Original 1950 movie poster
|Directed by:|| Clyde Geronomi|
|Produced by:||Walt Disney|
|Written by:|| Ken Anderson|
|Executive producer:||Walt Disney|
|Starring:|| Ilene Woods|
Luis Van Rooten
|Distributed by:||RKO Radio Pictures|
|Released on:||February 15, 1950|
Cinderella is the twelfth animated feature in the Disney animated features canon. It was produced by Walt Disney, and released to theaters on February 15, 1950 by RKO Radio Pictures. In the film, a young girl abused by her stepmother and stepsisters is still able to go the ball and win her prince with the help of a pumpkin, half a dozen mice, and a fairy godmother. The evil stepmother Lady Tremaine and her malevolent cat Lucifer make foils for Cinderella and her allies in this musical version of the fairy tale. The film was directed by Clyde Geronomi, Hamilton Luske and Wilfred Jackson, adapted from the fairy tale "Cinderella", drawing primarily from the version by Charles Perrault. Songs were written by Mack David, Jerry Livingston, and Al Hoffman. Songs in the film include "A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes", "Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boo", "So This is Love", "Sing Sweet Nightingale", and "Cinderella".
| Spoiler warning: The following contains plot details about|
the entire movie.
In a small French chateau, a young girl named Cinderella lives with her kind-hearted father, and her good-natured stepmother, Lady Tremaine, and stepsisters, Anastasia and Drizella. She also has three pets: a horse, a dog named Bruno, and her stepmother's cat, Lucifer.
Upon her father's death, Cinderella's stepfamily reveals its true nature: cold and heartless. Lady Tremaine makes her into the house servant, and spends most of the inherited fortune on the stepsisters and Lucifer.
An Undeserved Life of MiseryEdit
Ten years later, Cinderella has grown into a woman, though still kind-hearted, so much so, that she has made many friends out of birds and mice, who often hang out with Bruno and the horse (Lucifer has become spoiled and selfish too). Cinderella's best friend, however, is the mice's leader, Jaq. After seeing that a newcoming mouse has been captured by Lady Tremaine, Cinderella and the mice free it, and name him Gus, short for Octavian.
Later on, Cinderella attends her daily duties, such as feeding the chickens, Major, and waking Lucifer for breakfast. However, he has become an obstacle for a peaceful life among the mice, who often have to fight for escape. At one point, when a breakfast plan goes horribly wrong, Jaq is barely able to save Gus from Lucifer, but at a high cost: he hides under the tea cup on Drizella's breakfast tray, and Cinderella is accused by Lady Tremaine of playing "vicious practical jokes", and punished by being given more chores to do. This amused Lucifer until one of these chores included giving him a bath.
At the royal palace at the end of the village, the grumpy and grouchy King goes into a tantrum about his son not marrying, and, as always, takes it out on the terrified Duke. Since the King is determined to see his grandchildren before passing away, he and the Duke organize a ball for the Prince in a last ditch effort for him to fall in love and marry.
Meanwhile, back home, a letter is delivered to Cinderella's house, and she hands it over to her stepfamily during their music lesson. When she asks if she can go to the ball, the stepsisters ridicule her, but she stands her ground, saying that EVERY eligible maid is to attend. Lady Tremaine agrees, and says that Cinderella will go to the ball if she gets her work done and finds a suitable gown. But she does say the word "if" in a strange way...
As a plan to stop Cinderella from fixing an old gown, her stepfamily sets her with a mountain of chores. But, determined to help their friend, the mice and birds decide to have a go at making the gown, and they eventually succeed, although Jaq and Gus are barely able to acquire Anastasia's sash and Drizella's beads (items they had discarded), since Lucifer was in the room at the time.
When Cinderella warmly thanks her friends and prepares to go to the ball, Lady Tremaine tricks her daughters into seeing that Cinderella has "stolen" their sash and beads, and they tear the gown apart, leaving Cinderella to run to the back of the garden and cry herself to sleep while her stepfamily goes to the ball.
While Cinderella cries, her Fairy Godmother appears (presumably a friend of her father's spirit), and equips Cinderella with everything she needs (a pumpkin into a coach, the mice into horses, Bruno into a footman, and an old horse into a coachman) with her prized spell, "Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boo". Gratefully waving to her godmother, Cinderella, in her shining blue gown and glass slippers, departs for the ball after the fairy godmother tells them that a spell cast by Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boo only lasts until the end of the specific day on which it was cast, namely Midnight.
At the ball, the Prince rejects every single girl, much to the King and Duke's dismay. But when his eyes fall on Cinderella, he falls for her, and they dance. Excited beyond control, the King goes to sleep, asking the Duke to see to their privacy.
As Cinderella and the Prince dance around the castle grounds, the clock starts to strike midnight, and she flees for her life before the final strike. She manages to get home safely, but she accidentally leaves behind one of her glass slippers (courtesy of Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boo, they remain after the spell, and Cinderella keeps the one she has).
Back at the palace, the Duke tells the King of the disaster, and narrowly avoids execution by telling him of his plan to find "The Prince's Bride" with the glass slipper they found during Cinderella's escape.
The Search for the Second SlipperEdit
When the news of the King and Prince's declaration reaches the ears of Cinderella and her stepfamily, she completely loses her mind in an enamored fantasy, despite Jaq and Gus's warnings. Lady Tremaine sees this, and manages to lock the daydreaming Cinderella in her attic room, ensuring that the Duke will not find her when he comes to try the slipper on the girls at her home.
But Jaq and Gus don't give up. They sneak downstairs and manage to steal the key from an occupied Lady Tremaine's pocket while the Duke tries the slipper on the stepsisters—a process which, in their stubbornness, they make take a very long time, conveniently for the mice. Jaq and Gus eventually make it, but Lucifer catches them again and traps Gus and the key under a tea cup. The enraged mice and birds try to fight him, but to no avail, until they get Bruno, who scares him and makes him jump out of the window (as seen on the second film, he survives the fall).
To her stepfamily's horror, Cinderella comes down to where the Duke is trying the slipper on the stepsisters and asks if she can try it. Despite Lady Tremaine requesting otherwise, he agrees to try it on Cinderella. But as the page boy walks to them with it, Lady Tremaine plays a dirty trick and trips him with her cane, causing the slipper to smash. As the Duke cries in fright and agony, Cinderella shows that she has the other slipper, proving that it was her who was dancing with the Prince that night. Delighted, the Duke successfully fits the slipper on her, and she is taken to the palace to be wed to the Prince immediately.
At the wedding, the King and Duke throw confetti as the Prince and Cinderella leave for their honeymoon. The mice, Bruno and Major are also seen, but not Lucifer and the stepfamily (as they still maintain a jealous and cold attitude toward Cinderella).
Spoilers end here.
Made on the cusp between the classic "golden age" Disney animations of the 1930s and 1940s and the less critically acclaimed productions of the 1950s, Cinderella is representative of both eras.
Cinderella was the first full-bodied feature produced by the studio since Fun and Fancy Free in 1947; World War II and low box office returns had forced Walt Disney to produce a series of inexpensive package films such as The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad and The Jungle Book for the duration of the 1970s.
Unlike most Disney films where more ideas are removed than added, more ideas were added than removed in Cinderella. Just as the role of the cricket was intensified during the production of Peter Pan, so were the roles of the mice in Cinderella. They became some of Cinderella's closest friends during the film and also helped her with the making of the dress. Additionally, according to Marc Davis, one of the directing animators of the film, roughly 90% of the movie was done in live action model before animation, using basic sets as references for actors and animators alike. Even Lucifer the cat was modeled after animator Ward Kimball's cat. Animators were having trouble coming up with a good design for that cat, but once Walt Disney saw Kimball's furry calico, he declared, "There's your Lucifer." Both Helene Stanley (Cinderella's live action model) and Ilene Woods (Cinderella's voice, selected from 400 other candidates) heavily influenced Cinderellas' styling and mannerisms. Mike Douglas was the Prince's singing voice while William Phipps acted the part. In order to keep the animation costs down, extensive use was made of the rotoscope, so that live action could be studied and traced, frame-by-frame, from filmed scenes of real actors.
In music, Walt tried again to call on Larry Morey and Charles Wolcott to create the songs, but Disney believed the songs were not any good. So, for the first time, Walt turned to Tin Pan Alley song writers to write the songs. The music of Tin Pan Alley would later become a recurring theme in Disney animation.
Walt Disney had not had a huge hit since Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. The production of this film was regarded as a major gamble on his part. At a cost of nearly $3,000,000, Disney insiders claimed that if this movie had failed at the box office, then Disney studio would have closed (given that the studio was already heavily in debt). Luckily, the film was a big hit and allowed Disney to carry on producing films throughout the 1950s (both animation and live-action alike) while other studios were cutting back in terms of output and quality.
Re-release schedule and home videoEdit
Cinderella has been re-released theatrically in 1957, 1965, 1973, 1981, and 1987. It was released on VHS video and laserdisc in 1988 ("The Classics" video issue, becoming the first video to feature the "Sorcerer Mickey" Classics logo before the film) and 1995 (Masterpiece Collection video issue). The original 1988 Classics release also had a promotion with a free lithograph reproduction for those who pre-ordered the video before its release date. Disney then restored and remastered the movie for its October 4, 2005 release as the sixth installment of Disney's Platinum Edition series. According to the Studio Briefing, Disney sold 3.2 million copies in its first week and earned over $64 million in sales. 
Cinderella theatrical release historyEdit
- February 15, 1950 (original release)
- February 14, 1957
- June 9, 1965
- March 23, 1973
- December 18, 1981
- November 20, 1987
Worldwide release datesEdit
- Argentina: July 5, 1950
- Denmark: November 18, 1950
- France: December 1, 1950
- Italy: December 8, 1950
- Finland: December 15, 1950
- Sweden: December 18, 1950
- Norway: December 26, 1950
- Mexico: January 17, 1951
- West Germany: December 21, 1951
- Japan: March 7, 1952
- Spain: December 19, 1952
Titles in different languagesEdit
- Taiwan: 仙履奇緣
- Armenian: Մոխրատիտիկ
- Bosnian: Pepeljuga
- Bulgarian: Пепеляшка
- Catalan: La Ventafocs
- Mandarin Chinese: 灰姑娘
- Croatian: Pepeljuga
- Czech: Popelka
- Danish: Askepot
- Dutch: Assepoester
- Finnish: Tuhkimo (also known as Satu Tuhkimosta)
- French: Cendrillon
- German: Cinderella (also known as Aschenputtel)
- Greek: Σταχτοπούτα
- Hebrew: סינדרלה
- Hungarian: Hamupipőke
- Icelandic: Öskubuska
- Italian: Cenerentola
- Japanese: シンデレラ (Shinderera)
- Norwegian: Askepott
- Polish: Kopciuszek
- Portuguese: Cinderela: A Gata Borralheira
- Russian: Золушка
- Serbian: Pepeljuga
- Spanish: La Cenicienta
- Swedish: Askungen
- Thai: ซินเดอเรลล่า
- Turkish: Külkedisi
- Vietnamese: Cô Bé Lọ Lem
|William Phipps||Prince Charming|
|Verna Felton||Fairy Godmother|
|Eleanor Audley||Lady Tremaine|
|Rhoda Williams||Drizella Tremaine|
|Lucille Bliss||Anastasia Tremaine|
|Luis Van Rooten||The King|
|Luis Van Rooten||Grand Duke|
|Betty Lou Gerson||Narrator|
- Eric Larson (Cinderella, with Marc Davis)
- Milt Kahl (Fairy Godmother, The King, Grand Duke)
- Frank Thomas (Lady Tremaine)
- John Lounsbery
- Wolfgang Reitherman (The Mice getting the key sequence)
- Ward Kimball (Lucifer, Jaq, Gus)
- Ollie Johnston (Drizella and Anastasia)
- Marc Davis (Cinderella, with Eric Larson)
- Les Clark
- Norm Ferguson
- A direct-to-video sequel Cinderella II: Dreams Come True was released in February 26, 2002.
- A second direct-to-video sequel Cinderella III was released in 2007.