind his enthusiastic response. And here I was thinking that Cinderella was a “girl’s” movie. Boy was I wrong. Apparently, one of the things that Disney is doing very, very right with their recent remakes of some of the classic fairytales we all grew up with is that they are making them equally enjoyable for the WHOLE family. Boys included. Even my 14-year-old son was excited to see Cinderella.
The story of “Cinderella” follows the fortunes of young Ella (Lily James) whose merchant father remarries following the death of her mother. Eager to support her loving father, Ella welcomes her new Stepmother (Cate Blanchett) and her daughters Anastasia (Holliday Grainger) and Drisella (Sophie McShera) into the family home. But, when Ella’s father unexpectedly passes away, she finds herself at the mercy of a jealous and cruel new family.
Soon, she is forced to become their servant, disrespected, covered in ashes and spitefully renamed Cinderella. Yet, despite the cruelty inflicted upon her, Ella will not give in to despair nor despise those who mistreat her, and she continues to remain positive, determined to honor her mother’s dying words and to “have courage and be kind.”
When Ella meets a dashing stranger in the woods, unaware that he is really the Prince (Richard Madden) and not merely Kit, an apprentice at the palace, she believes she has finally found a kindred soul. It appears her fortunes may be about to change when the King (Derek Jacobi) summons all maidens in the kingdom to attend a royal ball at the palace, raising Ella’s hopes of once again encountering the charming Kit. Alas, her Stepmother forbids her to attend and callously destroys her dress.
Meanwhile, the calculating Grand Duke (Stellan Skarsgård) devises a plan to thwart the Prince’s hopes of reuniting with Ella and enlists the support of the devious Stepmother. But, as in all good fairy tales, help is at hand. Soon, a kindly beggar woman (Helena Bonham Carter) steps forward and, armed with a pumpkin, a few mice and a magic wand, changes Cinderella’s life forever.
A live-action feature inspired by the classic fairy tale, “Cinderella” brings to life the timeless images from Disney’s 1950 animated masterpiece as fully-realized characters in a visually-dazzling spectacle for a whole new generation.
Directed by Academy Award® nominee Kenneth Branagh (“Thor,” “Hamlet”) and starring two-time Academy Award winner Cate Blanchett (“Blue Jasmine,” “Elizabeth”), Lily James (“Downton Abbey”), Richard Madden (“Game of Thrones”) and Academy Award nominee Helena Bonham Carter (“The King’s Speech,” “Alice in Wonderland”), “Cinderella” is produced by Simon Kinberg (“X-Men: Days of Future Past,” “Elysium”), Allison Shearmur (“The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 1”) and David Barron (“Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1”) with Tim Lewis (“Edge of Tomorrow”) serving as executive producer. The screenplay is by Chris Weitz (“About a Boy,” “The Golden Compass”).
What we loved about Cinderella:
The new Cinderella has the charm of the 1950’s animated film. It feels familiar, like an old friend, but it’s so much more. This new Cinderella goes deeper into the characters, and we all loved getting to know the familiar characters a little better. The movie starts out telling Cinderella’s back story and why she has such a positive attitude in the midst of so much adversity. We also get to know the prince so much more (and boy, is he a worthy prince to swoon after!). I love seeing his relationship with his father, the King, as well.
We all thought the casting was spot on. Cinderella’s step mother and step sisters were favorites in our family. Cate Blanchett plays the perfect selfish, scheming stepmother to Lily James’ sweet, cheerful Cinderella. The step sisters, played by Sophie McShera and Holliday Grainger, are shallow and silly, with horrible fashion sense, and I couldn’t help but love them.
The scenery and costuming is spectacular. It is colorful and vibrant, with exquisite detail. I fell in love with Cinderella’s country home that held so much love and pleasant memory for her, and was in awe of the Prince’s castle where the ball was held.
Have Courage and Be Kind
My favorite thing about Cinderella, though, was the message that was repeated throughout the movie: to “have courage and be kind.” What a wonderful, positive, uplifting message to send to children and adults alike! I love the message that no matter what life throws at you, it is your choice to have a positive attitude. Cinderella rose above her trials and was a good person because she chose to be.
Who should see Cinderella?
Cinderella is perfect for the whole family (except, possibly, for little one don’t sit still for movies). Unless the fact that both of Cinderella’s loving parents die at different times during the movie and she ends up having to be a servant to her stepmother and step sisters would upset kids, I don’t think there’s anything that wouldn’t be inappropriate or troubling for kids to see. The fact that Cinderella’s parents die is nothing new – but the difference in this movie is that we get to know her parents and see their loving family relationship before they die.
I recommend that everyone see Cinderella in theaters. I can’t wait to own this one on DVD…we’ll be buying it for sure to watch over and over!
See Frozen Fever Before Cinderella!
Be sure you get to the theater on time to see Disney’s newest short, Frozen Fever, starring all of your favorite characters from Frozen (yes, they brought the voice talent back!).
In “Frozen Fever,” it’s Anna’s birthday and Elsa and Kristoff are determined to give her the best celebration ever, but when Elsa catches a cold, her powers may put more than just the party at risk.
Frozen Fever is a delightful story that lets Frozen fans have a little peek into Anna and Elsa’s life after the events of Frozen. It’s only a few minutes long, but it had all of us laughing many times. Don’t miss it!
Connect with Cinderella
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CINDERELLA is in theaters NOW!
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