The story of “Cinderella” follows the fortunes of young Ella, whose merchant father remarries following the tragic death of her mother. Keen to support her loving father, Ella welcomes her new stepmother Lady Tremaine and her daughters Anastasia and Drizella into the family home. But when Ella’s father suddenly passes away, she finds herself at the mercy of a jealous and cruel new family. Finally relegated to nothing more than a servant girl covered in ashes, and spitefully renamed Cinderella since she works in the cinders, Ella could easily begin to lose hope.
Yet, despite the cruelty inflicted upon her, Ella is determined to honor her mother’s dying words to “have courage and be kind.” She will not give in to despair, nor despise those who abuse her. And then there is the dashing stranger she meets in the woods. Unaware that he is really the prince and not merely an employee at the palace, Ella finally feels she has met a kindred soul. It appears as if her fortunes may be about to change when the palace sends out an open invitation for all maidens to attend a ball, raising Ella’s hopes of once again encountering the charming “Kit.” Alas, her stepmother forbids her to attend and callously rips apart her dress. But as in all good fairy tales, help is at hand as a kindly beggar woman steps forward and, armed with a pumpkin and a few mice, changes Cinderella’s life forever.
“Cinderella” is certain to be a new Disney classic. It has everything! Lily James is a warm and kind Cinderella. Richard Madden is a “charming” prince (pun intended), and Cate Blanchett outdoes herself as the wicked stepmother, Lady Tremaine. Helena Bonham Carter seems to relish her role as the quirky fairy godmother or, as she puts it when she first meets Cinderella, her “hairy dog father.” The humor is contagious and plentiful. An example of this humor is the scene in which the mice, lizards and goose are transformed into Cinderella’s horses, footmen and coachman. Watch the half lizard-half footman, half mouse-half horse, half goose-half coachman, and the laughter begins.
The story opens with the young Cinderella being raised by a loving mother and caring father. Her mother is stricken with sickness and soon dies. Cinderella and her father grieve for a long time, but many years later her father marries the widow Tremaine. While on the road during a journey, he dies too. Now that her father is gone, Cinderella’s stepmother and stepsisters treat her badly. Cinderella has a chance meeting with the prince while riding her horse in the woods, and it is obvious that he is attracted to her and that she likes him too. Later, the prince declares that a ball will take place in order for him to choose a wife, but Cinderella is told by her stepmother she is not allowed to attend. This is despite the fact that the prince declared that both noble and commoners are allowed to attend as he seeks out the right maiden for her hand in marriage.
When Cinderella’s fairy godmother assists her, the legend unfolds in all its glory. She dances with the prince and experiences the moment when the clock strikes midnight. She must flee before turning back into her former self, the humble maiden with inferior clothing. She loses her glass slipper as she flees the ball.
There are wonderful themes featured in the movie, such as forgiveness and following one’s heart. We are happy to award “Cinderella” our Dove “Family-Approved” Seal for all ages. This film is a great fit for your family, but you will have to watch the movie to see if the shoe fits!