The term “anime,” the Japanese word for animation, is now used by film buffs outside of Japan to describe Japanese animation as a whole. Colorful and stylized, anime films often have an epic style and fantastical storylines set amid the everyday. One of their acknowledged masters is Hayao Miyazaki, director of such classics as Spirited Away, Howl’s Moving Castle, and Princess Mononoke.
While developing Cinderella Moon, director Richard Bowen found inspiration in Miyazaki’s belief that that meaningful films can be made for children, without talking down to them, and that films that appeal to children can be worthy of adult attention.
Miyazaki’s strong female protagonists on the cusp of adulthood add a feminist cast that’s completely missing in the cartoon Cinderella we grew up with, and, frankly, most films of any genre. The girl-power message at the heart of Cinderella Moon is a fairy tale moral from ancient China, that everyone can support.
With a storyline and style that has one foot in realism and the other in magic, the childlike yet sophisticated Cinderella Moon, like a Miyazaki film, isn’t just for kids or just for adults: it’s a film for the whole family.