Cinderella Returns

Little Mermaid

I am so glad I raised my children in the 1990s when there were not as many really crappy movies targeting kids as the audience. I have a son and a daughter and on both of their accounts I am glad that the Disney heroines were not yet all princesses all the time. We had Ariel the little mermaid, and Mulan. Even Pocahontas was more empowered and inspired than poor little Cinderella. I went to see the new live action version of Cinderella with my friend Stephanie. It was entertaining to see how they made the mice seem real and created the CGI castle. The moralizing is poured on pretty thick so we are supposed to credit Cinderella attracting the prince--not just with incredible beauty, and a great dress and shoes--but with her kindness and courage. Right. All in all she is a passive heroine. (I liked Drew Barrymore's version better.)


You can really see the divide in our culture. On the one hand you have all these little girls with princess gear and a steady diet of Disney maidens. And then we have kick-ass heroines like Katniss in The Hunger Games, albeit in a dystopian world.


As I rode my bicycle back from the downtown theater I pondered how much power I give the Cinderella story in my life. I like to think I have outgrown its appeal. My romantic sensibilities can still be moved by the idea of rescue even though I do not need rescuing.

I just hope that by the time my grandchildren are born we will have moved on to a better narrative for all.