Gather around, boys and girls, and I'll tell you a tale of mice and men; of fabulous fifties hairdos and birds who happen to be trained tailors!
You all know the story. Cinderella's dad dies and her step-family conspires to make her miserable. Nameless Step-Mom (who looks ever-so-slightly like Margaret Thatcher) and her full-lipped twin kids Anastasia and Drizella are all pretty nasty. Actually, are they twins? They don't have the same color hair, but they're the same height and the have the same size feet. That's the criteria I look for in twins.
(My sister has this huge stuffed bear that's my height and foot size. By this criteria, I have named him my twin. #BrotherBearSwag)
Cindy's step-family make her do all the work. But life isn't all downs—birds make her bed for her! Don't you wish birds would fly in your window and make your bed? Or how about making you fresh orange juice? Come on, if these birds can make beds, slicing oranges in half and driving them into a spinning point shouldn't be hard.
Cindy is also attended by mice who are only slightly more intelligible than Despicable Me minions. As sad as Cinderella's life is, talking to animals is a perk. Though she doesn't seem to speak Bird, Cat, Dog, or Horse.
The cat's name is Lucifer. I assume Step-Mother named it that. Name your cat Lucifer, and you've obviously got some high expectations for him. I wonder if the Evil Step-Mother named her house Hell.
Step-Mother: Cinderella, have you finished feeding the lesser demons?
Cinderella: If you mean the chickens, yes.
Step-Mother: Good. You'll want to scrub out the Portal to the Afterlife next.
Cinderella: (writing on checklist) Scrub the toilet...
Step-Mother: And forget not Cthulhu's bath!
Cinderella: Cthulhu? Since when do we have a pet named Cthulhu?
Step-Mother: Not a pet, child. He's our plumber. And perhaps my new man-stress.
Meanwhile, the kingdom is in a bit of a hereditary crisis. The King wants his son to be married, which seems to be the last thing the Prince wants. So the King has his Grand Duke (who looks slightly like Simon Bolivar) throw a ball and invite all the single ladies.
The mice try to help Cinderelly; the mouse-women seem to have some deeply-ingrained stigmas.
"Leave the sewin' to the women. You go get the trimmin'!"
Hey, my Dad can sew. Once, he even did.
Cindy could have gone to the ball, but Step-Mom prevents her. Thank God for godmothers!
See, your society might have tricked you into believing Cinderella is a story of love. Psh. This movie spends very little time on the love scenes. Cinderella is a story about moms.
No, it's true! Cinderella is saved by her fairy godmother from the oppression of her flesh-and-bone step-mother. But none of this would have happened if her biological mother hadn't died in the first place. Cinderella's probably carrying around a lot of mom-baggage.
Cinderella goes to the ball and has to walk up this long hallway lined with guards. It's supposed to appear as if they're watching her walk past, but Disney was not clear in this communication:
So after the Perv Gauntlet, Cinderella gets approached by a prince, and before they've even said a word to each other, they've fallen in love. In fact, throughout this whole movie they talk to each other once, for roughly ten seconds.
It's not clear to me why the slippers stayed when the clock struck twelve. Were they not magic? I would assume they'd have to be magic if you have any hope of wearing them comfortably for more than ten minutes. And dancing? Let's just hope they don't play any Irish Riverdance, because if those hushpuppies break, you, Cinderelly, are going to have some nasty foot lacerations.
You all know the story. It's the mice who save the day in the end, and that's great. I've always loved mice. They're nothing compared to weasels, but eh.
Step-Mom: I should've had pest control here years ago. That would have solved all my problems. That day that door-to-door guy came and gave me a coupon? I should've just had him do it then.
King of the Forest (Bambi's Dad): We as parents always regret decisions later on. What we need to learn to do is move on and continue being awesome. For instance, my son was shot while jumping between two cliffs through midair. I didn't get all angsty. I didn't say "What if I had been a better parent? What if he dies and I never told him how much I love him?" Nah. I walked up to Bambi as he laid on the ground, and I told him to get up. And then I told him to get up again. And then I told him he must get up. And you know what happened? He got. Up.
Step-Mom: That's the best parenting advice I've ever heard from a deer.
Favorite part of the film: When the Grand Duke tries the slipper on Cinderella. It doesn't matter how many times I've seen the movie, it still makes me grin. Probably because I like seeing Drizella and Anastasia and Margaret Thatcher get shown up. It's really great.
Why kids should watch this flick:
- It's a classic.
- It's got the catchiest song in the Disney universe (whose lyrics are "Cinderelly, Cinderelly, mmgmnsomething something elly")
- The cat and mouse scenes never get old.
- The hand drawn animation never gets old.
- Cinderella isn't a super-annoying princess; she's relatable and human.
- There's a mouse named Gus-Gus, and his laugh makes the world a better place.
- Hating the step-family of Cinderella is an activity that will bring your whole family together! And isn't that what family films are all about?
Next week: Alice in Wonderland!
What's your opinion on Cinderella? Love story, or family baggage story?
Related Post: Blogging Disney