Australian Council on Children and the Media

Cinderella

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Short takes

Not recommended under 6; parental guidance recommended 6-10 (Scary and upsetting scenes)

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This topic contains:

  • overall comments and recommendations
  • details of classification and consumer advice lines for Cinderella
  • a review of Cinderella completed by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) on 23 March 2015.

Overall comments and recommendations

Children under 6 Not recommended due to scary scenes
Children aged 6 to 10 Parental guidance recommended due to scary and upsetting scenes
Children 10 and over OK for this age group

About the movie

This section contains details about the movie, including its classification by the Australian Government Classification Board and the associated consumer advice lines.

Name of movie: Cinderella
Classification: G
Consumer advice lines: Very mild themes
Length 105 minutes

ACCM review

This review of the movie contains the following information:

A synopsis of the story

When Ella’s (Lily James) parents die, she is forced to live with her stepmother (Cate Blanchett) and two stepsisters (Sophie McShera and Holliday Grainger). Her stepfamily are very mean to her and treat her like a servant. Ella’s only friends are the mice that live in the attic with her.

One day, Ella is out riding her horse in the forest and she meets the Prince (Richard Madden). The Prince falls in love with Ella instantly but she disappears before he learns her name. In the hopes of seeing Ella again, the prince decides to invite all of the ladies in the town to a ball. But Ella’s stepmother forbids her from going to the ball and instead her stepmother goes with her two step sisters in the hope of marrying one of them off to the prince.

Just when Ella thinks all hope of going to the ball is lost, a beggar woman (Helena Bonham Carter) appears at her doorstep and reminds Ella’s that with courage, kindness and a little bit of magic, all her dreams can come true.

Themesinfo

Children and adolescents may react adversely at different ages to themes of crime, suicide, drug and alcohol dependence, death, serious illness, family breakdown, death or separation from a parent, animal distress or cruelty to animals, children as victims, natural disasters and racism. Occasionally reviews may also signal themes that some parents may simply wish to know about.

Death of parents; serious illness; family breakdown; magic

Use of violenceinfo

Research shows that children are at risk of learning that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution when violence is glamourised, performed by an attractive hero, successful, has few real life consequences, is set in a comic context and / or is mostly perpetrated by male characters with female victims, or by one race against another.

Repeated exposure to violent content can reinforce the message that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution. Repeated exposure also increases the risks that children will become desensitised to the use of violence in real life or develop an exaggerated view about the prevalence and likelihood of violence in their own world.

There is some violence in this movie including:

  • The prince and his men are hunting a stag but Ella prevents them from killing it
  • When leaving the palace Ella is chased by the palace guards on horses
  • To prevent the prince marrying Ella, the Grand Duke and the stepmother conspire to lock Ella away in the dark attic

Material that may scare or disturb children

Under fiveinfo

Children under five are most likely to be frightened by scary visual images, such as monsters, physical transformations.

In addition to the above-mentioned violent scenes, there are some scenes in this movie that could scare or disturb children under the age of eight, including the following:

  • Ella’s mother suddenly gets very pale and collapses - she is ill and eventually dies. Ella’s father dies while he is away on a work trip. The prince’s father also is shown to be very ill and eventually dies. All of these scenes are very sad an emotional and may be confronting for young children.
  • Ella’s step mother and step sisters are very mean to her. They lock her in a scary attic and call her names. Their cruelty may be confronting to young children.
  • When Ella is riding in the forest a large stag jumps out in front of her. This gives the audience a mild shock.
  • The transformations of the pumpkin, mice, lizards and goose into Ella’s carriage and men for the ball may be a bit scary. Also, Ella is riding home in the carriage when it starts to transform back into a pumpkin. This ride is fast paced and scary. The carriage almost falls off a cliff and she just makes it home in time.

Aged five to eightinfo

Children aged five to eight will also be frightened by scary visual images and will also be disturbed by depictions of the death of a parent, a child abandoned or separated from parents, children or animals being hurt or threatened and / or natural disasters.

Children in this age group may also be upset by some of the above-mentioned scenes

Aged eight to thirteeninfo

Children aged eight to thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic threats and dangers, violence or threat of violence and / or stories in which children are hurt or threatened.

Younger children in this age group may be upset by some of the above-mentioned scenes

Over thirteeninfo

Children over the age of thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic physical harm or threats, molestation or sexual assault and / or threats from aliens or the occult.

Nothing of concern

Product placement

Nothing of concern in the film but the film is part of the Disney franchise and there are likely to be plenty of associated products.

Sexual references

There are some sexual references in this movie, including:

  • Ella and the Prince are mildly flirtatious with each other

Nudity and sexual activity

There is some mild sexual activity in this movie, including:

  • Ella’s parents kiss and Ella and the Prince kiss
  • Ella gasps when the Prince puts his hand around her waist

Use of substances

There is some use of substances in this movie, including:

  • Adults drink alcohol at the ball and at the step mother’s party
  • Adults play poker and gamble at the step mother’s party

Coarse language

There is some coarse language in this movie, including:

  • shut up
  • stupid
  • dirty wench
  • “I’ll scratch your eyes out”
  • simpleton
  • half-wit
  • “I’ll dash your brains out on the palace steps”
  • wretched girl

In a nutshell

Cinderella is a charming and beautiful film with a familiar sense of Disney magic. Cinderella is not recommended for children under 6, with parental guidance recommended for 6-10 year olds as there are scenes that may disturb or frighten younger children. Also, younger children may get bored at the beginning of the film because it is heavily language based and does not get very exciting until Ella is transformed. Parents should also be aware that when Ella wears her blue ball gown her waist looks unnaturally thin. This may cause some body image issues for girls viewing the film and is something parents may wish to discuss with children.

The main messages from this movie are:

  • Be kind and have courage and all will be well
  • See the world not as it is but as it could be

Values in this movie that parents may wish to reinforce with their children include:

  • courage
  • kindness
  • intelligence
  • acceptance of others

This movie could also give parents the opportunity to discuss with their children the importance of being kind to people even if they are mean to you.

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