MARQUEE MAMA says Disney’s CINDERELLA Casts a New Spell – At the Stroke of Perfection!

Marquee Mama Reviews Disney's Cinderella

Marquee Mama Reviews Disney’s Cinderella

I think I finally understand the hypnotic abilities of fairy tales. It was always very mysterious to me why little girls devoted their young selves to emulating princesses from movies – wearing the giant bell-shaped dresses, sparkly tiaras, sometimes even carrying a wand. I wondered, do they all believe they’ll someday marry into a royal family? I still can’t answer that question, but after seeing “Cinderella”, I can tell you it’s really fun to fantasize about it!

I’ve lost count of the number of remakes and reinterpretations of the original movie (from 1950!), but this is the first one I’ve seen – start to finish – and I loved it! And while it wasn’t nostalgic for me as a first-time viewer, this one is sure to please the nostalgic masses. It was a visually magnificent with near-perfect casting (Lily James was born to play Cinderella) and a balanced blend of tragedy, triumph, a lot of laughs, a few tears and plenty of adventure. Take your daughters to see this one.

Click ahead for my family-friendly review of “Cinderella”



Assuming most people already know the story of “Cinderella”, this version offers timely references and timeless messaging. The scene-stealing fairy godmother (Helena Bonham Carter) provides the infamous glass slippers but is quick to add “and they’re comfortable!” The repeated message, which Cinderella first heard from her dying mother, “have courage and be kind”, is probably more relevant today than when this story came to the screen 65 years ago.

But while we’re on repeated messaging, sigh…


Disney's Cinderella

Disney’s Cinderella


I don’t know if I will ever understand why fairy tales continue to hammer the twisted marriage messaging into the little (impressionable) girls they cater to. Why do girls need to marry for advantage? This very current, very intelligent, very well done version of “Cinderella”, in nearly back-to-back scenes, goes like this: the handsome prince sits at the bedside of his dying father who implores, “You must NOT marry for advantage. You must marry for love.” Cut to the conniving evil stepmother (played by the ever-brilliant Cate Blanchett), negotiating her family’s own fate, “I require advantageous marriages for my daughters.” UGH. Why, writers, why? Moments like this make me long to watch “Frozen” again…

I wish I had my own fairy godmother who could turn this movie’s rating into a G (from PG) so that no parents would shy away from sharing it with their young children. Whatever “mild thematic elements” are that thwarted the G rating did not offend me in the least and this movie, in my opinion, is suitable to all ages, and a wonderful fantasy for every generation of a 65-year span to revel in together.


Disney's Cinderella

Disney’s Cinderella


What I Loved:

– This movie draws you in immediately with the very idyllic family of Ella (pre-Cinder) and her loving parents.
– The scenery throughout the film is gorgeous! It’s like admiring a series of painted portrait masterpieces. I never got tired of perusing the entire screen for the beautiful details.
– “Have courage and be kind. It has power and magic.” Have truer words ever been spoken?
– Hooray for Cate Blanchett! She plays the evil stepmother to perfection.
– If you are at all interested in costumes, this is the movie for you. “The” dress is purely mesmerizing and appears to waltz on its own. I wondered if it was on some kind of remote control, the way it swings and floats. This is what you get when you hire a 3-time Oscar winning costume designer (Sandy Powell).
– Another great quote from this movie (and words to live by for the guys): “Punctuality is the politeness of princes.”
– Ok, a third line I loved, cackled out by a stepsister. Cinderella asks “Don’t you want to know him before you marry him?” Answer: “No! It might change my mind.” Lost, for certain, on the younger fans.
– Everything at the ball was simply enchanting. You can feel Cinderella’s excitement, humility, innocence and sweetness. This is the real spell, cast upon the legions of little girls who admire this story.
– The transformation scene when fantasy returns to reality for Cinderella, the carriage and her lizards, mice and goose entourage was thrilling!
– The final scene with newlyweds Cinderella and the Prince, gazing into each other’s eyes on the palace balcony, he utters, “My Queen,” and she replies, “My Kit”. Gotta see this to love it!


Disney's Cinderella

Disney’s Cinderella


What I Didn’t Love:

– Expect a noisy movie theater filled with children, most of who will likely be in costume. The only silent moment in mine was when the spell was being broken at the stroke of midnight.
– While I loved the evil stepmother’s character, she crossed the line of evilness (is there a line?) when she tore Cinderella’s dress, the one that belonged to her beloved mother. Too cruel. I was physically relieved when Cinderella finally defied her with “How dare you.” Go Cinderella!
– Without creating a spoiler alert, I just wonder why everything transformed back into reality after the ball, except the glass slippers.


Disney's Cinderella

Disney’s Cinderella


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2 Responses to “MARQUEE MAMA says Disney’s CINDERELLA Casts a New Spell – At the Stroke of Perfection!”

  1. Peggy Shaner says:

    LOVE reading your clever, inspiring, entertaining, comprehensive and circumspect reviews! Marquee Mama is truly a connoisseur of movie reviews! As someone who could have seen the first movie 65 years ago, I would never have considered going to see Cinderella now at my age, but thanks to your insight, I’ll take my Grands this weekend!

  2. pamela kendall says:

    Another very engaging review!! I was drawn to your review as if I was sitting in the theater with you. My 12 year old son saw me reading the review and said he would go to the move with me! YAY!!

    Thanks again for another wonderful reason to go see another movie I wouldn’t have given the time of day, if I hadn’t read your review!!

    Hey! I always wondered why the glass slipper never turned back into whatever it was after midnight too!!

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