Monday, March 23, 2015

A Twelve Year Old Boy Reviews Cinderella

Last week, I took just my two older daughters to see Cinderella. I liked it. A LOT. They liked it a LOT. We've all been singing Lavender's Blue pretty much nonstop ever since. I felt pretty confident recommending it to women and girls. (And I did. I recommended the heck out of it. Maleficent . . . not so much.) But I couldn't be sure how it would go over with boys. So this weekend, I went again. This time with the whole family. My twelve year old son, Jack, was kind enough to agree to be interviewed and share with you a DIFFERENT perspective.



Me: What are your favorite movies?

Jack: I like movies with action and lots of funny parts. And fighting.

Was this movie as excellent as you thought it was going to be?

Ummm . . . yes. Yes it was.

Hah. Well, played. Does that mean you liked it?

It's still definitely a princess movie. Actually, I guess she went straight to being a queen, didn't she? Anyway, it had some funny parts. Like the goose who gets turned into a coachman, pointing out that he was a goose and therefore did not know how to drive. 

You have a few sisters, does that mean you also see a lot of princess movies?

Yes. I thought this movie was better than most princess movies. Not as good as Tangled or The Frog Princess, but at least on par with Brave or Frozen (the FIRST TIME you see it).

This movie is WAY better than Brave or Frozen. Anyway. What did you think of the prince character?

He was pretty good. I liked that he stood up for what he believed in with his father. He was brave but also respectful. He wore tights, though. It's hard to take a guy wearing tights seriously.

How about the fathers? Wasn't it nice to have some GOOD fathers in a movie for once, instead of them always being portrayed as idiots or evil?

I like Darth Vader better.

But that's exactly what I mean. He's TOTALLY evil. He's trying to corrupt his son, and barring that, kill him.



I know! That's a REAL bad guy. Not just a step mother who laughs at you and sends you to your room. Your room that you could totally escape from.

Who is a character in this movie that boys can look up to?

The prince is good, I guess.

How is he good?

Well, he's not a pushover, but he's not a tyrant either. When he is hunting, he listens to what Cinderella says, and he gives her his reasons, but he listens to her reasons too, and he decides to change his mind.

Does anyone extend that same courtesy to him later on?

Huh. Yeah, I guess so. The king listens to him and changes his mind about him having to marry the princess from "zztharragoztha."

What did you think of Cinderella? Are there any things in her character that a boy could learn from?

I think a boy could learn that if he's locked in an attic by an evil stepmother, he should just wait for some mice to accidentally reveal his presence to some rescuers. Rather than, say, opening a window himself and just getting out of there.

But she wanted to stay in the house because it reminded her of her mother. Right?

Yeah. I don't really get that. Plus, she seemed happy enough to leave with the prince.

Good point. How about the overall message of the movie?

Always be yourself.

Isn't that more the message of My Little Pony?

No. The message of My Little Pony is that if you can find where you truly belong you will get a magical butt tattoo that depicts your interests.

Really? Maybe I should be paying more attention to that show. But, what did you learn from this movie?

The catch phrase was "be kind and have courage." So I learned that?

Don't you think that's a good lesson? Didn't that allow Cinderella to be happy and be a good person even in difficult circumstances? Isn't that applicable to boys?

Yes. I think it's a good lesson. Cinderella didn't make that up though. Kindness and courage are virtues. 

So, if any brothers out there are wondering if they should go see this movie, what would you tell them?

A lot of it would depend on if there is candy and popcorn. If there is candy and popcorn, you might not hate it.

Jack out.


Some other expert opinions . . .

Frankie (3): I liked the DANcing. And da goose. Dat was willy willy funny.

Gus (7): I liked it. Not the kissing. But I liked it.

Bobby (9): I liked the fencing part.

The husband: I enjoyed it. But I don't think I liked it better than the classic version. The animals are more interesting characters in that one.


Betty and Anita liked it just as much the second time around. Lulu . . . made it. But if you don't have to take a one and a half year old to the movies with you, please don't.

For more of Jack's favorites, see . . .

Big Hero 6: Jack Has Some Thoughts

What's All This, Now, About "Guardians of the Galaxy"?


In totally, completely, other news . . .  

Also today, I'm the Catholic on "Ask a Catholic" at A Home Called Shalom, trying to help our non-Catholic friends understand what is the deal with Catholics and Lent. Click on over and let Allyson know if I got it right.

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19 comments:

  1. Hey, thanks for the shout out! And I'll have to show this article to the hubs... I might, maybe, possibly be able to convince him. Maybe.

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  2. We took our six kids (4boys, 2girls) to see Cinderella on Friday. My 12 year old daughter loved it and the almost three year old daughter lolled on my lap saying that she wanted to go home. My oldest daughter's twin brother (always positive and sentimental) saiid that it was good but it would have helped if the ladies had pulled their dresses up over their chests just a little bit. This was echoed by my four year oldboy who said that he could see cinderella's nursing mommies. (He coined that term himself.). The best comment was reserved for my almost nine year old boy who stared vacantly and said, "I just wasted two hours of my life in which I could have been watching hockey." I was very glad that I bought popcorn. Also, the man tights helped my oldest son to understand why he shouldn't wear his pjs around the house.

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  3. Okay, Jack is like my new favorite person :)

    "No. The message of My Little Pony is that if you can find where you truly belong you will get a magical butt tattoo that depicts your interests. "

    I laughed.out.loud....cause it's so true! And because your 12 year old just used the word "depicts" correctly.

    "I know! That's a REAL bad guy. Not just a step mother who laughs at you and sends you to your room. Your room that you could totally escape from."

    Good point Jack, good point. You should read about Saint Germaine Cousin, she's got a truly wicked stepmother, though her ending isn't quite so happy in this world. I think her evil stepmom could possibly compete with Darth Vader? Maybe not, but still...it's a saint story so it's better automatically!

    I could see my 6 year old boy liking this movie a good bit, but in a few more years I think he'd be bored. Maybe I should make sure he watches it before he gets too old to enjoy it.

    Thanks for doing the boys review perspective! And I love the picture of them all in front of the poster being all "meh" about it.

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  4. Ooh. Tell Jack, thank you. It's very interesting for me to read this point of view from a boy. my two oldest are girls (almost 11 and almost 6). My two youngest are boys (almost 4 and a 4 month old) so I'm not an expert yet on boy things. Thank you for this perspective. I was not expecting some of these answers! I'll have to show this to my husband and I think it would make for an interesting conversation about girls vs boys! Thanks again!

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  5. I am biting my tongue to avoid launching into a vigorous defense of Darth Vader. That feels very strange.

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  6. I love Jack's reviews. I am planning to take a 1.5 year old to see this, but she is pretty distracted by popcorn so I have high hopes.

    And what's your beef with Brave?

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    1. Just the whole "Girl Just Want to Have Fun" if you just disobey your parents BIG enough they will come to see that you were right the whole time and be so, so sorry. And just for the record, The Little Mermaid, Girls Just Want to Have Fun, and Electric Bugaloo (the sequel to Breakin') were my three favorite movies as a kid, and are all basically that same plot. And I don't think it did much to help my relationship with my parents. Here's my Brave review: Brave: I Do Not Think It Means What You Think It Means

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    2. Yeah, I see that. It's still nice to have a movie with no romantic plot line, though. If only the daughter changed as much as the mother.

      I have been thinking this afternoon how Jack doesn't need Cinderella because he know the virtues already. What is your system to teach those?

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    3. Jack speaking.
      I learned the virtues from the catechism books we do in 1st through 4th grade and from overhearing little flowers. And, at least brave had some action.

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  7. We just saw Cinderella on Sunday. It was really good. Way better than I expected. I expected Disney to ruin it, but they did a great job. I think what I liked the most was that the Prince and Cinderella actually TALKED. They didn't just fall in love at first sight, or fall in love dancing, they actually TALKED to each other. And the message about always being kind and courageous was awesome.

    I think my 7-yo boy is going to have to wait to see it until it comes out, but I think he'd be "meh" about it too!! Boys.

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    1. Yes! I really loved that addition to the story. It's just such a sweet scene, how he's clearly just flabbergasted that someone would talk to him in such an honest and unaffected way. He falls in love with her in the cutest way for the cutest reasons. Much better than seeing her for the first time at the ball, when that's not the real her anyway.

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  8. Admittedly, I agree with your son (who is HILARIOUS!). The princess stories annoy me because I keep thinking "why are you chatting with mice? Open the window and get out."

    Somehow this reminds me of a conversation between Malcolm and his best friend in Malcolm in the Middle when he says "I love these comics, and the main character doesn't even have to learn a lesson or anything."

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  9. "Yes. I think it's a good lesson. Cinderella didn't make that up though. Kindness and courage are virtues."

    He is awesome! :) :)

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  10. Thanks for the recommendation - saw Cinderella yesterday as a fun girls afternoon with my 5 year old and Grandma - so delightful!

    I can hardly believe Hollywood let something so *good* be made. How did they ever resist not tainting the story?

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    1. Ya know, I'm inclined to credit Kenneth Brannagh. I've always loved his Shakespeare adaptations, which are always so faithful even when they are updated. I have tended to credit Shakespeare for how great and timeless the stories are, but I'm thinking Kenneth Brannagh is just really, really good at making timelessly modern adaptations of classic stories.

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  11. OMG, I'm off work for a week getting over some blood clots in my lung--but Jack's comment about the real message of My Little Pony made me laugh out loud, despite excruciating pain! Thank you for a great review, and for making my day a little less awful. :-)

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    1. That sounds terrible! Get well soon, and glad we could help. :)

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  12. this was hilarious! if Jack liked it, then I REALLY have to see it!

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