Home Disney Glass Slippers and Midnight Bells: Uncovering the Enchanting Facts About Cinderella

Glass Slippers and Midnight Bells: Uncovering the Enchanting Facts About Cinderella

Cinderella, a name synonymous with fairy tales and magical transformations, has been a beacon of hope and dreams for generations. This iconic character, immortalized by Disney’s classic 1950 animated film, has a story rich in history, cultural significance, and artistic innovation. Beyond the glimmer of her glass slippers and the charm of her rags-to-riches tale, Cinderella’s story is layered with intriguing facts and milestones that have contributed to her enduring legacy.

In this article, we delve into the fascinating world of Cinderella, exploring the lesser-known aspects of her tale, from the origins of her story in ancient folklore to the groundbreaking achievements of Disney’s adaptation. Join us as we uncover the enchanting facts about Cinderella, revealing the magic and wonder that lie beneath the surface of this beloved fairy tale.

The Classic Folk Tale – Cinderella

Jean Antoine Laurent Cinderella a perfect match

The timeless story of Cinderella is based on a folk tale that has thousands of variants in different parts of the world. However, in all of these variants, the same scenario where a prince, a king, or a person of higher authority searches for a woman whose feet can fit into a little slipper is still present. Here is an overview of the classic folk tale:

  • Charles Perrault’s Version – one of the most popular versions of the story was written by French author Charles Perrault, who included his version in “Histoires ou contes du temps passé,” a collection of fairy tales that was published in 1697. This version is what inspired the 1950 Cinderella film by Disney.
  • The Brothers Grimm’s Version – another popular version was written by the Brothers Grimm, a duo of writers composed of brothers Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm. Their version of Cinderella was published in 1812 as part of the folk tale collection called “Grimm’s Fairy Tales.”

The Story

Although there have been numerous variations of the folk tale throughout the years, Charles Perrault’s story is arguably one of the most referenced versions. Take a look below for the key factors within Charles Perrault’s version of Cinderella.

  • Basic Plot – The classic folk tale focuses on the titular character, who lives with her haughty stepmother and her selfish and vain stepsisters. Cinderella is forced by her stepmother to do all of the chores in the mansion while her daughters live life in luxury. On one particular day, the Prince of the kingdom invites all the people in his land to attend a royal ball. While her stepsisters will be able to attend the ball, Cinderella won’t be able to because she doesn’t have a gown, and her stepsisters taunt her that maids can’t go to the ball.
  • Cinderella at the Royal Ball – Fortunately, Cinderella meets her fairy godmother, who gives Cinderella a beautiful gown and a golden carriage in order to go to the ball. While at the ball, Cinderella meets the Prince, who feels love at first sight. However, Cinderella’s gown and carriage can only last until midnight, so Cinderella would have to leave the ball before she got to know the Prince more. While running towards the carriage, Cinderella accidentally leaves one of her glass slippers, which the Prince finds.
  • Finding the Wearer of the Glass Slipper – Desperate to find the woman he fell in love with, the Prince tries to fit the slipper on all the women in his kingdom. When the Prince finally arrives at Cinderella’s home, the stepsister tries to distract the Prince. However, he notices Cinderella and asks her to put on the glass slipper. The slipper fits perfectly, and Cinderella even brings out the other slipper to prove that it is her at the ball. Cinderella later marries the Prince and forgives her stepmother and stepsister.

The One Glass Slipper: The Background and Creation of Cinderella

The moral lesson presented by that story is that beauty and kindness are the real treasures in the world, and no amount of gold, money, and other luxurious items can be worth more than those two.

Disney’s “Cinderella” was the studio’s first major animated feature since “Bambi” (1942). The studio had faced financial difficulties during World War II, and the success of “Cinderella” was crucial for its survival. The film’s triumph effectively revived Disney’s animation department and set the stage for its future classics.

Cinderella’s character was designed to be both relatable and aspirational. Her grace and resilience amid adversity were central to her appeal. The animators, including Disney’s legendary “Nine Old Men,” worked to create a character that embodied both realism and idealized beauty. Marc Davis, one of the key animators, played a significant role in crafting Cinderella’s elegant and refined appearance.

The voice of Cinderella, provided by actress Ilene Woods, was selected from among 400 candidates. Woods’ voice brought warmth and depth to Cinderella, enhancing her gentle and kind-hearted nature. The character’s personality was developed to be more assertive compared to earlier Disney princesses, showing determination and optimism in the face of her challenges.

“Cinderella” showcased advancements in animation technology and techniques. The use of live-action references for animation was extensive, with actors performing scenes to guide animators in creating realistic movements. This approach was particularly used for scenes involving Cinderella, adding to the character’s lifelike quality.

Disney’s Cinderella set a template for future animated heroines and is often credited with defining the genre of the animated fairy tale. Her story continues to resonate with audiences, serving as a reminder of the enduring power of kindness, dreams, and the magic of believing in oneself.

Fascinating Facts About Cinderella

Disney’s “Cinderella” is not just a beloved fairy tale but a cinematic milestone packed with fascinating details. Here are twelve interesting facts about this timeless classic that highlight its unique place in film and Disney history:

  1. Economic Importance: Released in 1950, “Cinderella” played a crucial role in saving Disney from financial difficulty after World War II.
  2. First Cinderella Song: “Sing Sweet Nightingale” was the first song recorded for the movie, showcasing Ilene Woods’ ability to harmonize with herself.
  3. Glass Slipper Size: In the film, Cinderella’s glass slipper is a size 4½, a detail that adds to the fairy tale’s charm.
  4. Innovative Sound Effects: The sound of the fairy godmother’s magic was created using a combination of chimes, a gong, and strings, showcasing Disney’s creative sound design.
  5. The Transformation Scene: Cinderella’s transformation is considered one of the most magical and best-animated moments in Disney history.
  6. Cinderella’s Dress Color: While often depicted in blue, Cinderella’s ball gown is actually silver in the film, a detail that changes in various merchandise and adaptations.
  7. Critical Acclaim: The film received three Academy Award nominations, including Best Music, Original Song for “Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boo.”
  8. Lucifer the Cat: Cinderella’s stepmother’s cat, Lucifer, was created by legendary Disney animator Ward Kimball, known for his ability to infuse characters with personality.
  9. Sequels and Adaptations: “Cinderella” inspired two direct-to-video sequels and numerous adaptations, including a 2015 live-action version, reaffirming its timeless appeal.

These facts underline “Cinderella’s” magical journey from a beloved fairy tale to a cinematic treasure, reflecting Disney’s enduring legacy in animation and storytelling.

Happily Ever After

Exploring the fascinating facts behind Disney’s “Cinderella” offers more than just a glimpse into the making of a classic film; it reveals the intricate tapestry of creativity, innovation, and cultural impact that Disney wove into this beloved fairy tale. From the meticulous voice casting to the pioneering animation techniques, every detail of “Cinderella” was crafted with care and precision, resulting in a masterpiece that has enchanted audiences for generations.

The film’s enduring legacy is not just in its magical storytelling or its iconic characters but in its ability to evoke a sense of wonder and belief in the impossible. Cinderella’s journey from a dreamer to a princess embodies the timeless message that kindness, courage, and a little bit of fairy dust can change the world.


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