Things you only notice as an adult in Cinderella

Cinderella is one of the most iconic Disney characters to ever hit the screen. Not only was she immortalized in the 1950 film Cinderella, but her palace is also a key attraction at Disney World. Many of us watched this film as children and dreamed of our own happily ever afters, but adulthood has a way of poking holes in even the most charming of fairy tales. The movie is still magical when you watch it as an adult, but not always in the same ways.

Cinderella has to have the world's nimblest fingers

Cinderella keeps the mice of the manor well-dressed, but how exactly does she make their clothes? The mice are pretty small, and their tiny garments must be incredibly difficult to sew. Either Cinderella is a sewing whiz, or she has incredibly dexterous fingers to sew such small shirts and dresses and hats for her rodent friends. You also have to wonder why she dresses only the mice, while leaving the birds who wake her up in the morning to fly around unclothed. 

Why are the mice the only animals that can talk?

I can wrap my head around the mice talking because, hey, this is a Disney movie, and Disney movies are sprinkled with a bit of magic. But why is it that only the mice are bestowed with the ability to speak? Could it be a slight nod to Mickey Mouse, the most famous of all Disney characters? It seems strange that Cinderella can speak directly to mice, but not to other animals she interacts with in the film, like birds, chickens, or dogs.

There is no way that Cinderella could manage the upkeep of this house on her own

Cinderella's house is massive. The bedrooms alone look to be the size of a studio apartment. Even assuming that there are only three bedrooms, one for Cinderella's stepmother and each of her stepsisters, that's still three apartment-sized rooms, a kitchen, and a massive drawing room that Cinderella has to manage to keep clean all by herself — and those are only the rooms we can see in the film. On top of that, it also looks like Cinderella has to take care of a flock of chickens, look after the cat and the dog, not to mention sew clothes for mice in her spare time.

The fact that she manages to keep the house clean, the pets cared for, and maintain a flawless hairdo might be the most fantastical part of the entire movie.

We should all be sympathizing with the cat

When I was a kid, I hated Lucifer the cat. We are obviously supposed to view him as an antagonist who terrorizes the mice, but Lucifer is actually a complex character. He's coddled by Cinderella's stepmother and clearly overfed to the point of becoming obese, which is irresponsible and borders on abusive. He doesn't have any real friends in the house, and even Cinderella, who is supposed to be a kind-hearted person who is nice to animals, can't even think of something nice to say about him.

Can Lucifer really be blamed for being a jerk? He's just a misunderstood creature looking for someone to truly appreciate him.

Where has this fairy godmother been hiding for so long?

Maybe Cinderella is more patient than I am, but if I found out that I had a fairy godmother who had abandoned me to the evil machinations of my wicked stepmother for years, I'd probably be pretty upset. The fact that Cinderella doesn't call her out for only showing up to get her ready for a ball showcases her grace.

So what's the fairy godmother's excuse? She does look pretty old and seems forgetful. Could she simply have forgotten that Cinderella existed for years? If not, why did she leave her godchild to suffer for so long?

Why didn't the glass slippers disappear at midnight?

This is a pretty major plot hole. It has been made pretty clear to Cinderella that all of her enchanted things and the animals bewitched into humans will have the spell on them broken at midnight, but Cinderella's slippers remain enchanted long after the clock has struck 12. Cinderella's fairy godmother makes it seem like the magic will only last until midnight because there's some sort of limit on her power, but could she have been lying? Or does permanent magic only apply to shoes for some reason?

The king seems a little unbalanced

This guy should not be running a kingdom. He's childish, volatile, and sometimes violent. Could his poor mental health be the reason he is pushing his son so hard to find a bride? It seems quite likely that, in the king's more stable moments, he has recognized (or at least been advised by someone) that the crown needs to pass to the prince sooner rather than later. From his actions throughout the movie, it seems pretty clear that he will not be capable of ruling for much longer.

Having everyone in the kingdom try on the slipper seems like an abuse of resources

The king's instability is further proven when he orders that all the women in the kingdom try on the slipper that Cinderella left behind. It's pointed out to him that it's probable that many women would fit into the shoe, but he still demands that the shoe fitting take place. Not only does this seem like a futile task, but it's also a major waste of government resources.

While there are many versions of the Cinderella story, Disney's animated film adaption takes its source material from Charles Perrault's version, which was published in Paris in 1697 — less than a hundred years before the French Revolution. One of the major causes of the revolution was fighting against nobles and royals abusing their positions of power. If the historical monarchs acted anything like the fictional monarch in Cinderella, it's pretty clear why the populace would want to overthrow the monarchy.

What kind of magic feet does Cinderella have that no one else wears the same shoe size?

In a not-at-all-believable turn of events, it turned out that the king was right and the slipper really didn't fit anyone but Cinderella. But why? Are Cinderella's feet magic? Is the slipper magic? If the slipper was enchanted to fit Cinderella and only Cinderella, then why wasn't it charmed against breaking? When Cinderella reveals that she is the owner of the glass slipper, it would have been an opportune time for her fairy godmother to show up and explain things. Unfortunately, the movie's happy ending doesn't include tying up loose ends. 

This movie reinforces traditional gender roles

It's easy to get frustrated watching Cinderella. Why doesn't she fight against against her stepmother? Why is she so content being a servant and then happy to be married off? Cinderella doesn't show a lot of fighting spirit, something that was a lot easier for a film to get away with in the 1950s when women had far fewer rights than they do today.

By mid-20th century standards, Cinderella escaping a life of servitude to get married was a happy ending. The women's liberation movement had yet to take place, and society was very much dominated by men.