Gatta Cenerentola [Cinderella the Cat] (2017)

Gatta Cenerentola
Director: Ivan Cappiello, Marino Guarnieri, Alessandro Rak, Dario Sansone
Writer: Ivan Cappiello, Marino Guarnieri, Alessandro Rak, Dario Sansone, Marianna Garofalo, Corrado Morra, Italo Scialdone
Based on: Cenerentola, Giambattista Basile‘s take on Cinderella
Cast: Mariacarla Norall, Massimiliano Gallo, Maria Pia Calzone, Alessandro Gassmann
Part of: /slash Filmfestival
Seen on: 30.9.2018

Content Note: sexualized violence, sexism, homomisia and racism

Mia’s father was an engineer and he designed and built the Megaride, a huge ship with the most novel of technologies that lies in the port of Naples. But he was killed, leaving Mia (Mariacarla Norall) to grow up with her evil stepmother (Maria Pia Calzone) and her daughters. Growing up mostly ignored by everybody but her father’s bodyguard (Alessandro Gassmann), now that Mia is a teenager, her stepmother’s lover and the boss of Megaride Salvatore (Massimiliano Gallo) starts to take more of an interest in her.

Cinderella the Cat is an animation film for adults. And it appears that to make it perfectly clear that this isn’t a film for children, despite being animated and based on a fairy tale, the filmmakers decided that it should definitely have sexualized violence, sexism, homomisia and racism. No, thank you.

The film poster showing a young woman in a ball gown with a gun in her hands and the much bigger image of a man in sunglasses with a cigarette in his mouth.

I definitely agree that animation films don’t have to limit themselves to children as an audience. But I don’t really think that in this day and age that is an argument we need to make anymore anyway. And as I’ve grown tired of those grimdark, “it’s deep because it’s violent and depressing” live-action films, it’s really no better when it’s animated.

Although I have to admit that the animation itself really is beautiful. Maybe not quite as nice as Tito and the Birds, but it has an interesting style and they work well with their setting – a supersized cruise ship that is slowly falling apart – and the technology/scifi elements.

A woman in a ball gown behind a bird cage with a black bird in it.

But that simply doesn’t change the fact that I don’t need any film, animated or otherwise, to make jokes about “chinamen”; to equate being gay with being effeminate and to throw around slurs like f*gg*t; to have characters make comments about the fuckability of women that end in a close-up of their butts. And I have to say that the bodyguard – who is a friend of Mia’s father and watches her grow up from when she’s basically a toddler – really shouldn’t have been referred to as (her) Prince Charming, giving their relationship a distinctly romantic spin. Can you say creepy?!

What I would have liked instead was a protagonist who is actually allowed to speak (for) herself. But it was not to be. And with all of that, neither the beautiful animation, nor the nice soundtrack were enough to make the movie palatable to me.

The silhouettes of a girl and a cat in front of a round window overlooking the sea at night.

Summarizing: really didn’t work.

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