Parents' Guide to

Cinderella (2021)

By Sandie Angulo Chen, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 8+

Musical fairy tale about following dreams has risqué jokes.

Movie PG 2022 113 minutes
Cinderella (2021) Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 9+

Based on 23 parent reviews

age 11+

Wanted to love it, left feeling disappointed

I’m shocked that no other parents are mentioning the highlighted line in their version of “What a Man” where the young ladies sing “I want to have his baby” about the prince. In what world is that an appropriate subject matter for 5,6,7,8, 9 year olds?! I wanted to love it for its feminist undertone and LGBTQ+ inclusivity, but in some ways it really just missed the mark there - and I certainly wouldn’t recommend it for under 10 year olds due to some of the sex-related themes. I trusted common sense media’s opinion here and now my 7y/o is fascinated with that particular line and will no doubt be discussing it with friends at school tomorrow. Has forced me into a conversation with her about it that I would have much preferred to wait a couple years at least to have. So unnecessary to include here, very disappointed. Also a heads up for anyone thinking about buying the soundtrack, the remixed version of “Dream Girl” has the word “Damn” in the lyrics very obviously placed. Why not just let it be a fun, inclusive kids movie without these weirdly sexual themes and “I want to have his baby” topics?!?
age 10+

Poor Attempt

I understand we have been a patriarchal society for a long time and the shift is now toward equality and even women taking the lead. But why or why does the feminine sex have to step on the male sex just to get ahead. So sad! The king was mean and then just pathetic. When he actually tried to humble himself and apologize he was met with ridicule by the queen. The prince was a dolt -- no ambitions -- no plans -- just follow Cinderella around like a puppy dog. Cinderella's singing was so nasal I could hardly understand her. The rest of the music was very average and lacked quality and depth. No character development -- lots of loose ends -- just really poor. Not worth anybody's time.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (23 ):
Kids say (28 ):

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.

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