A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Prince Cinders, a short animated twist on the classic Cinderella story is silly and fun. There are brief moments of slight cartoonish violence -- slapping, falling, screaming -- and some scenes with characters being served martinis in a disco, but on the whole, this is a creatively entertaining re-imagining of a classic fairy tale that might get kids starting to think about gender roles.
What's the story?
Cinders (Dexter Fletcher) spends his days in drudgery, washing and ironing the clothes of his three wicked and vain bodybuilding stepbrothers. But everything changes when Princess Moneypenny announces a ball to be held at a nearby disco. The stepbrothers get ready to attend and sabotage Cinders's plans to attend -- on his birthday, no less -- by ruining his favorite pair of pants in the wash. As they leave, Cinders makes a wish and is visited by a Fairy Godmother (Jennifer Saunders, from Absolutely Fabulous) in training who accidentally transforms Cinders into a giant monkey (until midnight, anyway) who must get to the ball by skating on a shrunken sports car. Amidst these obstacles, Cinders must find a way to win the heart of Princess Moneypenny and live happily ever after.
Is it any good?
Based on the children's book by Babette Cole, this short animated film is a clever, witty, and very British reinterpretation of the classic Cinderella story. It reverses the genders (Princess Moneypenny for Prince Charming, wicked stepbrothers for wicked stepsisters, etc.) and transforms Prince Cinders into a hideously large monkey. Its silliness and its short length could easily make it a program placed in heavy rotation and still enjoyable for both kids and parents.
Prince Cinders will be especially fun for those who are fans of English wit and humor. The stepbrothers are terribly vain bodybuilders. The Fairy Godmother is still in training and makes comical mistakes. The "fancy ball" of Cinderella is here held in a disco. The humor is accessible to anyone of any age, and this is what makes Prince Cinders an entertaining concept executed wonderfully.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about how this compares to the classic Cinderella story. What are the similarities and differences?
What similarities and differences do you see between English humor and American humor?
What about the Cinderella story is different because the main character is male? How are boys and girls depicted differently in stories and movies?
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