Cinderella (1950) Review — Beauty Always Wins

You get that, girls? Good. Very very good.

  • Cinderella. I’ll just flat-out admit right at the start that I didn’t like this movie growing up. Not because of how outdated this princess formula is by today’s standards, but because I didn’t like seeing Cinderella being treated like dirt for absolutely no reason other than her step family is evil whilst her mice friends watched in vain. At that age, it just seemed too cruel to watch this lady who clearly can’t fight back be subjected to this sort of mental torture. And the happy ending she eventually got was all too brief, barely lasting a minute.
  • Now that I’m older of course, I can safely say that…it’s still silly to watch. Seriously, what is up with Lady Tremaine and her daughters? I know they’re jealous of Cinderella’s beauty and all, but c’mon!
  • Anyways, do you guys need me to tell you the plot of this movie? I think we all know everything about the evil step family that made us question why Cinderella’s father married Lady Tremaine in the first place, the glass slipper dilemma, the animal buddies, and Cinderella being a prisoner in her own house. And we also all remember the anger we felt at how these evil human beings could hurt such a sweet and innocent girl. God was I happy when that pumpkin bomb sent them flying, Team Rocket-style, in Kingdom Hearts: Birth By Sleep.
  • We’re also aware of the criticism this movie gets as of now, but regardless of what people’s opinion of the movie are, you can’t deny that Disney needed Cinderella to exist after WWII ended putting their animation studio in dire straits. Now that they had the ability to make movies with three-act structures and consistent animation again, all they needed was a story to draw in the crowd, and Cinderella’s classic fairytale approach was the way to go. Obviously it worked, because the movie was a big success, and most of your favorite Disney films like The Lion King probably wouldn’t have existed today if not for Cinderella.

Yes my dear wife that I just met. Let us commemorate this happy day with nose rubs.

  • But yeah, it is a little crap that Cinderella just gets her happy ending after putting up with so much shit without doing anything about it herself. Even if you argue that the message of the movie is that when you’re in trouble, your friends (Jaq, Gus, the Fairy Godmother, the other animals, etc.) will help you out, that’s still a pretty weak center to build a story around. Especially when your friends aren’t exactly the most interesting of characters themselves.
  • I do kind of admire Cinderella for putting up with as much shit as she does for what seems like years after her dad bit the dust, but it would have been nice to see her take some initiative into achieving her dreams besides going to the ball and coincidentally catching the eye of the Prince. Who I should point out doesn’t even have a line in this film let alone any characterization besides he’s handsome, so that’s not helping to deflect the haters’ words.
  • In fact, the Prince’s father is pretty much the reason the whole romance thing is happening in the first place. He wants grandkids and basically used the ball as a way to get his son hitched. Unfortunately, he doesn’t care enough to be around when Cinderella ends up running away. That’s what you get for being such an irresponsible deadbeat, dude.

How anyone can understand Jaq without subtitles, I’ll never know

  • Also, I call bullshit on Lucifer the Cat showing up at the most inconvenient of times. There’s one point near the finale where he shows up to prevent the mice from giving Cinderella the key she needs to get out of her room, but we clearly saw that the heavy door leading up to that room was closed and Lucifer can’t open it or fit into the holes the mice use to get there, so what route did he use?
  • The ending is also way too sudden for me as well. The slipper fits and we cut to the wedding. It’s nowhere near as bad a transition as Myself;Yourself’s awful ending, but it’s still kind of lame.
  • However, despite its problems, there’s just something about this iteration of Cinderella that I find kind of fun to watch. Maybe it’s the catchy songs. Maybe it’s the nostalgia without the baggage of what used to bother me about it. Maybe it’s because I’m imagining anime characters jumping into the narrative at any moment and smacking giant keys at Lady Tremaine’s face. Nevertheless, I found that I kinda like this movie these days.

Seriously, who would marry a woman that looks like this?

  • I’m not as big into Tremaine as a villain as I know most people seem to be, but for what it’s worth, she’s good at what she does. And I like Jaq too (Gus not so much) because of how despite his limited characterization and such, he’s the one making things happen in this film. Basically, what’s good about this movie is pretty timeless in my opinion, and there’s enough of it to carry the seventy-four minutes required to watch the thing.
  • It’s a classic for a reason, and I think everyone interested in Disney or animation in general should at least give it one watch whilst making sure to keep in mind that this movie was made in the 50s. Things were different back then, okay? Remember bellbottoms in the 90s? Yeah they look lame now, but in the 90s they were AWESOME!

Minor Quips

  • My god Drizella’s singing voice is more terrible than I remember.
  • I remember laughing at how the Prince mistook a clearly Japanese anime girl for Cinderella at first glance in Birth By Sleep. That’s what happens when you don’t even get to know the woman you initially fell in love with at first glance.
  • I know the sequels clarify some of the “first love” stuff, but I’ll get to that when I review ’em.

5 responses to “Cinderella (1950) Review — Beauty Always Wins

  1. I enjoyed Cinderella well enough as a kid but I always preferred Beauty and the Beast as a story because Belle was a much more active protagonist than Cinderella. Thanks for sharing.

  2. If you think the 1950 animated version is bad when it comes to the amount of shit Cinderella puts up with for no apparent reason, try watching the 2015 live-action adaptation. Yikes. (Cate Blanchett does play an excellent villain though, which is about the only props I can give that movie.)

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