Making the Grades
Any child who has ever balked at being asked to clean their room or perform a few household chores will certainly relate to the hardships of Cinderella in Disney's 1950 animated adaptation of this fairytale.
The untimely death of the beautiful young woman's (voiced by Ilene Woods) kindly father leaves her in the unscrupulous hands of his second wife. The wicked stepmother (voice of Eleanor Audley), looking out for the best interests of her own daughters (voices of Rhoda Williams and Lucille Bliss) takes advantage of the situation and quickly adjusts the pecking order. Poisoned by their envy, the rather dysfunctional stepfamily demotes Cinderella to maid and barks out their commands with smug glee. Seeing no other choice, the good-natured girl accepts her lot and settles into a life of servitude, resigned to only fantasize about happiness.
After scrubbing and cooking for years (but always with a song), her monotony is broken when an invitation from the castle arrives. The King (voice of Luis Van Rooten) has scheduled a Royal ball that every eligible bachelor-ette in the realm is expected to attend so the fastidious Prince (voice of Mike Douglas) may choose a bride. In a flurry of excitement, the preparations begin. Even Cinderella is told that she can go... if she completes a grueling list of chores and if she has a dress to wear. Against impossible odds, the mopping maiden astonishes her taskmasters with the completed assignments and a recycled evening gown. But this is more than her cruel stepsiblings can take and in a flash, they tear up any hope she might have had for a night out.
Lost in the depths of despair Cinderella throws in the dishtowel at this final defeat. That is, until she receives a visit from none other than her enchanting wand-wielding fairy Godmother (voice of Verna Felton). In a "Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boo" Cinderella's world is magically altered. However the rags to riches spell only provides a few hours in which to make her dreams come true!
Perfect for all ages, this timeless classic illustrates the power of optimism and how it is possible to blossom, even in adversity. Tonight, give your family the royal treatment by enjoy an evening in with Cinderella... that is, if all your work is done!
Discussion Ideas After The Movie
Teaching ideas and topics to discuss about Cinderella.
While it often works in fairytales, waiting for a “prince to come” and “make all your dreams come true,” is not a very proactive approach to life’s problems. What things might Cinderella do herself to improve her situation? Are there things in your life that you are waiting for someone else to fix? Is there anything you could do to change your circumstances?
Although Cinderella is in an abusive situation, for young ones not so hard-done-by the story might imply that work is a punishment, and that living happily ever after means a life of leisure. Do you believe this is true?