Sibling Rivalry: Cinderella

Wow, we surprisingly had a LOT to say about this one. Doug and Rob review 2015’s Cinderella.

About Doug Walker

Creator of 5 Second Movies, Nostalgia Critic, Bum Reviews and more.


  1. Why is the 50 shades of Grey image being used for the video thumbnail on the site?

  2. My favorite version of Cinderella is Every After….. My sister’s taking me to see this for my birthday in an hour; if it’s really that bad, please save my soul.

    • I personally trust Rob and Doug, so…I pray for you. -_-‘

    • actually if memory serves in the original European fairytale Her name was Ella.

      • If you refer to the Perault version, she definitely doesn’t have a name there. Same for most European variants. The name “Ella” is of italian origin and is often picked in English adaptions of the Cinderela tale, as a play on the English “Cinderella” (in the french version, the protagonist was nicknamed “Cendrillon”).

    • Ever After, the Drew Barrymore movie, is my favorite Cinderella movie ever. Danielle (Cinderella’s real name from that film) was such a strong and motivated character. She worked hard and wanted to keep her home and her servants who were like her family safe and protected from her bitchy step-mother.

    • Ever After was awesome…..Not to be confused with Happily Ever After, which is the worst Snow White movie ever made.

    • It’s a good one, but there is also the Czech version (just beautiful) and Cinderella 87 (which is a very modern version).

    • The Mysterious M

      My personal favorite is the Wonderful World of Disney version from the 90s. It was a TV movie and an adaptation of the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical version. It featured an amazing cast: Brandi as Cinderella, Bernadette Peters as the Stepmother, Jason Alexander, Victor Garber and Whoopi Goldberg as the king and queen, and Whitney Houston as the fairy godmother.

  3. Hey Doug, what are your thoughts on “Happily ever after” which is an animated movie that is a sequel story to snow white (Not sure if it’s connected to the disney version specifically or not) You can watch it here on youtube:

    • It’s soooooo baaaaad. I’ve been waiting years for someone on this site to review it. The Cartoonatic did a good review on it, if you can find his stuff on Blip.

  4. I’m going to see this next weekend. You make good points about the original movie, Doug. Plus, I liked Rob’s analysis about the original. As a woman who doesn’t care about modern feminism, I don’t have a problem with Cinderella because yeah, not all people are strong and kick butt. Sometimes people are just themselves. I’m just going to see the new movie because I want to see pretty outfits and good aesthetics. Haha. I’m pretty easy to please. I’m being myself. 😀 Although, from your review, this is probably a movie I’ll only see once… Just something to watch.

  5. I remember reading an older version of the Cinderella story that depicted her as a woman actively planning her actions. Like she purposely left her slipper for the prince to find, and honestly she seemed more like a schemer, and maybe this kind of approach would make it harder for the audience to like her and actually want her to succeed.

  6. Fan-freaking-tastic review. Rob you were hilarious in this one. Was laughing throughout your entire rant about this movie. This movie sounds so frustrating. Argh. I’ll wait for the dvd of it I guess.

  7. I’ll admit I was one of those who criticizes the original animated version. Not for “feminist” reasons or whatever, but because I recalled Cinderell indeed having no character, no real role, just a passive chess piece that wins the lottery for no reason. But it is clear my memory was foggy, and it is TRIPLY clear that my view of her came from a place of not realizing it could be so much worse. Until hearing you guys describe all the ways in which this new Cinderella TRULY does nothing, and feels nothing, and has no emotional journey, no reason for us to invest in her, I never realized just how much character the original DID have. My brain must have just been overwhelmed by the endless animal shenanigans. I wouldn’t say I would now enjoy the original, but to have this new TITULAR CHARACTER not even care when she’s locked away from her only shot at a different life (as we’re supposed to believe)? That’s just dumbfounding.

    • I dunno, it’s not like she did nothing. Cinderella was oppressed by her step-family in the Disney animated movie and couldn’t be on her own otherwise she’d be homeless. She did what she could in the animated one, she went behind her step-family’s back and made a dress so she could have a chance to break free of their control.

    • The original Cinderella is more proactive than people give her credit for. They forget that Cinderella insists on being part of the family and therefore should be allowed to go to the ball. They forget that the fairy godmother helps her because she is the way she is, it is not unearned, and that Cinderella goes to the castle herself despite knowing that she isn’t supposed to, not to meet the prince, but to have one nice evening out. She doesn’t even know that she is falling in love with the prince.

  8. Wait wait wait. Rob has nieces and nephews? Is there another sibling or does Doug have tons of kids?

  9. CurtTheHistorian

    are we in for a bum review? “OMG THIS IS THE GREATEST MOVIE I’VE EVER SEEN IN MY LIFE! be kind, have SPOLIERS!!!”

  10. Okay, if no one else is gonna say it, I am gonna do it: You are too harsh on this movie 🙂 I respect your opinion of course, but I think you are giving the original version too much credit. It’s not THAT different.

  11. So, what’s the deal with the rats in this one? are they CG? Animated? Real rats with CG mouths?

  12. This is a case where I get Rob and Doug’s criticisms, but I still really, really liked this take on the story. And I definitely felt invested in this version of Cinderella.

  13. Terry Pratchett’s version of Cinderella in ‘Witches Abroad’ was called Emberella… It’s not that much of a new crazy idea – aside from the fact that almost everything of Pratchett’s is brilliantly crazy. I’m pretty sure I’ve seen it somewhere else too =P

    I’m still wondering why this movie was made. Even just watching the trailer, all I could think was “This is just ‘Ever After’ again. What’s the point of it?”

  14. This movie was full of “Well the chart says…”

  15. Something I found kinda curious about the 50s animated movie was that while all the animals (save for Lucifer) were Cinderella’s friends, only the mice could talk. It got me thinking, is Cinderella like Harry Potter, except instead of talking to snakes, she can talk to mice?

    Also, in regards to the whole Cinderella name itself, I think many of the earlier versions of the story established that was just a cruel nickname given to her by the stepsisters. In fact, I don’t think we ever find out her real name.

  16. I tried not to get annoyed, but Doug and Rob called the mice “rats” like fifty times.

  17. ThePuzzlerOfRiddles

    Although I did head-desk when she said she was “protecting the prince”, I just kind of assumed she had gone catatonic from lack of food, abuse, and isolation, when she didn’t open the window.

  18. While I agree with a lot of the problems mentioned, I actually kind of like this movie though I admit it’s no where near was good as some other versions of the classic fairy tale. And I must admit it probably wouldn’t have been as enjoyable is I hadn’t even with an audience in IMAX.

    I agree the opening scene is insufferably sweet. Remembering James and the Giant Peace and how perfect his parents where before they’re killed off in a flash I found myself thinking, “just let this two get eaten by done with it!” And here lack of effort to free herself, yeah definatly disappointing.

    Where I disagree is with Lilly Jones performances. I don’t what it was, but she had me EMOTIONAL INVESTED. That she choice to stay rather than leave because she that’s what her father would have wanted that seem that strange to me. Old fashion yes, but a reflection of the times. Though I admit trying to make her smarter made her complacency harding to buy in hindsight, I did believe her suffering. I did believe she felt lonely and abandoned by life and..don’t ask me why…I did think her dress looked dirty at times.

    There is one moment where she does show genuine angry you didn’t talk about. Right before the stepmother locks her in her room she demands to know what justifies you being so cruel when I’ve done everything you every asks for. I think the problem is there suggestion she just keep assuming that she just always assumed the kindness SHOULD be returned eventually based on what she brought up to believe and wasn’t able to figure out that someone people just what come around until that moment. Won’t didn’t work was her lack of resistance beyond the point.

    However, I do like how in that scene we hear why the stepmother thinks and her daughters have been shafted by life and that justifies her actions, thought it could been done better. There was a similar suggestion of the different outlook on life and how influence her own children’s behavior with her saying “Love is never free.”

    As for the proof of “courage,” I think the idea was supposed to be letting someone see how you really are and hoping that’ll accept you. Because it wasn’t until the end that she dared refer to herself as “Cinderella.” Too bad that message seems a little moot when you consider the Prince “as mentioned” did see her as a commoner before the ball, seemed to like her even than, and was passing himself off as common at the time. I also think they were trying to suggestion that the politics of time made hard for to believe he ever COULD let alone would marry someone who wasn’t also wealthy and powerful, but I think even Disney has played up that theme better in other movies like Aladdin.

    Again I agree with most everything else you guys said, good and bad. For it’s worth though I found it to be alright. Not the best Cinderella I’ve seen, but not the worst either.

  19. I actually really enjoyed this movie. I went into it with fairly low expectations, but I found it to be a pleasant surprise. Some of the criticisms given here are valid, but on the whole I think Rob and Doug are being too harsh. It’s not a great movie, but it’s certainly enjoyable to watch.

    I like Ever After too, but I always feel like that movie is trying MUCH too hard to make Cinderella an empowered role model instead of just a normal person.

  20. Why is this review took you two a minute short of a whole hour to talk about?

  21. No Bum Review I guess.

  22. Oh my God! More than half of this review is just you guys talking about the animated Disney version and comparing this movie to that. The the whole thing came off as “I didn’t like this because it was better in the animated version. It was better in Ever After.”

    Can you actually talk about this movie? This felt like a review of the animated version, discussing its effectiveness through comparisons to the new one.

    But whatever, Rob and Doug will just make fun of this comment because I disagree.

    • Um. Wah?

      It was a discussion. People who appreciate who stories and movies are constructed like “talking shop.” That’s what they do. This wasn’t a scripted, tidy review for your efficient pleasure–this is “Sibling Rivalry” as a version of Siskel and Ebert. Passionate discussion that can wander. It’s in the format.

      • I’m fully aware of the discussion format. That’s why I LOVE RedLetterMedia, and my brother and I do a live video movie review podcast on YouTube. What I’m not liking is the constant comparison to the Classic animated version.

  23. This was the best Sibling Rivalry yet! I haven’t even seen the film and I was laughing my ass off at several points.

    I just don’t see the point in remaking Disney classics in live action, other than to make a quick cash in.

  24. Great discussion, guys. 🙂 And I appreciated knowing I wasn’t the only one who felt a disturbing violation in the original animated version when they rip the dress up. I remember as a kid thinking, “What if they went all the way…?” It was horrifying, and yeah, as close to a rape scene as a kids movie can get.

    If they dumbed that down in this version because the emotion is too intense…then yes, why couldn’t she just repair it like the good seamstress she is?

    I have decided both Cinderellas would have top be touched in the head under this abuse, but the 2015 has no excuse if she’s allowed out into the world to lean and ride horses. I remembered also wondering what on earth was beyond the house Cinderella was kept in in the animated version–I had to assume she never saw it because I never saw it. We were locked in the mansion and yes, you keep house slaves from moving off the property. Reading and contact with others is a dangerous thing when you’re trying to isolate and control someone.

    Just look at the Indian diplomat, Devyani Khobragade. Classic example of house to treat a house slave like Cinderella (good thing the fairy tale version never got sick!). And she still maintains that she did nothing wrong, it was her right. Evil step-mother.

  25. Boys…come on. She was called “Cinderella” in the original Grimm story and multiple versions since then, because she slept by the cinders to keep warm…and her name was Ella. This was not a Disney invention for the 2015 version. Just like Rapunzel is supposed to be named for the “rampion” that is stolen from the Witch’s garden, and Snow White is named that way because she’s…white.

    • Actually, she is called “Aschenputtel” in the Grimm story, “Aschenbrödel” in the Bechstein one and “Cendrillon” in the Perrault version…the whole “she is named Ella which got turned into Cinderella” is American BS which, yes, is a Disney invention for one of the tie in books they wrote for Cinderella. Yes, it’s a demeaning name in all versions (other than the Disney version in which she is simply called Cinderella), but her real name was never given.

  26. Bárbara R. de Oliveira

    In fact I think Tangled is a bad movie, which does not use the challenges the protagonist should have in its favor. At no moment they really talked about parental abuse they only place that witch as “alleged mother” for shock value. And it kind of offends me a little.

  27. The Mysterious M

    When the trailers started coming out, I said “Oh Cate Blanchett and HBC are gonna be the ONLY highlights of this movie.”

  28. Why didn’t they talk about Frozen Fever? What did you think of it Doug?

  29. I didn’t see this movie because it looked exactly like Ever After, only worse. Enjoyed your commentary. Concerning female protagonists, agency, and personality, I wanted to bring this to your attention (if you hadn’t seen already) as I found it interesting:

  30. Im more surprised at the critic reception its getting. It seems to be a well liked movie. I thought it would get slammed.

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