Well, I LOVED it!
This story starts off with an unmarried woman who’s father has died, making her a burden, but she’s beautiful and cleans a lot which earns her keep. The step mother is very ill-behaved, but who wouldn’t be with no man around?
Cinderella is awoken from a wonderful dream, which we can safely assume was about a handsome Prince, what else would such a pretty girl be dreaming about? She’s awoken by tiny birds and mice, which would normally be a terribly frightening concept, however these vermin are clearly not disease-ridden; why, they’re wearing tiny clothes! Adorable!
We’re eased into the story with a song about how a dream is a wish your heart makes when it’s fast asleep. This struck me as an interesting concept. Does this mean my dreaming of a snake coming out of a beautiful wedding cake and eating the wedding party and then we’re in a pool and the lifeguard saves us all but the cake drowns and the snake is actually my husband was because I’m actually wishing for it? Hmm…we can come back to that.
The boy birds and mice are appropriately shooed away whilst Cinderella dresses, allowing her to maintain her modesty. We meet Gus Gus, a fat little mouse who very much reminds me of my Douglas. Cinderella nearly puts a dress on him before she’s corrected by the other boy mice. How humiliating that would have been!
The cat, who’s so cleverly named Lucifer (I can’t help but wonder if the reference is too smart for most audiences though) tries to eat the mice and Gus Gus’ gluttony issues are revealed during an exciting chase sequence.
An ugly stepsister gets angry when she finds Gus Gus under her teacup, which confused me because he’s wearing a shirt, which I thought made him cute, but perhaps not? Cinderella is punished. A great ball is announced because the Prince must find a wife, and Cinderella decides that because she has no dress, she’ll put the mice and birds to work making it for her.
I have to say, when the gal mice sing, “Leave the sewing to the women,” well, my heart soared. This is certainly a great film for children to learn proper life lessons.
At this point in the film, I began wondering what other lessons we can take from it.
Here are the great morals and values that Cinderella has to teach:
A tiny outfit with little shoes will make disease-ridden vermin 60% more adorable.
There are two guaranteed evil entities in life; cats and stepmothers.
Marrying as soon as possible will keep you from having to cook, clean and mend things for ugly, evil women, freeing you up to perform those tasks for a handsome Prince.
Ugly, evil women also have ugly singing voices and CANNOT play the flute!
If you wear a pretty enough dress, you’ll stand out even when all eligible maidens in the land are present.
When a beautiful girl cries, her fairy godmother will come to save the day. Don’t believe me?
Keep crying, you’ll see. Eventually your tears will get you out of any troublesome situation.
Keep your feet dainty and you too can snag a Prince!
Dreams only last until midnight, then they turn back into the hellish nightmare they were before you slept, unless a handsome Prince is involved.
When Cinderella is upset or forlorn, she appears brunette. I can’t quite put my finger on the underlying message but I’m sure it’s there.
So, Cinderella and the Prince fall in love at the ball. But, alas, the clock strikes midnight and Cinderella flees because her dress is about to become ugly again. The Prince has many resources and sends someone to find the woman who fits in the glass slipper, because surely only one maiden in the kingdom has such beautifully small feet. No longer must she be held captive by angry, evil, ugly women, for Cinderella is saved by the wedding bells! They marry after not having to have said one word to each other, because it’s true love.
All in all I give Cinderella 5/5 pies for its romance, cleverness, and practical life lessons.
Image: Lisa Laureta/Inside the Magic