Picking your favorite Disney movie is almost impossible. Sure, we all do have our favorites, but choosing one sometimes makes me feel like I’m neglecting the others. Even though The Little Mermaid is my favorite, there so many Disney movies that are incredibly dear to my heart. One of these is Cinderella.
There are a lot of reasons to love Cinderella. It’s from Disney’s classic era. The animation is wonderful, and in fact Cinderella’s transformation scene was Walt Disney’s favorite piece of animation. The song are lovely, the characters fun. It’s a classic story that everyone is sure to love. But there’s something very special about Cinderella that makes it slightly different than other Disney movies.
Yes, all Disney movies have moral applications and lessons we can learn from them, but the circumstances Cinderella endures are far more like the situations we face in real life than other Disney movies. We will not—probably—ever face a sea witch named Ursula, or slay a dragon called Maleficent, or be trapped by a Beast in a castle. Sure, all of these stories teach us things we do need in real life, but we are far more likely to deal with people like Lady Tremain and her daughters than we are with Jafar or the Evil Queen.
Cinderella puts up with people who are vain, selfish, jealous, and cruel. They demand a lot of work from her, never show her any kindness, and are always focused on themselves. In short, the villains in Cinderella possess many of the bad qualities we are likely to see in ourselves and other people. People, in general, are more likely to be selfish than witch; more likely to be jealous of you than poison you. Cinderella faces situations that we face in real life, but she always rises above them with kindness and courage.
It’s extremely difficult to be kind to the people who are mean to you. It’s hard to think of the people who are easily overlooked. But Cinderella is always kind, always thinking of those less fortunate than her, and she never lets the hardships of her life stop her from dreaming. My favorite line from any song in Cinderella is from “A Dream Is A Wish Your Heart Makes”, when she sings, “No matter how your heart is grieving, if you keep on believing, the dream that you wish will come true.”
Disney movies are always telling us to keep dreaming, to follow our dreams. But Cinderella is important because it reminds us that it will not always be easy to chase our dreams. We face hardships in life—difficult people and difficult situations. And Cinderella shows us that the way to defeat these real circumstances is not by using a sword or potion, but by being kind.
I mentioned this earlier with the live action Cinderella adaptation that recently came out (go see it, it’s amazing!), but kindness is a message that’s often overlooked. We are always told to be brave and strong, and we need to be in order to survive the difficulties in our lives, but we need kindness, too, if we are to prevail. Cinderella reminds us of that. We cannot forget to be kind, especially when life is difficult.