Cinderella Review

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I was invited to take my family to a magical IMAX screening last weekend of Disney’s Cinderella 2015 coming to theaters March 13th.

Event images right of movie poster in collage below by Maribel Farina Photography

Cinderella Movie 2015
Cinderella, the classic Disney fairy tale we grew up with is coming to theaters this Friday in a new production unlike any Cinderella you have seen before.

We had the pleasure of viewing Cinderella The IMAX Experience in which the picture and imagery was so visually appealing it felt like the sparkles from The Fairy Godmother’s magic wand might actually jump off the screen and sprinkle the audience!

The movie, directed by Kenneth Branagh, stays true to the original movie, with few changes.

A young girl, Ella (Lily James) loses her mother as a girl and years later her father remarries a widow. Sweet Ella, in a promise she made to her dying mother to “have courage and be kind,” is ready to welcome her new stepmother (Cate Blanchett) and stepsisters (Holliday Grainger and Sophie McShera) into their home with open arms and an open heart.

After her father dies unexpectedly, Ella is forced to move into the attic and at the mercy of her cruel stepmother and stepsisters, turns into a servant having to sleep by the fireplace to keep warm thereby inspiring the nickname, “Cinderella.”

After a chance meeting in the forest with a handsome young man (Richard Madden), which Ella doesn’t know to be the prince, he becomes so enchanted he throws a ball in which every maiden in the kingdom is invited to attend in hopes of finding her again.

We all know what happens next… Cinderella is forbidden to attend the ball but then in her despair meets her fairy godmother (Helena Bonham Carter) in the garden and a magical transformation ensues and she is off to the ball. Then, as they say, the rest is history.

Cinderella The IMAX Experience Review

There were so many things I loved about this movie.

The scenery (filmed in England) was absolutely breathtaking. IMAX made it come to life – the intense picture makes you really feel like you are a part of the story. Which also made the spectacular costumes just that much more vivid. And I mean, they were truly spectacular.

For the acting, Cate Blanchett was perfection. To have a woman so strikenly beautiful on the outside play a character so evil to the core was a feast for the eyes. Her darkness was exposed in every smile and glance.

The Fairy Godmother scene was one of my absolute favorites, and Helena Bonham Carter lit up the screen almost as much as the magic. My only regret was that we didn’t get to see more of her!

The leads were fantastic and perfectly cast. Cinderella and the Prince shared a palpable chemistry, which was still wholesome enough for families.

Cinderella Collage

Is Cinderella 2015 acceptable for small kids?

We took our girls (5 1/2 and 8 1/2) to see the film and my gut reaction to that question is,  yes, it was acceptable for them at those ages.  They both really enjoyed the movie and left with a skip in their step.

It has a PG rating and some scenes might frighten younger children, but I felt mine were old enough for it.

Something to note: The story of Cinderella begins with a VERY tragic, sad storyline with Ella’s angelic mother dying (my kids were in tears) and then the father dies soon thereafter. It’s really a horrible story for this poor girl!

But then once Ella takes off on her horse into the woods, we were out of the woods (pun intended) as far as the sadness goes because the story turned up from there. So just know, it starts sad, but then gets more and more fun with the magic elements and love story.

Cinderella Messaging for Young Girls 

As I was watching the film, I had to sort of giggle to myself, because the story of the prince having a ball to choose his bride really was the original “Bachelor” (minus the hot tub scenes of course).

And yes, there were undertones of the girl being rescued by the prince, but truly I didn’t mind that part and it would have been over my girls’ heads anyway.

What wasn’t over their heads were the following messages I did love, namely:

– Have courage and be kind (Yes!)
– Be strong
– Marry for love
– Find someone who loves you just as you are
– Do the right thing
– Stay positive even in the face of adversity

Lily James did a beautiful job of portraying a female character that was kind, strong and resilient. One I felt really good that my girls had to look up to. The positive messaging was more impactful than any other themes that might be criticized.

Overall, I would definitely recommend taking your kids to see the movie.

Click here to find an IMAX Cinderella showing near you ->

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