Movie review by
Nell Minow, Common Sense Media
Cinderella Movie Poster Image
Parents recommendPopular with kids
Sweet fairy-tale classic for little princes and princesses.
  • G
  • 1950
  • 74 minutes

Parents say

age 4+
Based on 29 reviews

Kids say

age 5+
Based on 63 reviews

Did we miss something on diversity?

Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Educational Value

Some good life lessons: Life is often what you make out of it; positivity can be found in even the worst of circumstances.

Positive Messages

There are both positive and negative messages in this classic fairy tale. On the  positive side: Although it may be difficult to find good in terrible situations, a positive attitude will provide great strength. Happiness is a choice. On the downside: The portrayal of romantic love could mislead young girl's ideas about how real love and relationships work. Also, the movie supports the idea that passive female characteristics and a dependence on men is normal and positive.

Positive Role Models

Although passive, Cinderella is a kind, generous, and forgiving person who demonstrates compassion, empathy, and gratitude. She loves animals and takes care of her undeserving, extended family. She wears a smile and keeps faith that her unfortunate situation will get better. However, her stepmother and sisters are greedy and selfish displaying great hatred due to their uncontrolled jealousy. 

Violence & Scariness

The evil stepsisters tear the beautiful ball gown that the mice have made for Cinderella. The violence is mild, but there are tense moments that may disturb younger viewers. 

Sexy Stuff

A kiss is shared between Cinderella and her prince. Plenty of focus on romance, marriage, coupling.


Cinderella is a Disney Princess, whose brand reaches far and wide. Expect to see Princess branding on consumer merchandise, food products, etc. as well as in books, websites, and other media.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Cinderella is a Disney classic 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.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byAshley R. September 18, 2020
im 23 and i still like this please dont judge me anyway its a Disney classic
Parent Written byMichelle K December 15, 2016

Nothing's Good Enough For You, Do Some Historical Research

Stop complaining about gender roles, that would be I know you wouldn't like it if it was more "girl empowering," because it's "not true... Continue reading
Teen, 15 years old Written byDonna Stone December 13, 2019

Power in a different form

First of all cinderella is not a "passive" character. After researching it I came to the conclusion of what I already thought,( with more specific exa... Continue reading
Kid, 12 years old August 17, 2012


This films sends out a great message that you shouldn't let anyone tell you you're not good enough.

What's the story?

Charles Perrault's classic fairy tale, CINDERELLA, is lovingly and imaginatively brought to life in this animated Disney version, also a classic. Cinderella, a sweet, docile, and beautiful girl forced to act as a servant for her mean stepmother and stepsisters, goes to the ball with the help of her fairy godmother. But her godmother warns that the beautiful coach and gown will only last until midnight. Cinderella meets the Prince at the ball, and they share a romantic dance. But when the clock begins to strike midnight, she runs away, leaving behind one of her glass slippers. The Prince declares he will marry the girl whose foot fits that slipper. He finds her, and they live happily ever after.

Is it any good?

Disney expanded this simple story with vivid and endearing characters, memorable songs, and gorgeously detailed and inventive animation. In one musical number, as the stepsisters squawk their way through their singing lesson in another room, Cinderella sings sweetly as she scrubs the floor, reflected in dozens of soap bubbles. In another delightful musical number, the fairy godmother sings "Bibbidi Bobbidi Boo" as she transforms a pumpkin into a coach, the mice into horses, the horse into a coachman, and finally, Cinderella's rags into a magnificent ballgown. The scene when the Duke comes looking for the girl whose foot will fit the glass slipper is very suspenseful and highly satisfying.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how many people are troubled by Cinderella as a 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?

  • How does Cinderella demonstrate compassion, empathy, and gratitude? Why are these important character strengths?

Movie details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love princesses

Character Strengths

Find more movies that help kids build character.

Themes & Topics

Browse titles with similar subject matter.

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate

Streaming options powered by JustWatch

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

Our ratings are based on child development best practices. We display the minimum age for which content is developmentally appropriate. The star rating reflects overall quality.

Learn how we rate