Highlights: I like this move because it makes me happy. There is some action and some suspense (will she get locked up in her room after the ball or will the mice be able to free her?). But ultimately it’s all about the cheesy romance, and good overcoming evil. People now may complain that Cinderella is a softie, and a bad role model for females because she always does what she is told. But I’m not sure I completely agree. I like the fact that kindness and good heartedness is rewarded, rather than rebelliousness (though that has its own place too).
Low points: My husband really doesn’t like this film. His argument is that “nothing happens.” As he says, it’s just a bunch of mice running around for the majority of the movie… which is somewhat true. The actual events really concerning Cinderella and the ball and all of that take place relatively quickly, and if you cut out all of the fuss with the mice and the cat and the dog and whatnot, the movie would probably only be about half an hour. But they’re cute little mice! And they wear clothes!
Music: There are some great songs in this one. You have the extremely beautiful “So This is Love” (which my husband and I used as our unity candle song at our wedding). Then there’s the fun and memorable “Bibbidi Bobbidi Boo”. “A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes” is also a great one. The others are a bit less memorable, but they are cutesy and fit in well with the movie.
Villain rating: I’ve always thought Cinderella’s Step-mother isn’t the worst villain, simply because she’s not trying to murder Cinderella like so many other villains. However, on a re-watching, she is really one of those villains that you just want to punch in the face. Badly. She has the outward appearance of being an upstanding citizen, but she’s actually quite sadistic. She has that “Umbridge” vibe from Harry Potter. The stepsisters are obnoxious too, but they are more following their mother’s lead.
Fun fact: In earlier versions of the script, the Prince was given a more prominent role. According to Wikipedia: “In one abandoned opening, the Prince was shown hunting a deer, but at the end of the sequence, it was to be revealed that the Prince and the deer were actually friends playing a game. In an abandoned alternate ending, after the Duke discovered Cinderella’s identity, she was shown being brought to the castle to be reintroduced to the Prince, who is surprised to learn that Cinderella was actually a modest servant girl instead of the princess he thought she was, but the Prince’s feelings for her were too strong to be bothered by this”. Might have been nice to see how all of that played out!
Where in the World? Of course Cinderella is all over Walt Disney World. The most well known icon of the Magic Kingdom is Cinderella’s Castle, which also houses a restaurant called Cinderella’s Royal Table. Prince Charming also has his own carousel in the Magic Kingdom. Both of them are all over the parks, especially Cinderella, to meet and get autographs. If you eat at the restaurant in Magic Kingdom you will get to meet Cinderella. If you want to meet the whole gang, including Lady Tremaine and the stepsisters, go to dinner at 1900 Park Fare, at the Grand Floridian resort.
My rating: 8.5 out of 10. It’s absolutely classic Disney. It has a princess, some humor, cute mice, a pretty bad villain – everything I would hope for from a Disney movie.