As a mom to three little girls who love princesses, I wanted to see the new Disney Cinderella live action film before my children saw it for a couple of reasons. Mainly because the movie has a PG rating and being live action, I wanted to see if it would hold their attention. I am a Disney kid at heart and I grew up watching these films. As a Disneynerd, I absolutely loved the new Disney Cinderella. Disney did a great job with the music, scenes, costumes and the characters. I love Downton Abbey, so seeing two of the characters in different roles was fun and "Rose" and "Daisy" did a great job being their characters in this film! I also loved catching the Disney touches throughout the film. A hidden Mickey, that maybe only I spotted in my group (Ella's front door), the musical touches of the songs from the original cartoon, such a Sing Sweet Nightingale, the mice having interactions with her, although minimal compared to the original film. Even good ole Lucifer made an appearance. I felt that the movie was done for not just the generation who grew up watching these movies, but also for our children and the new way that movies are created with computer animation.
Is this movie appropriate for children - Yes. I wouldn't say all that it would necessarily hold the attention of all ages though. My 2 yr old is definitely not going to see this movie in the theaters and my 4 yr might, if I tell her she must remain in her seat during the movie...she is at the age of jumping off couches and hopping throughout the house constantly. There are no cute cartoon mice in the film, but there are animated mice that do make an appearance and have cute little personalities to them. I would say this movie makes for a great Mom's Night Out! We went to a 9:00 show and a few of our moms got the kids into bed before heading out and getting a bit of time to see a movie with no interruptions from potty breaks, unless they were from themselves!
Is the movie Scary? No. Now the previews was another factor though. There was a preview for Mall Cop 2 that had some suggestive language in it and a new Peter Pan coming out that showed a scary clown guy grabbing a boy from his bed (kidnapping him possibly for Blackbeard pirate) that looked scary for little ones, but not all movie theaters show the same previews possibly.
Are there questionable scenes in the movie - YES. With anything, parents must decide if what they are letting their children put in front of them, matches their morals and values. Do I feel that this movie will corrupt my child, no. I do think that there is going to be some conversation after watching the film for sure.
Here are some questionable things that I noted in my mommy mind -
Body Image- The costumes were truly the clothing back in the day, I get that. But if I had boys especially, I might not want them to see low cut dresses and boobs pushed high up by their necks, just saying. We can talk about modesty on this note! There is also a scene of the sisters in their undergarments from back in the day. I don't think I would make mention of Ella's waist size with a 6 yr old, but maybe just seeing what she gathered of Cinderella as a person.
Gambling and Drinking - There is one short scene of Lady Tremaine holding a party and there are people gambling at the table and at one point there is an amber colored drink that is partaken of.
Language - No cursing that I caught. I did remember a wench, and hussy mentioning though. There was a bit of name calling and putting down of Ella by her stepsisters and stepmother, not only to her but to each other as well. They put Ella down quite a bit and made her feel pretty low, which I think shows you the power of words. Our motto around our house is - "If you don't have nothin nice to say, don't say nothin at all" - Thumper
Death - (This isn't questionable as in a bad sense, but more in a exposure kinda way) There are 3 scenes of dying in the movie. Coming from a personal background of losing our grandmother just 6 months ago, this can be a fresh topic of a hurting place. We have had talks of where people go when they die, but actually seeing the fresh pain of Ella and other characters in the movie dealing with death and grief, can stir up new feelings. If my husband decides to take my daughters to the movies, these scenes might be hard for him, just because he's dealt with this grief first hand recently. There was a tear or two shed in a couple scenes.
Some great questions to ask-
1. Why do think Ella was treated so unkindly by her step mother and sisters?
2. Do you think the story would have been different if her stepmother and sisters had treated her more kindly?
3. Dying is sad, how did it make you feel when Ella's mother died?
4. Why do you think the prince fell in love with Ella so quickly?
5. Have you ever had someone treat you as bad as Ella? How did that make you feel?
6. Why is kindness to others so important? Tell me a time you were kind.
7. What if the Grand Duke had caught Ella as she ran from the ball, how would the story have changed?
Was there magic in the film? YES. As with an Disney movie, there was a bit of magic. The fairy godmother is the magical aspect of the film. I guess you could say that Ella pretends to be friends and talk with the mice, rather than say that's a magical thing. Watching the Fairy Godmother turn the pumpkin and animal friends into her coach and footmen and such was really cool to see. It was just as spellbinding when they turned back at the stroke of midnight as well!
Was there romance in the film? YES. It was minimal honestly. There were a couple of kisses, and some close dancing that was in the ballroom scene.
Is there an underlying character concept - YES, Many times over the theme of having courage and being kind was a strong lesson throughout the film. Even when others are rude and treating you with hatred you can still be kind and have courage. She falters at one point and says she has no courage, but that scene quickly turns around when the fairy godmother turns up. I think Ella, who calls herself Cinderella at the end of the movie asks the prince an important question at the end of the movie before they go off to their happy ending. Would you still love me just for who I am?
For a Christian movie review that has many spoilers, which I tried not to do check out - http://www.pluggedin.com/movies/intheaters/cinderella-2015.aspx
Enter the Disney Sweepstakes to win a nights stay in Cinderella's castle in Walt Disney World! You can enter once a day until 3/27 http://movies.disney.com/cinderella-perfect-fit-sweepstakes
These opinions are mine alone. I am not affiliated with Disney in an way, but I am an opinionated mom who likes to help other moms and if reading my review of this movie helps you, then I am glad. Feel free to let me know what you thought of the movie and if my review was accurate!