The story of Cinderella is meant to inspire hope. It shows us that with the help of magic, anyone can become royalty. Even if they’ve been enslaved by their step-family. But underneath this harmless façade, Cinderella is actually a cautionary tale that reveals the supposedly helpful Fairy Godmother to be nothing more than a monstrous sadist, hell-bent on inflicting deep psychological wounds across multiple species.
Allow me to provide context.
Meet this group of sentient mice. The mice are basically human and they’re Cinderella’s only friends. They keep her company. They help her with her servant duties. They make a conscious choice to not wear pants even though they wear every other type of clothing. When they find out that Cinderella wants to go to a glamorous ball being thrown by a Prince, they use their tailoring mastery to create a dress for her so pretty that Cinderella’s step-sisters tear it from her body in a frenzy of jealous rage, ruining any chance Cinderella had of attending the ball and seducing the Prince. If only there was a magic solution to this problem…
Now meet Cinderella’s horse. A totally typical horse. Not a bad horse. Just a horse. Needless to say, he will not be sewing any dresses. But if you needed an animal without higher cognition to pull a carriage to a high-brow affair like, say a ball, this is who you’d look for. Too bad Cinderella doesn’t have a stagecoach for him to pull…
The setup seems perfect for a watching genie or pixie to swoop in and save the day. Enter, Fairy Godmother.
At first, everything seems to be fine. Fairy Godmother spots a pumpkin.
It’s a stagecoach! The perfect transportation to the ball! But Cinderella still needs a new gown.
The perfect dress envelops her body! The mean-spirted attack of her step-sisters is undone!
A carriage needs a horse. As mentioned above, a perfectly fine horse is available and has, in fact, been watching the entire proceedings so far. The horse even puffs up with pride when Fairy Godmother strongly implies that a horse is required to pull the carriage. Things have been going flawlessly so far. No reason to doubt that the next spell will be anything but a home-run.
The MICE are transformed into horses.
The very mice who exhibit intelligence on par with human beings. They understand exactly what is happening to them and cower in terror as Fairy Godmother relentlessly stalks them to remove their self-awareness. They become mindless beasts, trapped inside the bodies of lesser evolved creatures. Each one is forced to endure the annihilation of their ability to think.
The twisted Fairy Godmother then turns her attention towards the horse, who is totally unaware of the weight of what he is about to endure. Fairy Godmother swings her terrible wand and turns the horse into a human being.
The existential nightmare created seems to be a case of David Lynch and Walt Disney each carrying a script through the hallway, colliding with one another, mixing their papers up and accidentally picking up the wrong pages before walking away to film the results.
This horrible situation isn’t over yet. Fairy Godmother has one last trick. She creates a psyche-destroying time bomb. At midnight, everything reverts to how it was before.
After the mayhem she’s created, this nearly seems benign. But just below the surface lurks the true damage that’s been caused.
The mice have had their minds shattered and are left to struggle constantly with the idea that, at any time, they could be separated from their own brains. The horse, having experienced a brief brush with higher thought, is once again trapped inside the body of a beast of burden and expected to continue pulling plows and being ridden by ungrateful humans while his fleeting and undoubtedly confusing taste of self-realization remains a troubling memory. Cinderella remains blissfully unaware of any of this as she marries the Prince and moves away.
Fairy Godmother disappears in a puff of malevolence and is never seen again.