CINDERELLA – Hope and Forgiveness

This review was originally posted on Reel World Theology, an awesome website and podcast dedicated to engaging culture and showing how the stories we love reflect the characteristics of God. I’m very humbled to have been asked to write for RWT as a reviewer, and am looking forward to contributing to RWT’s mission and content. Big thanks to Mikey Fissel for the opportunity. I encourage you to take a look and listen to what they have to offer. It’s really good stuff.

And with that, let’s see if the slipper fits.

I’m very fond of the original Disney animated Cinderella for several reasons.

The artwork and animation are impeccable. Walt Disney had all his top animators on the film, and they turned in some of their best work ever. In fact, one of my favorite sequences in all of Disney Animation is the magical transformation of Cinderella’s dress. Animator Milt Kahl’s timing and draftsmanship are incredible and it’s hard to believe that it was all done by hand!

Historically speaking, Walt Disney’s Cinderella was extremely significant. It was the film that virtually saved the Disney Studio after the World War II years had left Walt on the verge of bankruptcy. Without Cinderella, there would be no Disney today.

Disney’s new Cinderella is exactly what a remake should be: reverential to the original (in this case, the 1950 Disney film), yet willing to make changes that will enhance the story. This is a wonderful movie, both visually and story-wise.

This new Cinderella lovingly adds theological layers to the themes of the timeless tale, some of which were derived from the original story by Charles Perrault. While the Cinderella story itself has always been about hope and faith in times of strife, this film also touched on forgiveness, which makes it stand out in a sea of films promoting revenge. And why does this story still retain its charm and appeal hundreds of years after it was first published?

Off to the ball…spoilers ahead.

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