Sneakerella Review: A Fun Mess

This is our Review of the Disney+ original film Sneakerella, set to stream exclusively on Disney+ on the 13th of May. Set in the vibrant street-sneaker subculture of New York City, Sneakerella is a high-energy, music-driven movie that puts a contemporary twist on the “Cinderella” fairy tale. 

Messy, But Fun

Sneakerella is the latest in the extensive history of films that tell the classical Cinderella story with a modern twist. This iteration of the trope tries to appeal to the younger generation with cool pop-culture references and “Sneakers”. The film is a blast at times but it’s general inconsistency of quality and tone greatly take away from the experience. Yes, it sounds like a laughable concept and it is, but it’s important to remember that it is definitely a concept that could appeal to kids. The film does well in that aspect in a way that it ends up being a Disney Channel movie rather than something you would want to advertise your shiny subscription service with.

A Cinderella Story

Sneakerella follows our Cinderella character El a teenage boy who is an aspiring sneaker designer from Queens who hides his artistic talent from his overburdened stepfather and two mean-spirited stepbrothers who constantly thwart any opportunity that comes his way. His Prince Charming comes in the form of Kira King, the daughter of a basketball star and sneaker tycoon Darius King. With a little nudge from his best friend and a sprinkle of Fairy Godfather magic, El finds the courage to use his talent to pursue his dream of becoming a ‘legit’ sneaker designer in the industry. The film’s plot itself is quite messy and the way the film starts is a disservice to some of the more fun and heartfelt moments throughout the it. Sneakerella adds its emotional touch with the classic Cinderella loss of parent plot point, in this case El has lost his mother. His passion for sneakers comes from her so this allows the audience to feel for him. The film really shines when it focuses on those classic Cinderella tropes where showcase the differences in the lives of El and Kira. To the point where after watching it made me log onto Disney+ and re-watch Cinderella.

A Blast for Kids

Yes, it sounds like a laughable concept and it is, but it’s important to remember that it is definitely something that will appeal to younger viewers. Both El and Kira are quite lovable characters so it really endears you into both of their dreams and wishes. The film does well in that aspect in a way that it ends up being a fun Disney Channel movie rather than something you would want to advertise your shiny premium subscription service with. There are a lot of flashy, colorful and creative scenes with paint and sneaker which are truly mesmerizing and fun to watch. The friendship between El and Sami and how they navigate his crush on Kira naturally lends itself to be great for kids to enjoy and relate to.

Runtime and Music

A lot of extra plot lines are forced in to the film for a more modern, really taking way from the narrative. The film is also quite long, having a runtime of nearly 2 hours. Which really isn’t needed and just takes away from the film. A faster pace would’ve definitely been able to iron out the films messy plot into a more linear story. The music in the film is great, almost feeling like a Linn Manuel Miranda soundtrack akin to West Side Story and In The Heights at times, but never really at that level. With the film’s rendition of “A Dream Is A Wish Your Heart Makes” being a clear highlight. The music has a lot of energy combining multiple genres like rap and hip hop into the soundtrack. This provides for a high energy package.

Final Thoughts

Sneakerella is a truly bizarre concept of a film which provides a blast of a journey which may be entertaining to kids and teenagers but really doesn’t provide much for adults. The plot itself is never able to grip you in and the writing really falls flat at times. This is what Disney Channel movies were mocked for being, having great music, poor writing and a messy plot.

Watch Sneakerella exclusively on Disney+ May 13, 2022.

Also Read our Review for Marvel Studios’ Moon Knight.

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