Cinderella (2021)

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Not suitable under 8, Parental Guidance to 13 (sexual references).

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This topic contains:

  • overall comments and recommendations
  • details of classification and consumer advice lines for Cinderella (2021)
  • a review of Cinderella (2021) completed by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) on 16 September 2021.

Overall comments and recommendations

Children under 8 Not suitable due to sexual references, alcohol consumption, and mild language.
Children aged 8–13 Parental guidance recommended due to sexual references.
Children over the age of 13 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. Other classification advice (OC) is provided where the Australian film classification is not available.

Name of movie: Cinderella (2021)
Classification: PG

ACCM review

This review of the movie contains the following information:

A synopsis of the story

Orphaned Ella (Camila Cabello) – “Cinderella” to her stepsisters Malvolia (Maddie Baillio) and Narissa (Charlotte Spencer) – lives in the basement of her stepmother Vivian’s (Idina Menzel) house.  Ella dreams of becoming a dress maker in a world where a woman-owned business is the stuff of fairy tales and women must instead marry well and look after the house. When heir to the throne, Prince Robert (Nicholas Galitzine), fails to find a bride, King Rowan (Pierce Brosnan) decrees that a royal ball must be held to help him choose from the eligible wealthy ladies.  At the royal announcement, the prince notices the outspoken Ella and goes in disguise to speak to her in-person.  After convincing an unknowing Ella to attend the ball as a networking opportunity for her business, the prince insists that his father allow all women in the Kingdom to attend, even the commoners.  Just when Ella thinks her dreams might be realised, Vivian bans her from attending the ball.  Luckily, Ella’s ‘Fabulous Godmother’ (Billy Porter) arrives to save the day.  Dressed in one of her own designs, and riding a horse-drawn carriage, complete with three mice-turned footmen, she makes her way to the palace.  At the ball, Ella is magically unrecognisable to all but the prince, and must decide whether following her dreams to make dresses professionally is more important to her than becoming the quiet bride of Prince Robert.  After making her decision and parting ways, the prince realises that he must choose to sacrifice the crown for love, rather than ask Ella to sacrifice her dreams.  With the blessing of the King – following some tough words from the Queen (Minnie Driver) – Prince Robert finds Ella and passes the crown to his much more qualified sister Gwen (Tallulah Greive).


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.

Sexism; Gender roles; Magic; Death of a parent

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:

  • Prince Robert’s friend throws an apple at his head and starts a food fight – this rough housing is portrayed as expected male behaviour.
  • Malvolia slaps and pinches Narissa’s cheeks (harder than necessary) to create a rouging effect.

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 five, including the following:

  • Vivian grabs Ella by her ear and speaks to her severely – Ella is in pain and distressed by this interaction.
  • As the magic that turned James the mouse into a footman wears off, his body transforms back into a mouse, but his head remains human and life-sized – this is comedic but a bit disturbing so many distress young children.

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.

  • None noted.

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.

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

  • Ella is forcibly betrothed to Thomas, their sleazy older neighbour who makes several suggestive comments to Ella and her stepsisters that make them visibly uncomfortable (e.g., “that mental image will nourish me through the day”) – this may disturb some viewers.

Thirteen and overinfo

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.

  • None noted.

Product placement

  • None noted.

Sexual references

There are some sexual references in this movie, including:

  • Suggestive and lewd jokes are made throughout – including jokes about small penises, references to sex (“engaging in the disgusting practice of making a son”).
  • Several the ensemble dance numbers include suggestive choreography.
  • Ella and Prince Robert kiss.

Nudity and sexual activity

  • None noted.

Use of substances

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

  • The prince and his friends are seen drinking alcohol from goblets and discuss heavy drinking as one of their preferred past times.

Coarse language

There is some coarse language in this movie, including:

  • Idiot
  • Holy fudge
  • Holy hell
  • Freaking
  • Pigheaded numskull

In a nutshell

Cinderella is a jukebox musical adaptation of the well-known fairy tale, featuring a range of modern songs and choreography and themes of female empowerment.  This film is likely to entertain children over the age of 12 due to the plot and inclusion of modern pop songs.  This film is not suitable for children under the age of 8 due to sexual references, language, and substance use, and parental guidance is recommended to 13 due to sexual references and themes of sexism and misogyny that may distress some viewers. 

The main messages from this movie are:

  • You must be true to yourself and your dreams.
  • Other people’s opinions of your appearance and worth shouldn’t matter.
  • Women and girls should be treated with respect, dignity, and given a “seat at the table.”
  • Don’t judge a book by its cover.


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

  • Being kind to others – Ella is kind to her stepsisters even when they are not kind to her.
  • Persevering despite adversity – Ella, the Queen, the Princess, and others push through difficulties and obstacles to make themselves heard and reach their goals.


This movie could also give parents the opportunity to discuss with their children attitudes and behaviours, and their real-life consequences, such as:

  • Sexism and misogyny – these are explored throughout the film and their impact on the lives of women and girls.