Interest Level: Preschool, Primary, Intermediate, Young Adult
Main Performers: Cate Blanchett, Lily James, Richard Madden
Director: Kenneth Branagh
Run Time: 105 min.
MPAA Rating: PG
Ella, the daughter of a successful merchant and his wife, is taught from a young age to "have courage and be kind," and this will bring magic into her life. Years after his wife’s death, Ella's father remarries Lady Tremaine, who has two daughters of her own. When Ella's father dies unexpectedly while traveling, Lady Tremaine cruelly forces Ella to take over all the household chores and begins to call her Cinderella. Ella decides to run away, but a chance meeting with the prince in the forest reminds her to have courage and be kind. Ella’s kindness eventually brings magic to her life when her fairy godmother helps her go to the prince’s ball. Although Ella has to leave the ball early, the prince does not give up searching for her, despite the pressure from his advisers to marry for advantage. Despite all obstacles, the prince and Ella are reunited and live happily ever after.
Disney’s live-action version of its classic fairytale has all the charm and magic of the original. The cinematography, costuming, and special effects make the film stunning to watch, but the themes and characters make it enchanting. The main theme of the movie is summed up in Ella’s mother’s last words “have courage and be kind.” Being kind is not always easy. As Ella struggles with her stepmother’s cruelty, the audience is shown the courage it takes to be kind. Ella is a wonderful example of facing adversity with courage, hope, kindness, and love. The prince doesn’t fall in love with her because of a pretty dress, but because of who she is and what she believes in. Disney’s Cinderella is a must see for children of all ages.