Cinderella and The Little Sorcerer (2021)

“When Prince Alex is trapped in the body of a mouse, Ella and her friends set off on a journey to find the magic potion ingredients that can change him back. On a quest that tests fate itself, they discover that friendship is the most potent cure of all.”

– Anonymous, IMDB

This movie is a follow up to the somewhat recent Cinderella and the Secret Prince, which was a pretty wild ride where every 5 minutes or so there was a brand new location, new characters being introduced and then immediately forgotten about… it was the type of film where you really had to make sure you paused anytime you got up from your chair, because in the time it took you to get up and go get yourself a snack you may have already missed three set changes. And that’s not even getting into the plot, which was one of those “Don’t think too deeply about this” stories where the second you start thinking things through the plot begins to fall apart. One of the most notable parts of the film was the ending, which was a massive cliffhanger that I genuinely never thought would be resolved. Despite tempting fate a sequel did materialize, so let’s leave the first film behind and finally get to chatting about Cinderella and the Little Sorcerer.

This film follows Ella, her apprentice Sorcerer friend Crystal, and Ella’s mice friends as they go off to try and find the Life Stone, a magical stone that could potentially restore Alex back to his human self. Alex himself stays behind, as he gets sickened by a potion Crystal attempts in the beginning of the film. It’s a bit weird to see Alex completely forgotten about, after all getting him back to human form is the entire premise of both of these films. I think the filmmakers wanted him out of the way so they could focus on Ella and Crystal’s friendship.

For the majority of the film Crystal feels down about herself because she’s only an apprentice sorcerer, she feels that she could’ve saved Alex by now if only her magic was stronger, and she’s worried that she’ll never get any better. Ella spends a lot of the film encouraging Crystal and trying to build up her confidence… except for when the plot suddenly decides they need to fight so they can justify splitting the team up. They of course make up soon after… so soon after that you really question why the fight was necessary in the first place.

Overall it’s a pretty bog-standard plot, it’s just executed terribly, and there’s a lot of that “The characters act this way because the plot needs them too” thing. Crystal in particular I found very irritating, in this film she has a very knee-jerk reaction to every obstacle, immediately threatening to use magic to remove said obstacle (Which only causes headaches when those obstacles are living creatures who don’t like a magic wand waved in their face). I’m sure it’s meant to tie into her insecurity about being an apprentice sorcerer, but it comes off as more of a “I’m immature and shouldn’t be trusted with magic” vibe to me.

As for Ella, she’s okay I suppose? But it never really feels like there’s much more to Ella than her being everyone’s cheerleader. We’re two films in and we don’t really know who Ella is, beyond her just being a nice person. Does she have any interests? Hopes and dreams beyond helping her friends? I guess the best way to describe Ella is that she’s simply just a little boring. This is something Disney does pretty well, their Princess characters are also very nice, but they also are written and performed with much more distinct personality quirks that make you feel like there’s more to them below the surface.

One very odd thing this film included was a minor side villain from the first film, Olaf. After the Evil Sorceress turned Alex into a mouse, she got another boy to take his place as Prince. It was pretty heavily implied that Olaf fell to his death in the first film, but it did happen offscreen so that gave them a free pass to bring him back for the sequel! Though oddly enough he’s changed hair colours in between films, which threw me off enough that I didn’t recognize he was supposed to be the same character at first. Olaf works for the sequels villain, who knows how that partnership started, but it ends pretty quickly when Crystal and Ella outsmart him and leave him for dead in the desert. Again, this minor conflict is resolved so quickly that it makes you wonder why they even bothered to include it in the film.

I will say, the ending to this film made me laugh pretty hard. Crystal gets turned into a doll by the film’s villain, and the group realizes that she can only be restored using the life gem… but alas, the life gem only has enough power to restore Crystal OR Alex, not both! So the group decides to save Crystal, and she’s brought back to life… but plot twist, because the life gem gave Crystal all it’s magic, Crystal is now a full sorcerer, and she can use her magic to save Alex herself!

Now that alone is pretty funny. After an entire film about Ella encouraging Crystal to keep working hard to reach her goal of being a Sorcerer, Crystal is magically bestowed those powers at end of the film without any effort on her part. I could kinda see how this could work if Crystal proved herself somehow, that’s how Ella and the others try and portray the plot twist at the end anyways. But Crystal really didn’t get a moment like that in the film. She got turned into a doll pretty early on in the fight with the villain, which left Ella and her rodent pals with the entire task of defeating the villain. This film really needed a moment with Crystal where she faced off against the villain, and managed to push past whatever blockage she was dealing with to unleash her true power.

To continue spoiling the ending, Alex being restored to his human form is done through a slide show that leads us into the credits. It feels very much like they either ran out of budget or time, given that this is the big important moment the series has been building to… and yeah, lets finish things off with a boring slideshow. I’m honestly a little disappointed we didn’t get another cliffhanger, but presumably Gold Valley Films doesn’t see much potential in the series continuing (And I mean, I can’t really blame them).

This is a blog cataloguing BAD Princess movies, so of course with that in mind I’d recommend this for other people to watch at a movie night. Much like the first film it’s fairly fast paced and will deliver a lot of “Wait, what?” moments from your viewing group. I definitely would not recommend it for anyone wanting an entertaining watch, however. While the visuals are decent, I think the story missteps in this film are so large that even young kids watching would probably catch onto them. This might be one only the littlest of kids to un-ironically enjoy.

References

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