My first interaction with 2015 Cinderella was watching the trailer on Facebook some months before it released.
My first impression: Not getting into a Disney Princess movie after all these years. Kit's eyes are way too blue.
But then, I can't remember if it was my sister who watched the trailer, which inveigled me into seeing it a second time. And this time, instead of hating on Kit's blue eyes, I heard Cinderella's mother speaking with a sweet, breathless earnestness: "Have courage and be kind. Where there is kindness, there is goodness, and where there is goodness, there is magic."
Those two lines tugged at my heartstrings.
On the night of my twenty-first birthday, we watched Cinderella. We haven't stopped watching it since. And there was so much for my heart to love about this movie adaptation.
Cinderella is about as pure as it gets. There's a wonder, an emphasis on good moral character, and an overall theme of endurance in affliction that uplift while they entertain. As Cinderella faces life without her beloved father and with the cruelty of her step-family, her actions emphasize again and again that kindness is a choice, not a feeling. We see her feel hurt, even anger sometimes. Cinderella knows when to confront her stepmother with troubled eyes and ask, "Why are you so cruel?" But she also knows when to smile and serve with a gentle voice, holding on to the courage and kindness that her dying mother encouraged her to cling to. Pursuing love and unity as a follower of Christ take incredible courage. And while Cinderella isn't out there to teach Scripture, you can see the practical application of what the fruit of the Spirit should look like in the life of a Christian.
The other part I really loved about this movie was how well Kit and Ella get along with their parents. There is a celebration of life with strong family relationships: From a child, Ella is used to love and bedtime stories from her mother. Even when her father wants to marry again, the bond between Ella and her father isn't shaken. She fully supports him moving forward, and they love and understand each other on a heart-level.
Kit, even when he wants to marry the girl in the forest instead of a rich princess, still maintains the maturity of a man and a prince. He and his father disagree, but they don't fall overboard into anger, and when Kit gives his final refusal, he begins it with, "I love and respect you."
Kit and Ella may have a fairytale romance with fairytale colors. But they were shaped by their closeness with their parents so well that when the time came for both of them to step out and be adults, they had the maturity and grace to do so. And in that, I think they can be wonderful role-models.
There are a few sentences that spill into Disney morals and don't enhance the overall theme picture. Following your heart, believing in everything, and being taken care of by fairy godmothers aren't exactly the stuff that solid faith is made of. But they're very brief blips on a beautiful script and beautiful cinematography.
Those are the serious thoughts. But one should not always be serious when watching Disney films. Here's a rapid series of what I loved:
- Gus-Gus is the cutest mouse on the planet. We have a serious Gus-Gus fandom around here.
- Ask us about the torn butterfly sometime in Cinderella's treasure box.
- I just love the lizard footmen with their green hues.
- The captain js the. best. sidekick. in the history of ever.
- And if you ever want to know, we can point out just where to find the animals on the day of Cinderella's wedding.
Oops. I just told you the ending.
schuyler how could you i didn't know
Sexual: Low-necked dresses. Cinderella and Kit share a kiss.