After losing both her parents at a young age, Cinderella (Ilene Woods) is left to live with her mean stepmother (Eleanor Audley) and her spoilt and nasty stepsisters Drizella (Rhoda Williams) and Anastasia (voiced by Lucille Bliss). Jealous of Cinderella's grace and beauty, her stepmother makes Cinderella work as a scullery maid in their family chateau. Despite such cruel and unfair treatment, Cinderella has managed to stay kind and patient, and she’s positive that one day her dreams will come true.
With the help of her animal friends, her Fairy Godmother (Verna Felton) and a little magic, Cinderella meets Prince Charming (William Phipps/Mike Douglas) at a Royal Ball. But she has to rush away before her Fairy Godmother’s spell ends at midnight, and her beautiful gown turns back into rags. All the Prince is left with is one of her glass slippers. He declares that he will marry the girl whose foot fits that slipper and begins a quest to find her.
Disney Classic; animation; fantasy musical; romance; fairy tale, loss of parents, emotional cruelty.
Cinderella has some violence. For example:
- Cinderella's stepmother and stepsisters are very mean and emotionally abusive to her, making her work and dress like a servant, treating her with disrespect and making fun of her.
- In one scene, Drizella and Anastasia viciously attack Cinderella, shouting at her, ripping a necklace off her, and shredding her gown to pieces.
- When the stepmother suspects that Cinderella is the one the Prince is looking for, she locks up Cinderella in her chamber.
- There are ongoing conflicts between the house cat Lucifer, Bruno the dog, and resident mice: they all provoke and play naughty tricks on each other. Lucifer is especially vicious and manipulative and on a couple of occasions the mice only just escape.
There are no sexual references in Cinderella.
Alcohol, drugs and other substances
There’s no substance use in Cinderella.
Nudity and sexual activity
There’s no nudity and sexual activity in Cinderella.
There’s no product placement in Cinderella.
There’s no coarse language in Cinderella.
Ideas to discuss with your children
To this day, Disney's 1950 Cinderella remains one of the most iconic depictions of this classic, fairy-tale princess story. The movie features endearing, funny, likeable, as well as despicable characters, brought to life in gorgeously detailed animations. It also has beautiful memorable songs and a great amount of humour. All of these things make the movie a great and timeless pick for families, and especially fans of princess/fairy-tale stories.
However, although Cinderella's wish for a happy end comes true, young or sensitive viewers might get upset at the unwarranted emotional cruelty of the stepmother and stepsisters, especially if the concept of losing biological parents or being part of a blended family is personally relevant. In these instances, parental guidance is recommended.
These are the main messages from Cinderella:
- When you feel disappointed, try to be patient.
- Never give up hope that one day your wishes will come true.
Values in Cinderella that you could reinforce with your children include resilience, patience, kindness, optimism and friendship.
This movie could also give you the chance to talk with your children about real-life issues like these:
- Why jealousy and resentment cause some people to behave cruelly and unfairly towards others.
- How resilience can help when things are difficult. Also, when you should ask others for help.
- How stereotypes like the ‘evil stepmother’ and ‘nasty stepsiblings’ are not true for everyone.