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Why You Should Take Your Kids To See "Cinderella"

Have courage, be kind, and don't judge a movie solely on the original adaptation and the trailer.

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I've seen the new Cinderella movie be called a lot of things by people who have yet to see it: a pointless adaptation, magical, and too mature for children being some of them. While I may not have children of my own, as an adult who has actually seen more to this film than the trailer, I can assure you that this film is approved for all ages.

It's the Disney's Cinderella story we all know and love, but so much more.

Defining family and building character

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We get to actually meet Ella's parents rather than just knowing that they're dead right off the bat, which gives us so much more information about Ella's character. Her promises that she makes to her parents and her relationship with them are what drive her as a person to be as good of a person as she is, despite the fact that Lady Tremaine, Anastasia and Drizella are wretched personified.

And for parents worried about the parents dying on screen, have no fear. While we are told they are dead, we do not physically see them dying. We understand that Ella's mother becomes ill, but we don't watch her die. Her father dies while he's away, so his death is also off-screen.

More than just a handsome prince

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We also get to meet Prince Charming (aka Kit) before the ball, and so does Ella. While it's not some grandiose back story, it's still something more than just the, "Hey, look at this pretty girl at the ball. I'll dance with her," sort of thing that we see in the 1950 animated feature. Ella and Kit have a very sweet interaction that notably affects Kit enough to make him desperate to see her again. In this Cinderella, Prince Charming is more than just a prince. He's a genuinely good guy. So for parents who don't want their kids thinking that they can just get married to the first cute boy that sweeps them off their feet, don't worry. That issue's been resolved.

The importance of words and bullying

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We see how the nickname "Cinderella" that Ella gets from her stepsisters - and that is encouraged by her stepmother - impacts her. It is a turning moment for her where she realizes just how awful they really are and is what drives her to try to break free from them.

And the film blatantly tells us this. Children can be quite cruel to their classmates sometimes, and it is important for them to know that name-calling and teasing are not things that good people like Ella and Kit do, but that bad people like the stepsisters and stepmother do.

Passive princess? Think again.

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A lot of people like to call Cinderella a passive princess, who just does nothing but sit around and wait to be saved by her handsome prince. Sorry to tell you this, but you're wrong if you think that.

Ella works incredibly hard and she doesn't want to go to the ball in this film to go win the prince's heart (or even in the 1950 animated feature, for that matter). In the 2015 adaptation, she just wants a night off to go see her friend Kit who she thinks is a lowly apprentice, not a prince. She literally couldn't care less about the prince until she realizes that her friend Kit is the prince. She doesn't care about him because of his status or his wealth, but because of who he is as a person.

Not to mention at the end of the film, Tremaine makes an offer to Ella - I won't spoil anything here because it does give Tremaine a bit more of a backstory that, albeit not something that makes her no longer a villain, makes us understand why she's behaving the way she is - that is quite shocking. And if Ella was truly a passive princess and just trying to get the prince, she would have taken it.

Except she doesn't take it. She stands up to Tremaine in this moment and in a later moment, only to forgive her at the end of the film when we reach the happily ever after we all know. She exemplifies the main message of the film in this moment, which is, "have courage and be kind."

This is an important moment for everyone to see, children and adults alike. It shows us that it is okay to stand up for ourselves and for those we love rather than just taking the easy way out. But it also shows that you can forgive someone despite their actions and the importance of forgiveness.

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Alongside all of this, Cinderella is a beautifully constructed film. The bright colors, gorgeous costumes, stunning scenery, and the absolute loveliness of Lily James as Cinderella and Richard Madden as Kit create an absolutely magical film.

Be sure to see Cinderella - and bring your kids if you have any - before the clock strikes midnight.

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