Dave’s 3-Word Review:
Classic and precise.
Who loves Disney anymore? Of course I’m kidding, because you can’t just dislike a Disney movie. No matter how predictable or typical they tend to be, they somehow almost always come out really well, and they make you feel really good too. It’s without surprise that Disney is remaking those classic Disney princess movies in live action. It makes sense, these were their biggest movies ever…why not redo them in a more realistic and live-action manner? Personally, I’m still waiting for Aladdin, but for the time being, let’s chat about Cinderella.
In a lot of ways, Cinderella was basically the follow-up to Alice in Wonderland. It has the same basic idea, there’s just much less fantasy, and a touch more magic. You should know the story already though, seeing how it’s the most-told Disney story ever. There are so many versions of this same story that telling it seems moot, but here you go – once upon a time, there was a girl named Ella. When her parents die, she’s forced to live with her cruel step-mother and step-sisters who won’t let her go to a ball, where she really wants to find her friend (who is really the prince). So magic allows her to…yatta yatta.
The story isn’t important, but the lead up is. I was astonished at how believable the story was, and how well it was able to portray characters that you could connect with. The cartoon was very simple, which worked back then, but basic doesn’t include the type of character development this film took advantage of. The build-up of the “evil step-sisters” actually made sense. It was a little exaggerated, but from a real-life perspective, it really just boils down to jealousy and selfishness. You might mention magic isn’t believable, and you’re right. But there wasn’t as much magic in this film as you might expect, instead you have a lot of love and kindness from Ella’s character, which is almost magical all on its own, and something you can actually achieve in real life. I love that they took special care to really make her character physically there and complex…making her ultimately feel like a character that you can love.
Changing her name to Ella was a curious move, but one that made sense by the time the film ended. The name Cinderella is used about half as much through the movie, but it’s origins are really unique and in my opinion…smart. They used manipulation and cruelty and transformed it into a form of acceptance and forgiveness. As far as kids movies go and hidden, underlying messages go…this one was very strong, and definitely a movie little girls would love to go see. Even the entire family could benefit from this film…surely no one would watch it and say that it was a bad movie. It was good – just focused more on little girls as a target audience…for obvious reasons.
To be completely honest, Cinderella was solid. There must be hundreds of versions of the story by now, and this has been my favorite variation out of the bunch. It keeps to the classic tale, and adds some respectable material that makes the story feel more grounded, but still just as magical. This one gets a Dave’s Seal of Approval!
I can’t find many bad things about this other than your very typical target-audience thing. I can’t rate kids movies super highly for the most part, because they still feel more like kids movies than Oscar-winning well done films. Not everyone will love this movie, and for the most part, only females will. It’s flawed in the most basic of ways, but it’s still a very entertaining movie.