What Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this Disney classic is one that families can enjoy together. Kids will likely already be familiar with Cinderella and her Disney Princess colleagues due to a massive marketing effort behind the ladies; their images appear on everything from backpacks to toothpaste. As for other issues of concern, little ones might be upset by the wicked stepsisters and stepmom, who can be very mean and even destructive. In today's world of blended families, it might also be worth discussing that not all stepparents and siblings are mean. And Cinderella is the quintessential passive heroine rescued by a male character (in this case, the Prince), so discussions about her meekness might be in order.
- Families can talk about how many people are troubled by the passive heroine, who meekly accepts her abusive situation and waits to be rescued. It's worth discussing, with both boys and girls, what some of her alternatives could have been ("If you were Cinderella, would you do what that mean lady told you?"), and making sure that they have some exposure to stories with heroines who save themselves.
- Talk about how the women are depicted in the movie. What kinds of stereotypes about appearance and behavior do you notice? For younger kids: Why are the stepsisters ugly and Cinderella pretty? What would the story be like if Cinderella was ugly?
- If you had a fairy godmother, what would you like her to do for you? Or would you like to be a fairy godmother? Whose wish would you grant?