(The classic 1950 Disney version – as opposed to every other movie ever made)
Do I really need to do this? Ok. Girl traumatized by the death of her parents and the emotional abuse inflicted on her by evil (i.e. EEE-vil) stepmother and sisters has a mental breakdown and begins to talk and sing to anthropomorphic birds and mice. Stepmother and sisters continue to be EEE-vil. Fairy godmother pimps her ride. Hot prince digs her footwear. Anthropomorphic mice and freakishly tiny feet (seriously, how does she not fall over?) save the day. Yay!
You can start young with this one. As with so many of the classic Disney it seems designed for the toddler set. Personally I think the mice will keep them coming back for more, it certainly worked for our kids. Although by the time they were 7 and 9 it had really started to wear out its welcome. Our son might still go back to it just for the mice but I can’t hold him up as a representative sample.
There’s nothing to worry about with this one unless your kids are sensitive to cartoonish emotional abuse. It does follow the First Rule of Disney: Kill the Parents but the deaths are off-screen so it’s no Bambi.
Early on our daughter went through a princess phase. When she was three or four she got a raft of princess costumes for Christmas. While this was going on it was only natural that we would screen highlights from the Disney princess movies. Snow White was a little too weird (the wishing well song has not aged well) and Sleeping Beauty, The Little Mermaid, and Beauty and the Beast were all a little too scary during their respective climaxes. This made Cinderella the clear front-runner in the princess canon for our tiny royal.
But she was not the only one to embrace the classics. Our son enjoyed it just as much but for different reasons. Specifically the mice, Gus and Jacques, according to the source of all knowledge, Wikipedia, “the deuteragonists of the franchise.” Frankly, if I had been writing the Wikipedia entry on Cinderella I probably would have done the same thing. Anyway, because of said mice I think Cinderella can be just as good a movie for young boys. Forget the romance and the dresses and shoes, there is some serious comedy going on here. Not to mention proto-chipmunk voices. They kept our son engaged and I don’t see why they wouldn’t do the same for yours.
I have one final point to make about Cinderella and that is our daughter rejected the princess role years ago and has switched whole-heartedly to fairies. In casting about the Internets for information on the relative feminist merits of the Disney PrincessesTM I’ve found that not only are Disney PrincessesTM generally not good role models for little girls but there is a lot of very entertaining content out there deconstructing the whole mythos. I would like to think that our daughter is highly evolved in her worldview but the decision to reject the princess lifestyle boils down to two facts:
- Fairies are REAL
- Kissing is gross and embarrassing
I have to figure out how to keep this going through high school…
Do you agree or disagree with my assessment or have something to add?
Scroll down just a little…the comments are Right There!
Let me know what you think.