Cinderella: Class vs Classy

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Disney’s Cinderella is coming out in theatres March 13th, so I thought it would be nice to take a look at its animated counterpart, and see what we love so much about that. So here are all of the reasons why I think Disney’s Cinderella is awesome, from the utterly shallow to the deep and feelsy.

 

Cinderella’s two best qualities are her optimistic attitude, and the way that she never lets anyone tear her down or squash her dreams.

cinderella

Okay, so all of the Disney princesses have qualities that make them amazing. For Cinderella, that’s her kind heart and her optimism.

cinderella and the mice

Cinderella is just a sweetheart, okay? She makes clothes for the mice and feeds them. She puts basically everyone else in the world before herself, and when she finally does put herself first and goes to the ball, it’s such a great moment, because we get to see her being happy.

She’s also incredibly determined. No matter how awful her stepsisters and stepmother are to her, and no matter how bleak life seems, Cinderella tries her best to persevere. She breaks down sometimes, and that’s okay, because she always picks herself back up, stronger than ever. She won’t let other people stop her from following her dreams, and that determination is what leads to her ending up with the prince at the end.

cinderella fairy godmothercinderella always resiliannt

We talk a lot about strong women in the media, and while physically strong women tend to get the most focus, Cinderella is emotionally strong, which is incredibly important. Her strength lies in her compassion and empathy, in her optimism and ability to hold herself together. And I think that’s really important and often underrated. 🙂

 

The mice are adorable and awesome.

cinderella mouse

I love the mice. They have this awesome symbiotic relationship with Cinderella, where she helps them out and takes care of them, and in return, they are the most adorable, loyal friends a girl could ask for. When Cinderella doesn’t have time to step in and finish her dress, guess who does it for her? The mice. When Cinderella gets locked away by her wicked stepmother when the prince arrives, guess who steals back the key for her? If you said “the mice” you’re right!

cinderella micecinderella mouse girl

I find the way that they look out for Cinderella endearing, and it’s great seeing how much they care about her and all that she does for them. Unlike her stepfamily, who doesn’t appreciate her at all, the mice definitely do, and her respect and kindness toward them is part of why they’re so eager to help her whenever she needs them. It’s fabulous.

 

It tackles class and status in an interesting way.

I’ve talked about this before, but just like the Brothers Grimm version of the fairytale, Disney’s version of Cinderella tackles both class and status in a really cool way. Lady Tremaine is so consumed with status. She’s so determined for her daughters to marry up and rise above, and she’s equally determined to make sure Cinderella doesn’t do the same. But like Mic and I mentioned in our last meta, the villains that fight so hard for power and status always end up failing, and that’s exactly what happens to Lady Tremaine and her stepdaughters. Even though they’ve tried so hard to put Cinderella down, she still rises above them and elevates in status not through any trickery, but because she wins over the prince by being her wonderful flawless self. They can tear up her gown and lock her away, but she’ll just gain another one and break free, because Cinderella’s perseverance allows her to get what she desires: freedom from her situation.

We’re told that Lady Tremaine envies Cinderella’s appearance, but in a way I think she also envies her inner beauty: her grace and her determination and poise, how she doesn’t sink to anyone’s level but instead rises above it all. Cinderella teaches us that class isn’t always about social class: sometimes, it’s about being classy. It’s about treating people the way you would want to be treated, and not letting others tear you down. It’s about letting go of hatred and moving on from the toxic people in your life. The Grimm Brothers’ Cinderella lets birds peck out her stepsisters’ eyes. Disney’s Cinderella simply gets off into her carriage and rides away to her happily-ever-after.

There’s this great quote: “How beautiful it is to stay silent when someone expects you to be enraged.” And that sums up Cinderella so wonderfully, I think. She would rather stay silent and move on with her life, which is a much better diss than any reaction ever could be.

 

The fashion in this movie is so on point.

This is a shallow reason, but I love the clothes in this movie. Cinderella’s dresses, the cute little clothes the mice wear…even some of the things Lady Tremaine and her stepdaughters wear are pretty eye-catching. I mean, look at this stuff. Isn’t it neat?

cinderella transformation scene

cinderella's first dress

cinderella's mouse shirt

cinderella druzilla

 

So is the animation! That scenery is just…wow.

I have a lot of beef with the older Disney princess movies. But the animation in them is flawless, especially in Sleeping Beauty and Cinderella. The detailing that goes into the backgrounds and scenery is phenomenal. Just…there aren’t even words.

cinderella that wallpaper

cinderella the castle

cinderella ballroom

 

Cinderella and the Prince have a surprising amount of chemistry, despite how little their relationship is developed.

cinderella and her princey dancing

In the older Disney Princess films, we don’t get as much focus on the relationships at hand. However, even with the lack of scenes Cinderella and Prince Charming share, they ooze with chemistry and almost make up for it in a way. One of my favorite scenes is that scene when they meet at the ball, and the steward narrates the two of them meeting, and says: “He looks up, for lo, there she stands, the girl of his dreams.”

cinderella and prince

And when we see that scene of them meeting, there’s a definite chemistry between them. “So This Is Love” oozes with it, as we watch Cinderella and Prince Charming waltz on the dance floor, both utterly blown away by one another. It may not be love right off the bat, but there’s definitely something between them that just meshes well together.

cinderella dance

cinderella otp

There’s a sense that they spend a portion of the night together, chatting and getting to know one another (considering the montage) which is a start, and then at the end we get the pretty wedding scene in the carriage.

cinderella happy ending

Granted, we don’t see what really happens between those two scenes, but one can assume that the prince and Cinderella spend time getting to know one another, since there’s a definite feeling of a time lapse when it goes from the slipper fitting to the wedding. Either way, even though it would’ve been nice to see more development, nothing takes away from that sizzling chemistry and those gorgeous scenes that tug at your heartstrings.

 

The music is amazing.

The music in this movie is awesome and underrated. There’s Bibbidi Bobbidi Boo, which contains that gorgeous transformation scene we all adore.

cinderella's carriage

There’s So This Is Love, where the wonderful chemistry takes place between Cinderella and her Prince Charming, and we get to see happy Cinderella, which is always a nice thing.

And then there’s my favorite song in the entire move: A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes. It’s a song all about hope and dreams, and how if you want to accomplish your dreams, you can’t lose hope.

Have faith in your dreams and someday,

Your rainbow will come shining through

Cinderella’s strong faith in her dreams, and her determination to always look on the bright side, are exactly why her dreams end up coming true. And then there’s this beautiful part:

No matter how your heart is grieving,

If you keep on believing,

That dream that you wish will come true

In life, we undergo setbacks and hardships. Things don’t always go our way. But if we keep believing and fight for our dreams, our dreams will surely come true. That’s the most important thing Cinderella teaches us: never give up, never stop dreaming, and look on the bright side.

cinderella no matter how your heart is grieving

 

While Cinderella came out in the 50s and thus feels dated in some aspects, others are incredibly universal and easy to appreciate. With beautiful animation, an emotionally strong and endearing main character, and messages that remain universal even today, Cinderella was truly a Disney masterpiece. I eagerly await to see how it’s readapted over the years, and if anything can capture that same heart and warmth again.

What do you love most about Cinderella? Are you planning on seeing the live action adaptation? Let us know in the comments!

You can follow Animated Meta on Twitter and Tumblr. Have a beautiful Tuesday!

Cheers,

M&M

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