General Manager of Mast TV

AUTHOR’S NOTE: Before you read this review, please know that I’m a giant Disney freak. I was raised on Disney movies and annual trips to Disneyland. After I graduate in May, I’m moving to California to participate in the Disney College Program at the Disneyland Resort.

Disney’s live-action version of “Cinderella” is the perfect remake of the 1950’s flick. It’s filled with magic and wonder and surprisingly, a strong female character.

In the 2015 version of “Cinderella,” Lily James’ performance of Cinderella has something the 1950’s portrayal lacked: personality.

James’ Ella is kind, independent and a dreamer. Yes, her stepfamily continues to verbally and emotionally abuse her into doing chores around the house, but Cinderella remains positive about the situation, remembering the words her mother told her before she died, “have courage and be kind.”

And Cinderella does just that.

She shows kindness and courage throughout the movie, staying true to her mother’s words. Even when her stepfamily rips her mother’s dress to shreds, she doesn’t lash out at them. She remains courageous and kind.

At the end of the movie, she continues the movie’s theme by forgiving her abusive stepmother.

I think people could learn something from James’ Cinderella. By showing people even the tiniest ounce of kindness, it can change anyone’s day. It may not be the easiest thing to do, but it could dramatically affect someone in a positive way.

Another reason I loved this version of Cinderella was her relationship with Richard Madden’s Prince.

Unlike the 1950’s Prince Charming, Madden’s Prince Kit had a personality and speaking lines. The duo meet in the forest before the ball. You can actually tell they have chemistry.

Ella didn’t need a prince to save her. That’s not why she chose to marry Prince Kit. She chose to marry him because they complemented each other well and encouraged each other to follow their dreams and be true to themselves.

This is an important message that Disney is starting to show more in its newer-released films, as it should.

I highly recommend seeing Disney’s live-action version of “Cinderella.” You’ll leave the theater feeling joy and happiness and begin to believe again that good things happen to people who deserve them.

And remember: have courage and be kind. ◼︎

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