Rose has been obsessed with Cinderella for probably a year, but had never seen the movie. She has three Cinderella dolls and spends a lot of time traipsing around here in a Cinderella costume. Even her Woof Woof has a Cinderella costume. Every morning, she wakes up and asks to wear her only non-costume blue dress because it is like Cinderella’s. Every night before she goes to bed she begs to wear her blue nightgown. I have to disappoint her most days due to the laundry cycle, but it’s pretty clear that if she could wear a blue dress like Cinderella every day, she would.
The other day we were in a used bookstore and I finally found a VHS copy of the movie. Yes, VHS. We still use our VCR sometimes. It’s had a bad habit of chewing up tapes and refusing to rewind things lately, but it will play a previously rewinded tape without too much hassle. I figured even if the VCR ate the tape after the first viewing, for $1.50 it was worth it. Rose finally got her chance to see her beloved Cinderella in action.
It was a hit. Would you expect anything else? After all this obsession, I doubt Cinderella would have to do much to impress her, but the movie is pretty delightful and perhaps the most toddler friendly of the Disney Princess franchise. It has talking, singing mice and birds doing cute things the whole time and there isn’t nearly as much violence or suspense as the other movies. It’s the ultimate princess movie for a 2 year old.
And what did Rose take away from this enchanting movie? Stories about cat and mouse antics? Adoration of Cinderella finding her dreams?
Before the movie was even over Rose was yelling over and over again about how Cinderella’s stepsisters ripped her dress and necklace.
“They ripped her dress! They ripped her dress! That’s not so good! That’s not right! They ripped her necklace!”
Without context, this sounds like a rape scene, but she is indeed just talking about when Cinderella’s ugly stepsisters take back their ribbons and beads. I guess that really struck a cord with her. For some reason that sticks out in her mind over the sea witch tormenting Ariel at the bottom of a whirlpool or Jafar turning into a giant snake and trying to slay Aladdin while Jasmine nearly drowns in the sand of an hourglass. I consider the violence and conflict in the Cinderella scene relatively minor compared to most things in most children’s movies. Rose remembers it over anything else that has ever happened in a movie.
I think she was so struck by this because of her obsession with clothes. If someone were to rip her princess dress, she would be very very upset. Whenever one of her bead necklaces break (happens more often than you would think. 2 year old + beads = trouble), Rose goes on about it for days. I guess she relates more to broken pretty things than an evil giant snake coming at her?
Whatever the case, she’s already asking to watch the movie again and our VCR is refusing to rewind it. Thank goodness “Cinderella” is back out on DVD this fall– or maybe I should be wishing it wasn’t. I can only take so much “They ripped her dress! They ripped her necklace! That’s not nice!”
It’s cute, but it’s also disconcerting.