Series Disclaimer: The writers of this series do not endorse everything found in these movies. Please use discretion on what is beneficial for you or your family to watch. Our hope is to help us look at the movies (and all of life) through the eyes of faith! (Also, Spoiler Alert: if you haven’t seen these movies, we will give away a lot of what happens!)
The story of Cinderella is a timeless tale of a servant girl getting the chance of a lifetime to attend a ball where she is transformed by a fairy godmother, falls in love with the prince, and then pursued by said-prince to then become his princess. It’s a story of overcoming dire circumstances to end up with her prince.
However, this story is so much bigger than the servant girl getting her knight-in-shining-armor.
The story of Cinderella is a beautiful illustration of the Church and our walk with Christ.
First, the story of Cinderella would be nothing if it wasn’t for the Fairy Godmother. She was Cinderella’s guide—the one who was always near her and revealed herself when Cinderella was in her greatest need. Once revealed, the Fairy Godmother was not only there for guidance and consolation but was also the source of Cinderella’s transformation. Similarly, the Holy Spirit dwells and lives in us, is our guide, and is revealed in our needs. Jesus says in the synagogue in John 16:13 and 15: “But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth… That is why I said the Spirit will receive from me when he will make known to you.”
Also, the story of Cinderella would not have happened if it wasn’t for the talking barnyard animals. These critters serve a vital role in the story! They are companions, they are cheerful servants, they love on Cinderella by designing a dress for the ball. (This is crucial because if they didn’t design the dress, then the evil step-sisters would never have destroyed it, which then the Fairy Godmother would never have needed to be revealed, which means no glass slipper… you get the drift). And then they even transform into Cinderella’s personal entourage! Without the involvement of these animals, Cinderella would have never been able to go to the ball.
One of the most beautiful illustrations in the story of Cinderella is how these animals represent the Church. They were united in one common goal, they used their gifts and strengths together, and they loved well. Romans 12:4-12 says “For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully. Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.”
Finally, Cinderella—in the midst of horrible circumstances—demonstrated courage, patience, love, and kindness, even when she didn’t receive it. The 2015 remake of Cinderella teaches, “Have courage and be kind,” which is wisdom for our walk with Christ. Throughout the movie (and theoretically her undisclosed upbringing), Cinderella is faced with decisions and challenges that shape and mold her along the way. She is treated unjustly yet chooses to love and serve her enemies and even (in the 2015 version) shows forgiveness to her persecutors.
Viewing this story through the lens of the Gospel, Cinderella exemplifies our walk with Christ. There are challenges, yes. But through those we are shaped and molded into becoming more Christ-like as we pursue God's Kingdom (hello hunky prince in Cinderella’s story). Her story shows overcoming her circumstances with the help of her guide (the Fairy Godmother/Holy Spirit) and the community she was in (talking animals/the Church). She extended hospitality and loved her enemies and chose to show kindness instead of hate. Romans 12 continues, “Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse… Live in harmony with one another… Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.”
And the best part of Cinderella’s story? She was pursued. The prince left his throne looked all over his kingdom to find the one who fit the shoe (Matthew 18:12). Jesus left his throne for us, pursues us, and loves us unconditionally just so we can be with him forever.
What a beautiful story!