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 Bambi in 1942; World War II and low box office returns had forced Walt Disney to produce a series of inexpensive package films such as Make Mine Music and Fun and Fancy Free for the 1940s. Live action reference was used extensively to keep animation costs down. According to Laryn Dowel, one of the directing animators of the film, roughly 90% of the film was done in live action model before animation, using basic sets as references for actors and animators alike.
Both Helene Stanley (Cinderella's live action model) and Ilene Woods (Cinderella's voice actor, selected from 400 other candidates) heavily influenced Cinderella's styling and mannerisms. Actress Helene Stanley was the live-action model for the title role and would be so again for Sleeping Beauty and Anita Radcliff in One Hundred and One Dalmatians. Animators modeled Prince Charming on actor Jeffrey Stone, who also provided some additional voices for the film. Mike Douglas was the Prince's singing voice while William Phipps acted the part.
In earlier drafts of the screenplay, the Prince originally played a larger role and had more character development than what he ultimately received in the final version of the film. In one abandoned opening, the Prince was shown hunting a deer, but at the end of the sequence, it was to be revealed that the Prince and the deer were actually friends playing a game. In an abandoned alternate ending, after the Duke discovered Cinderella's identity, she was shown being brought to the castle to be reintroduced to the Prince, who is surprised to learn that Cinderella was actually a modest servant girl instead of the princess he thought she was, but the Prince's feelings for her were too strong to be bothered by this and he embraced her; the Fairy Godmother was to reappear and restore Cinderella's ball gown for the closing shot. Walt Disney himself reportedly cut the alternate ending because he felt it was overlong and did not give the audience its "pay off", but the scene would later be incorporated in the video game, Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep.
Other deleted material included an abandoned song that was tentatively titled the "Cinderella Worksong", which was part of a fantasy sequence that was set to take place after Lady Tremaine told Cinderella that she could only attend the ball if she finished her chores and found a suitable dress. In this abandoned sequence, Cinderella imagined herself multiplying into an army of maids in order to deal with her massive workload, all the while pondering what the ball itself would be like; the sequence was cut, but the title was applied to the song the mice sing when they work on Cinderella's dress. Additionally, there was a scene that took place after the ball in which Cinderella was seen returning to her home and eavesdropped on her step family, who were ranting about the mystery girl at the ball, and Cinderella was shown to be amused by this because they were talking about her without realizing it. Walt Disney reportedly cut the scene because he thought it made Cinderella look "spiteful" and felt the audience would lose sympathy for her.
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. Cinderella was the first Disney film to have its songs published and copyrighted by the newly created Walt Disney Music Company. Before movie soundtracks became marketable, movie songs had little residual value to the film studio that owned them and were often sold off to established music companies for sheet music publication.
"Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boo" became a hit single four times, with notable versions by Perry Como and the Fontane Sisters. Ilene Woods beat exactly 309 girls for the part of Cinderella, after some demo recordings of her singing a few of the film's songs were presented to Walt Disney. However, she had no idea she was auditioning for the part until Disney contacted her; she initially made the recordings for a few friends who sent them to Disney without her knowledge. Reportedly, Disney thought Woods had the right "fairy tale" tone to her voice.
Interestingly, almost 30 years before he made "Cinderella" into a feature-length animated film, Walt Disney already made a short film of it as the last of the Laugh-O-Gram series, as a Roaring 20's version. This short is included as an extra on the Cinderella Platinum Edition DVD.
Cinderella is the much-loved only child of a widowed aristocrat. After deciding that his beloved daughter needs a mother's care, Cinderella's father marries Lady Tremaine, a proud woman with two daughters from her first marriage, Drizella and Anastasia. Plain and socially awkward, these stepsisters are bitterly envious of the beautiful and charming Cinderella. After the death of Cinderella's father, Lady Tremaine and her daughters take over the estate, and begin to abuse and mistreat Cinderella out of jealousy, and even allow their cat, Lucifer, to torment her. Despite being forced into servitude in her own home, Cinderella becomes a kind woman and befriends the animals living in the barn and many of the mice and birds who live in and around the chateau.
At the royal palace, the King is distressed that his son does not intend to marry. Determined to see grandchildren, the King and the Duke organize a ball for Prince Charming in an effort to enable his son to marry, with every eligible maiden in the kingdom requested to attend. When the invitation to the ball arrives, Cinderella asks her stepmother if she can attend, since she too is an eligible maiden. Lady Tremaine agrees, provided Cinderella finishes her chores. Her animal friends, led by Jaq and Gus, fix a gown that belonged to Cinderella's mother. When Cinderella wears her dress just before departing, Lady Tremaine complements Cinderella's gown, subtly pointing out the beads and sash. Angered by the apparent theft of the discarded items, the stepsisters destroy the gown, forcing Cinderella to remain behind while her stepfamily leaves for the royal ball.
At the point of giving up her dreams, Cinderella's Fairy Godmother appears and bestows upon Cinderella a blue dress with glass slippers, and transforms a pumpkin and various animals into a carriage with horses, a coachman and a footman. Cinderella departs for the ball after the godmother warns her that the spell will break at the stroke of midnight, meaning that her dress and everything else will change back to the way they were. At the ball, the Prince rejects every girl, until he sees Cinderella. The two fall in love and dance alone throughout the castle grounds until the clock starts to chime midnight. Cinderella flees to her coach and away from the castle, inadvertently dropping one of her glass slippers. After the Duke tells the King of the disaster, they plan to find Cinderella with the slipper they recovered during her exit.
The next morning, the King proclaims that the Grand Duke will visit every house in the kingdom to find the girl who fits the glass slipper, so that she can be married to the Prince. When this news reaches Cinderella's household, her stepmother and stepsisters prepare for the Grand Duke's arrival. Cinderella, overhearing the news, begins dreamily humming the song from the palace ball the previous night. Upon realizing that Cinderella is the girl who danced with the Prince, Lady Tremaine locks Cinderella up to her attic bedroom.
When the Grand Duke arrives, the mice steal the key to Cinderella's room, but before they can deliver it they are ambushed by Lucifer. The animals alert Bruno, Cinderella's bloodhound, who scares Lucifer out of the house. As the Duke prepares to leave after the stepsisters unsuccessfully try on the slipper, Cinderella appears and requests to try it on. Knowing that the slipper will fit, Lady Tremaine trips the footman, causing him to drop the slipper, which shatters into hundreds of pieces. The Duke laments over the broken slipper, but Cinderella then produces the other glass slipper, much to her stepmother's horror. Delighted at this indisputable proof of the maiden's identity, the Duke slides the slipper onto her foot, which fits perfectly. Soon after, Cinderella and the Prince celebrate their wedding, surrounded by confetti tossed by the King, the Grand Duke and the mice.
|Character||Vocal actor||Supervising animator|
|Cinderella||Ilene Woods||Marc Davis|
|Lady Tremaine||Eleanor Audley||Frank Thomas|
|Fairy Godmother||Verna Felton||Milt Kahl|
|Anastasia||Lucille Bliss||Ollie Johnston|
|Drizella||Rhoda Williams||Ollie Johnston|
|Jaq||James MacDonald||Ward Kimball|
|Gus||James MacDonald||Ward Kimball|
|Bruno||James MacDonald||Ward Kimball|
|Lucifer||June Foray||Ward Kimball|
|Prince Charming||William Philips|
Mike Douglas (singing)
|The King||Luis Van Rooten||Milt Kahl|
|The Grand Duke||Luis Van Rooten|
- "Cinderella" - The Jud Conlon Chorus, Marni Nixon
- "A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes" - Cinderella
- "Oh, Sing Sweet Nightingale" - Drizella, Cinderella
- "The Work Song" - The Mice
- "Bibbodi-Bobbidi-Boo" - The Fairy Godmother
- "So This Is Love" - Cinderella, Prince Charming
- "So This Is Love (reprise)" - Cinderella
- "A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes (reprise)" - The Jud Conlon Chorus
On Classic Disney: 60 Years of Musical Magic, this includes "The Work Song" and "A Dream Is a Wish Your Heart Makes" on the first disc, "Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boo" and "So This Is Love" on the second, and "Oh, Sing Sweet Nightingale" on the fourth. On Disney's Greatest Hits, "Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boo" is included on the first volume and "A Dream Is a Wish Your Heart Makes" on the second.
|Soundtrack album by Various artists|
|Released||October 4, 2005|
The special edition of the soundtrack album of Cinderella was released in 2005, it includes several demo song cut from the final film, a new song, and a cover of "A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes".
|1.||"Cinderella (Main Title)"||Mack David, Jerry Livingston, Al Hoffman||The Jud Conlon Chorus; Marni Nixon||2:52|
|2.||"A Dream Is a Wish Your Heart Makes"||Mack David, Jerry Livingston, Al Hoffman||Ilene Woods||4:34|
|3.||"A Visitor/Caught in a Trap/Lucifer/Feed the Chickens/Breakfast is Served/Time on Our Hands"||Mack David, Jerry Livingston, Al Hoffman||Oliver Wallace; Paul J. Smith||2:11|
|4.||"The King's Plan"||Mack David, Jerry Livingston, Al Hoffman||Paul J. Smith; Oliver Wallace||1:22|
|5.||"The Music Lesson/Oh, Sing Sweet Nightingale/Bad Boy Lucifer/A Message from His Majesty"||Mack David, Jerry Livingston, Al Hoffman||Rhoda Williams; Ilene Woods; Paul J. Smith; Oliver Wallace||2:07|
|6.||"Little Dressmakers/The Work Song/Scavenger Hunt/A Dream Is a Wish Your Heart Makes/The Dress/My Beads/Escape to the Garden"||Mack David, Jerry Livingston, Al Hoffman||James MacDonald; Oliver Wallace; Paul J. Smith||9:24|
|7.||"Where Did I Put That Thing/Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boo"||Mack David, Jerry Livingston, Al Hoffman||Verna Felton; Paul J. Smith; Oliver Wallace||4:48|
|8.||"Reception at the Palace/So This Is Love"||Mack David, Jerry Livingston, Al Hoffman||Ilene Woods; Paul J. Smith; Mike Douglas; Oliver Wallace||5:45|
|9.||"The Stroke of Midnight/Thank You Fairy Godmother"||Mack David, Jerry Livingston, Al Hoffman||Oliver Wallace; Paul J. Smith||2:05|
|10.||"Locked in the Tower/Gus and Jaq to the Rescue/Slipper Fittings/Cinderella's Slipper/Finale"||Mack David, Jerry Livingston, Al Hoffman||Oliver Wallace; Paul J. Smith||7:42|
|11.||"I'm in the Middle of a Muddle (Demo Recording)"||Mack David, Jerry Livingston, Al Hoffman||Mack David; Jerry Livingston; Al Hoffman||1:55|
|12.||"Dancing on a Cloud (Demo Recording)"||Larry Morey, Charles Wolcott||Ilene Woods; Mike Douglas||3:49|
|13.||"Beautiful"||Jim Brickman, Jack Kugell, Jamie Jones||Jim Brickman; Wayne Brady||3:43|
|14.||"A Dream Is a Wish Your Heart Makes"||Mack David, Jerry Livingston, Al Hoffman||Kimberly Locke||4:41|
The film was originally released in theaters on March 4, 1950, followed by theatrical re-releases in 1957, 1965, 1973, 1981, and 1987.
It was released on VHS video and laserdisc in 1988 as part of the Walt Disney Classics collection. The release had a promotion with a free lithograph reproduction for those who pre-ordered the video before its release date. In 1995, the film received a Walt Disney Masterpiece Collection video issue. Disney then restored and remastered the movie for its October 4, 2005 release as the sixth installment of them Walt Disney Platinum Editions series. According to Studio Briefing, Disney sold 3.2 million copies in its first week and earned over $64 million in sales.Platinum Edition DVD Soriginal movie along with its sequels went on moratorium on January 31, 2008. In the United Kingdom and Ireland, a "Royal Edition" of Cinderella was released on DVD on April 4, 2011. This release had a unique limited edition number on every slip case and an exclusive art card.Disney will release a Diamond Edition in October 2, 2012 in a 3-disc Blu-ray/DVD/Digital Copy Combo, a 2-disc Blu-ray/DVD combo and in a 6-disc "Jewelry Box Set" that includes the first film alongside its two sequels. A 1-disc DVD edition will be released on November 20, 2012.