A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Viewers will learn that fairy tales can be retold with new, different elements and endings.
Messages about staying true to yourself, not judging others based on social status or birthright, prioritizing mutual respect and encouragement in romantic relationships. Other themes include growing up, following your passion, taking chances, the importance of kindness, believing in your skills. Positive messages about women and girls, how they're capable of much more than finding a prince to rescue them. Characters demonstrate perseverance, empathy.
Positive Role Models
Ella is determined, disciplined, hardworking. The prince evolves and doesn't care about the social status of his potential beloved; he values her independence, confidence, talents, while also acknowledging what he wants from the future. Stepmother is vile to Ella but eventually exhibits some personal growth, apologizes for her cruelty. The queen is a loving mother who stands up to and challenges the king in public, making it known that she doesn't have to agree with everything he says. The king, like his son, exhibits personal growth. Princess Gwen is a progressive leader in waiting, full of plans to improve her kingdom.
Fabulous Godmother is played by Black LGBTQ+ actor Billy Porter. Actress Camila Cabello is Latina, but Ella is not. The rest of the main characters are White; supporting characters are more diverse. Strong, independent female protagonist refuses to be a damsel in distress. A negative representation: Thomas uses a cane not because he has a mobility disability but because "chicks dig it."
Did we miss something on diversity? Suggest an update.
Violence & Scariness
Stepmother is very cruel to Ella, speaking unkindly, purposely ruining her dress, forcing her to accept a betrothal she doesn't want. A character jumps out of a moving carriage. Disagreements.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Violence & Scariness in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Sex, Romance & Nudity
Ella and prince dance, flirt, embrace, caress, eventually kiss. A few suggestive jokes and comments, like "chicks dig it," "blossoming daughters," "that mental image will nourish me through the day." A woman declares that the prince doesn't have much to work with upstairs and likely other places as well. A potential wife tells the prince that they won't have to do much together except for the "disgusting practice of making a son."
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Sex, Romance & Nudity in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
"Holy hell," "what fresh hell," "jerk," "disgusting," "idiot," "commoner," and "mama's boy" (said in derision).
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Language in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
People drink and eat at a ball (it's unclear whether the drinks are alcoholic).
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Drinking, Drugs & Smoking in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Cinderella is a musical romcom retelling of the classic fairy tale, starring Camila Cabello as main character Ella. From writer-director Kay Cannon, this version has more of a girl empowerment spin than other takes on the story (it is decidedly not about a damsel in distress), as well as themes of perseverance and empathy. The romance is limited to flirting, dancing, and a climactic kiss, but there are a few suggestive jokes that tweens are likely to pick up on, like when a woman says that the prince doesn't have a lot to work with upstairs and likely "anywhere else," or when a creepy neighbor thanks Ella's stepmother for the mental image that her "blossoming daughters" have given him for the day. While several unkind things are said (language includes "hell," "jerk," "idiot," and "mama's boy"), there's no violence. Supporting characters include people of all shapes, colors, and sizes, but the main cast isn't notably diverse, and there's one comment about a man who uses a cane not because he needs it but because "chicks dig it." The musical numbers are mostly pop covers, and the all-star cast includes Billy Porter (as the Fabulous Godmother), Pierce Brosnan, Idina Menzel, Minnie Driver, Nicholas Galitzine, Maddie Baillio, James Corden, and more. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
There's a lot to enjoy about writer-director Kay Cannon's musical adaptation of Cinderella, which is ultimately a lighthearted tribute to pop songs and love stories. It's Pitch Perfect mixed with Moulin Rouge, by way of a classic fairy tale. The song selection is particularly fun, including a mashup of Janet Jackson's "Rhythm Nation" with Des'ree's "You Gotta Be"; the White Stripes' "Seven Nation Army" and Salt-N-Pepa's "Whatta Man"; plus Madonna ("Material Girl"), Jennifer Lopez ("Let's Get Loud"), Queen ("Somebody to Love"), and a couple of original tracks sung by Cabello and Menzel. Cannon mixes large ensemble numbers (the mashups) with smaller, more intimate numbers. There's also a positive representation of Cinderella as a confident, independent, talented young woman who doesn't need Prince Robert to save her: She has big goals and the skills she needs to make her dreams a reality. This isn't a knight-in-shining-armor romance; in fact, at some point, viewers might wonder if the romance will actually end in romantic "happily ever after" at all.
If the musical numbers are the movie's strong point (although not all of the singers have Cabello/Menzel-level voices), the writing comes up short, including a few too many unnecessary risqué jokes and double entendres. While plenty of kid-aimed movies have jokes and comments aimed at older audiences, the ones here include a borderline predatory neighbor coming by to ogle Ella and her sisters and say things like he's happy to see the "blossoming young daughters" who've provided him "with a mental picture to nourish him throughout the day." Ew. Still, it's (mostly) forgivable, because there's enough humor (Brosnan and Driver are great as bickering royals) and positive messages to outweigh the missteps. Cabello holds her own as an actor, and her chemistry with Galitzine is sweet enough for the movie's target tween audience. And it's always a win to see scene-stealing Porter in a dazzling outfit (kudos to costume designer Ellen Mirojnick for the expressive gowns, especially Fab G.'s). While this Cinderella is unlikely to become the default version of the story, it's good enough to merit a family viewing.
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.