By Jennifer Green,
Common Sense Media Reviewer
Common Sense Media Reviewers
NYC Cinderella musical has diverse cast, positive messages.
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Offers an interesting example of a contemporary take on a classic fairy tale.
Talent takes you where you want to go. Be yourself. Everyone makes mistakes, and everyone deserves a second chance. Stay true to your roots. Give a lift to those who come behind you. It can be hard for young women to make their voices heard. Women can be entrepreneurs.
Positive Role Models
El works hard and has a natural talent. He's also still grieving the death of his mother years earlier. Sami is a good friend to El. The Kings are supportive parents who take their business seriously but also try to give their daughters opportunities for growth. Trey takes out his grief over the death of his wife on his stepson, something he recognizes and apologizes for eventually. El's stepbrothers scheme to make his life miserable. El lies to get ahead but regrets it immediately, demonstrating integrity. He wants to stay true to the values his mother taught him.
Cast is racially and ethnically diverse. One character speaks Spanish. Another is gay. A man with a disability is in opening dance scene. Main character lives in working-class neighborhood full of restaurants specializing in different international cuisines. His stepdad struggles to make ends meet and might sell out to a franchise.
Inclusion information: Black actors
Inclusion information powered by
Did we miss something on diversity? Suggest an update.
Violence & Scariness
El falls off a lamppost during a dance number. A group of young men chase others who cut in line at a sneaker sale. El grieves his dead mom, remembers her in song. El runs out of an event, knocking over waiters and falling down on an escalator.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Violence & Scariness in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Sex, Romance & Nudity
Characters flirt, talk about having "heat" or being in love, and two kiss. A female character mentions her girlfriend.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Sex, Romance & Nudity in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
"Sucker," "idiot," "hustler," "scam artist," "shoot," "sheesh," "oh my gosh," "oh my God."
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Language in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Products & Purchases
Could spark interest in a variety of stylish sneakers (particularly Nike and Vans), Disney products, other Cinderella iterations, and sharing and posting to Instagram.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Sneakerella is an uplifting, gender-swapped musical take on the classic Cinderella tale set in New York City. It follows a talented sneaker designer named El (Chosen Jacobs) who's forced by his grieving stepfather and scheming stepbrothers to toil in the stockroom. The racially and ethnically diverse characters hail from a working-class neighborhood. Even when they find wild success, as some do, they make sure to give a lift to those behind them, demonstrating integrity. Other messages built into the film include staying true to yourself and letting your talent speak for itself. There's very little iffy content beyond the consumerist idea of spending huge amounts of time and money on sneakers, a few minor (and injury-free) falls, and mild language ("sucker," "idiot," "hustler," "oh my God," etc.).
To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Where to Watch
Videos and Photos
Based on 6 parent reviews
Very scary and sad montage upset my kid and triggered fears about parent mortality
Report this review
Report this review
What's the Story?
In SNEAKERELLA, El (Chosen Jacobs) is a talented shoe designer forced by his grieving stepdad Trey (Bryan Terrell Clark) and scheming stepbrothers Zelly (Kolton Stewart) and Stacy (Hayward Leach) to toil in the stockroom of their shoe store. When El and best friend Sami (Devyn Nekoda) line up to get a pair of newly released sneakers downtown, they meet Kira King (Lexi Underwood). They don't recognize her as "sneaker royalty," the daughter of sneaker entrepreneur and former athlete Darius King (John Salley). El and Kira spend the day together and start falling in love. When her family hosts an event inviting new designers to compete for a contract, El garners attention with his original kicks. He only made it to the event because a local friend, the magical Gustavo (Juan Chioran), helped make it happen. Will Kira's dad take a chance on an unproven designer, and how will that affect the feelings El and Kira have for each other?
Is It Any Good?
This gender-swapped Cinderella tale might feel a bit too sweet for teens, but its diverse cast, uplifting story, and genre-blending song-and-dance numbers are charmingly original and fun. Sneakerella is High School Musical meets In the Heights. The action takes place in a Disney-fied New York City (read: safe and tidy, with happy people singing and dancing on streets and subway trains). It brings the HSM aesthetic to Queens and Manhattan with a bit less humor and a bit more street cred (imagine Sharpay on the subway) but no more realism.
Some characters deserved more screen time, especially fairy godfather Gustavo and celebrity athlete Darius King, but it's entertaining to see the usual Cinderella roles occupied by the opposite genders. The young stars are talented and charismatic, especially lead Jacobs and the scene-stealing Nekoda as best friend Sami. Underwood is underused. Two highlights of the movie are a scheming number sung by the evil but dimwitted stepbrothers and a rap battle between El and King. In the first one, cartoon character shadows appear on the walls behind them. It's one of many uses of moving graphics and illustrations on top of the live-action scenes, and the whimsical concept plays off the sneaker theme.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about what aspects of the Cinderella fairy tale are woven into Sneakerella and what pieces are missing. What other contemporary films based on classic fairy tales have you watched?
How does the film overlay graphics and illustrations on the live-action scenes? How does this work with the aesthetic of some of the sneakers and street art seen in the movie?
How do some of the characters demonstrate integrity? Who does not demonstrate this character strength?
What makes a sneaker unique or worth hundreds of dollars, in your opinion?
Did any of the songs in the movie sound familiar? Which musical number was your favorite, and why?
- On DVD or streaming: May 13, 2022
- Cast: Chosen Jacobs, Lexi Underwood, Devyn Nekoda
- Director: Elizabeth Allen Rosenbaum
- Inclusion Information: Black actors
- Studio: Disney+
- Genre: Musical
- Topics: Magic and Fantasy, Fairy Tales, Friendship, Great Boy Role Models, Music and Sing-Along
- Character Strengths: Integrity
- Run time: 111 minutes
- MPAA rating: NR
- Award: Common Sense Selection
- Last updated: February 17, 2023
Inclusion information powered by
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.
Suggest an Update
Where to Watch
Our Editors Recommend
Best Fairy Tale Movies
Fairy Tales for Kids
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