Quality of Character
For the first time while writing this, there's a niggling concern that I might catch flack for a Princess being Too High on the countdown. Certainly, when I first finished the rubric, Cindy's rank surprised me as well, but HEAR ME OUT- there's a lot more to this Princess than the surface stuff.
Yes, Cinderella, as a member of the early Princess line-up, is a lady that things happen TO, not because OF (she is a victim of, not a catalyst for change). She is not a master of her own destiny, she is not a problem solver. She pretty much just gets lucky.
Cinderella herself, however, still has a lot going for her. Life deals her a pretty rough hand: her dad dies and she's left with her only living family for guardians, who then treat her like trash. It would be really easy for her to descend into bitterness, but she doens't. Cinderella makes friends with everyone who doesn't have a "step" in their title and multitasks with the best of them. Cinderella also has way more personality than, say, Snow White; she even gets a little snarky with the Fairy Godmother when she's a bit dense about sprucing up Cindy's dress. Although not, by any means, an exceptionally high score, it's also not a LOW score.
Overall Film Quality
Cinderella was on heavy rotation in my childhood household, and I'm happy to say that, as an adult, I still enjoy it though for different reasons. Cinderella's animation is BEAUTIFUL. I get seriously distracted by the incredible landscapes and backgrounds that were painted for this film; I could stare at the halls of the castle all night. The cinematography is also beautiful, the lighting design on certain characters, the choices of framing, it's really a work of art. Now some points get docked here when it comes to the overall message coming from the film: just keep believing and the dream that you wish will come true. Well, uhh... maybe it will. Maybe it won't... You're better off working at it than just sitting around and wishing. With all that said, I still get chills every time the fairy godmother shows up. There's something to be said for the tummy tingles that magical things happening to nice people can ignite.
Charming is near the bottom of the barrel. Sure he gets to say more than Snow's prince, and he's not a brat like Peter, but he is an IDIOT. Seriously, think about this: he falls in love with a girl he's just met, who then disappears. Then, rather than LOOKING FOR HER, he hands her shoe over to the archduke and says he'll marry whatever girl fits the shoe. WHAT?! I wear a size 8 shoe. DO YOU KNOW HOW MANY WOMEN ALSO WEAR THIS SIZE SHOE? Does Cinderella have magical unique feet? Size 4AAA??? (That's what they look like). UGH! Heaven forbid he get up off his lazy prince tushy and GO LOOK FOR HIS LADY. Derp Derp Derp.
A solid score for Cinderella. I think this film might actually be largely responsible for why I am not a cat person: Lucifer is a wonderfully petty side villain. Lady Tremaine is iconic, and made all the more sinister by the fact that she is Cinderella's family and that she chooses to toy with Cinderella's emotions. The stepsisters are fantastically bratty. The mice, though squeaky, are fun and clever. As an adult, I ADORE the King and his obessive-to-the-point-of-psychotic pursuit of grandchildren. It's a solid assembly!
Again, maybe it is personal sentimentality, but the songs are wonderful. Bibbidi gives me chills, Sing Sweet Nightingale, A Dream is a Wish... just spot on beautiful numbers. Did I mention that I used to sing So This Is Love to D every night at bedtime? Fine. Subjective. Love the music. High score. Deal with it. It's MY list.
The trump card for Cinderella. Her hair may be dated, she may be wearing a dog collar and an awkward headband, but you CANNOT. TOUCH. THE DRESS. There's a reason there's a phrase called "the Cinderella dress" because IT IS THE DRESS. It's merchandised as blue, which I get, but the original is perfect sparkle. I won't call it a color, it is not a color, it is made of MAGIC AND GLITTER. Literally. Not a lot of the ladies on this countdown have a dress made of magic. I can also testify to the fact that, getting to see the dress in person, it really is intimidatingly spectacular. Even if my daughter never likes this movie or Cinderella herself, I would not begrudge her the desire to wear this dress.