In the final scenes of Disney’s newest version of the old classic tale Cinderella, the narrator Helena Bonham Carter reads as Cinderella is about to face the Prince,
One of the hardest things we can do is allow others to see us as we really are…”
But that’s just what Lily James who portrays Cinderella does…she bravely shrugs her shoulders back and walks down the staircase with her face full of smoot and head held high.
“Will you take me as I am?” she asks the Prince, and he responds by asking the same thing.
And that to me was the most powerful moment in the entire movie, and one every boy or girl any age needs to see and hear. Ella profoundly shows her true self, and proves that looks don’t matter, it’s the character within. There’s no negative self talk, there’s no worry about body image or materialistic clothes, hair or makeup, it’s just about being yourself. It will not only teach your children to look within, but is an influential reminder to us their parents; show yourself as you are, be true to you.
Yes it’s another fairytale remade, and yes the lead is tiny and beautiful, but this Cinderella is refreshingly different. Director Kenneth Branagh sets the positive tone early in the story when Cinderella’s mother tells her before she dies,
I want to tell you a secret that will see you through all the trials that life can offer. Have courage and be kind.” She continues later, “Where there is kindness, there is goodness and where there is goodness, there is magic.”
And the film brilliantly carries this theme throughout in all of Cinderella’s actions and words. She truly proves that kindness provokes power.
Cinderella is poised with her nasty stepsisters, is gracious to her horrid stepmother, and even when she is frustrated or upset…she kindly seeks solace and comfort in her animal friends. But this feminine heroine is also strong and opinionated, especially in her first meeting with the Prince. While riding her horse in the forest she meets the man who she thinks is an apprentice and pleads with him to not kill a stag. Prince Charming says,
But we were hunting, you see. It’s what’s done.” Ella replies poignantly, “Just because it’s what’s done, doesn’t mean it’s what should be done.”
Isn’t this how we want all of our children to think?
The film follows along the cartoon plot but has some different twists. In the newest version lizards become coachmen instead of horses, and the scenes at the ball are much more elaborate. It also sees some difference in the ending, which I personally loved. I don’t want to give away the final scenes but I will tell you this; there is a confrontation with her stepmother Lady Tremaine played by Cate Blanchett at the end of the movie which resolves their relationship. And it is BRILLIANT.
Cinderella isn’t just a love story for little girls, it’s a beautiful reminder of several life lessons for all of us. It is endearing for men and women, boys and girls…and will leave you breathless. The cinematography and costumes are beautiful, and so are the new traditional songs like Lavender Blue Dilly Dilly. There are some that will write it’s silly, and a horrible reminder that we all need to be skinny, but I choose to look past that negativity and focus on the positive messages the movie teaches. Just like Cinderella and her mother would do.
As the movie ended and the credits rolled with the lights rising in the theater, our six year old daughter looked at me dazzled and said, “Mommy, she says the same thing you do! Be kind! Kindness makes you powerful.”
And that is precisely why all kids need to see Cinderella. It empowers, it uplifts, and it makes our children want to be kind. If only all television shows and movies had the same themes….
This post also appeared on Mamapedia.
Janine Huldie says
Again, you know I couldn’t agree more from my earlier article on this movie, too and definitely loved the lessons it taught our young girls 😉
Jennifer Oradat says
I’m 10000% in agreement with you. My entire family loved this movie, even my husband (who is notorious for rolling his eyes at pretty much everything).
I have GOT to go see it!! I really want to see what happens at the end!
This is a great post and I completely agree that every boy and every girl could benefit from that lesson!
awww so sweet! I want to see it now!
Tarynn Playle says
I love this post-and I loved the movie! I agree with you completely! It had some great, uplifting messages. I can’t wait to watch it with my daughter (she’s only 3 right now, she loves the cartoon, but live-action movies don’t interest her yet.)
Jill Ginsberg says
All I have to do is tell me boys that there’s hunting and magic and confrontation … and they’ll be sold. Not to mention popcorn! I never would have though to go see Cinderella if not for reading the reviews by you and Janine because I assumed it would be the typical “the prince saves the woman and they live happily ever after BS.” So thanks for sharing!
Oh I’m so glad you will take them! They will like it…(I hope!)
The NotsoSuperMom says
Love this! And now I can’t wait to take my girls (13 and 3) to go see it. I truly hate when people bash the Disney princesses. I think it says more about them and their choice to focus on the negative. My 3 year old watches Beauty and the Beast and instead of seeing a girl taken prisoner and isolated from her father, she sees a kind girl who sings and loves to read, who learns to look beyond a rough exterior and love who he becomes on the inside. Are there cliches and tired stereotypes in these stories? Yes, but let’s try and pull focus from those things and stress the better qualities of these heroines!
Yes! I am sooooo with you on the negativity. I’m sure we could find something in everything on television that’s a stereotype, but let’s just let fantasy and fairytales be what they are – lovely and refreshing entertainment. Your girls will LOVE it! Let me know when you see it?
I agree! This was a great movie! There are many teachable moments in it that I shared with my girls when I took them. I loved how it brought out kindness as an important part of life! What better way to learn kindness than from a princess 🙂
You’ve sold me! I like anything that promotes confidence.
We saw this on Sunday and my kiddos loved it 🙂 I was truly shocked when I saw such negative backlash against a fairy-tale……so many people citing negativity in something that was truly one of the first fairy tales ever created.
I thought it was a very sweet movie with one major undertone: Be kind and have courage. I am not sure what part of that message translates to abuse, anti-equality, or any of the other ridiculous things people are saying about it.
I think the negative critics need to watch it again and learn how to be kind!
My husband took the older children to see this and they all loved it! I have heard so many good things from others as well that this is sure to become a well loved part of our DVD collection some day!
Us too! Like Enchanted this will be one we watch over and over!
I really loved it -for that last love scene and for the background about Lady Tremaine and the end scene with them too. Just lovely. Scarlet totally understood that part and said that the forgiveness would make Lady Tremaine kinder, she thought.
Deep for a five-year-old!
Did you also like the Frozen Fever?
Thanks for sharing this on the Shine link up. i haven’t seen this movie yet but now I am excited to go, and bring my grandkids! It is so nice to hear about a movie with great lessons for us, and our kids.
Jennifer | The Deliberate Mom says
Take me as I am. Yes!
I’ve read a few shares about this new Cinderella but yours just charmed me and what your daughter said made me all emotional. I want to see it now. I think I need to take my oldest on a date.
Thanks for sharing and for linking up with the #SHINEbloghop.
Wishing you a lovely week.
Christina Thomas says
I absolutely loved this movie and the message of kindness that it shows. I don’t have children but if I did I would certainly want to teach them the same message that Cinderella’s mother and you are doing. Kindness is indeed powerful. Thanks for sharing.
And now I am convinced I need to take my 3 boys to see this movie. It sounds like there are a lot of positive messages. If I can only get them past the title and through the door (without any of their friends seeing LOL), I think we could have a wonderful time. Fingers crossed!
OMG you have to blog that! How I survived taking 3 boys to see Cinderella! lol
I am supposed to take my daughter to see it. Sounds like a good movie.
Cinderella is such a beautiful, sweet film, and the positive message is one everyone should hear 🙂
Judy Freedman says
I saw Cinderella and loved it. Thought they did a nice update with a positive focus on courage and kindness in the messaging.
Joy @ Joy Love Food says
We haven’t seen this movie yet, but after reading your review I can’t wait for my family to see it! I’m so happy that it teaches kindness, such an important message. Thanks for sharing at What’d You Do This Weekend? 🙂
Treasures By Brenda says
I haven’t seen Cinderella yet but I will. I like the idea that it has some very positive messages.