Today at Christ and Pop Culture I wrap up an incidental trilogy of articles about the new Disney live-action film Cinderella.1 This new article starts with an explanation of why I think this topic matters for the Church and beyond.
Disney’s live-action adaptation of Cinderella has started a much-needed conversation about fairy tales and how we enjoy them. That’s a necessary topic especially because even more fairy tale adaptations are coming: Beauty and the Beast, Frozen 2, and others.
But Christians and non-Christians alike are tempted to focus the conversation only on our own beliefs or preferred social causes. We might only say that Cinderella is a Christlike character suffering under her step-family’s abuse. Or we might let the film’s critics frame the debate about how Cinderella’s story can be reduced to propaganda piece for anti-feminism or disempowerment of victims, or about how Cinderella’s ballgown waistline is too narrow.
Either response is far too mechanical, and in fact forces this simple yet powerful story into our own narrow expectations. Before we subject fairy tales to our social analyses, let us simply enjoy these well-crafted stories—whenever they appear—for what their makers intended them to be: fantastical reflections of beauties and truths. These stories are not mere tools for “realistic,” grown-up efforts of Making Humans Better. In fact, the very act of rediscovering and delighting in these stories helps us grow into our God-given humanity.
Read the rest at Rediscovering Beauty, Truth, and Magic in ‘Cinderella,’ exclusively at Christ and Pop Culture.
- See the quote-centric Kenneth Branagh on the Power of Fairy Tales and the feature Why Materialist Magicians and Sour Stepmothers are Cruel to ‘Cinderella’. ↩