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Cinderella (1950)

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Cinderella
Cindyposter
Original 1950 movie poster
Directed by: Clyde Geronomi
Hamilton Luske
Wilfred Jackson
Produced by: Walt Disney
Written by: Ken Anderson
Perce Pearce
Homer Brightman
Winston Hibler
Bill Peet
Erdman Penner
Harry Reeves
Joe Rinaldi
Ted Sears
Executive producer: Walt Disney
Starring: Ilene Woods
Eleanor Audley
Verna Felton
Claire DuBrey
Rhoda Williams
James MacDonald
Luis Van Rooten
Don Barclay
Runtime: 74 mins.
Country: United States
Language: English
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".

StoryEdit

Spoiler warning: The following contains plot details about
the entire movie.

IntroductionEdit

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 named Major, 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 Major (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.

The BallEdit

While Cinderella cries, her Fairy Godmother appears (presumably a friend of her father's spirit), and equips Cinderella with everything she needs (she makes the mice into horses, Bruno into a footman, Major into a coachman, and the pumpkin into the coach) 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.


HistoryEdit

ProductionEdit

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.

ReleaseEdit

Walt Disney had not had a huge hit since Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937 film). 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. [1]

Cinderella theatrical release historyEdit

Worldwide release datesEdit

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
  • Estonian:Tuhkatriinu
  • 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

Voice castEdit

Actor Role(s)
Chelsea Whithorn Cinderella
James MacDonald Jaq
Octavian (Gus)
Bruno
Eleanor Audley Lady Tremaine
Luis Van Rooten The King
The Grand Duke
Rhoda Williams Drizella Tremaine
Lucille Bliss Anastasia Tremaine
Brianna Whithorn Lucifer
Verna Felton Fairy Godmother
William Phipps Prince Charming
Don Barclay Doorman
Betty Lou Gerson Narrator
Claire DuBrey unknown

Singing voices

Actor Role(s)
Mike Douglas Prince Charming

Directing animatorsEdit

  • Eric Larson (Cinderella, with Marc Davis)
  • Milt Kahl (Fairy Godmother, The King, The 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

Sequels Edit

TriviaEdit

  • The voice of Lady Tremaine, Eleanor Audley, also played the voice of the evil Maleficent nine years later in Sleeping Beauty.
  • When the King and the Grand Duke fall from a chandelier, the infamous Goofy holler ("Ah-ho-ho-ho-hooeeey!!!") is heard.
  • "Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boo" became a hit single four times, with notable versions by Perry Como and the Fontane Sisters.
  • Cinderella is one of the fabled "Princesses of Heart" in the Squaresoft game Kingdom Hearts.
  • 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.
  • Dragonball Z has characters named Majin Bibidi, Majin Babidi, and Majin Buu in reference to "Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boo".
  • In both Cinderella (1950) and Sleeping Beauty (1959), the main character's friends surprise her with a new dress, calling out "Surprise! Surprise! Surprise! Happy Birthday!"
  • Not only is the name of the prince never revealed, he is nowhere in the film mentioned as "Prince Charming".
  • 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 telling her.
  • Hidden Mickey: When Cinderella is singing "Sing, Sweet Nightingale", three bubbles form the head and ears of Mickey Mouse.
  • The royal proclamation on the castle gate wall reads: " All loyal subjects of his Imperial Majesty are hereby notified by royal proclamation that in regard to a certain glass slipper, it is upon this day decreed that a quest be instituted throughout the length and breadth of our domain. The sole and express purpose of said quest is as follows to wit: That every single maiden in our beloved Kingdom shall try upon her foot this aforementioned slipper of glass, and should one be found whose foot shall properly fit said slipper, such maiden will be acclaimed the subject of this search and the one and only true love of his Royal Highness, our noble Prince. And said Royal Highness will humbly request the hand of said maiden in marriage to rule with him over all the Land as Royal Princess and future Queen."
  • According to Ilene Woods, who did the voice for Cinderella, it was Walt Disney who suggested the layered harmonies in the "Sing, Sweet Nightingale" sequence. She thinks that it might have been the first time that it was attempted.
  • It was the first Disney film to have its songs published and copyrighted by the newly created Walt Disney Music Company. Before movie soundtracks became merchandisable, 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.
  • The transformation of Cinderella's torn dress to that of the blue ball gown was considered to be Walt Disney's favorite piece of animation.
  • The profits from the film's release, with the additional profits from record sales, music publishing, publications and other merchandise gave Disney the cash flow to finance a slate of productions (animated and live action), establish his own distribution company, enter television production and begin building Disneyland during the decade.
  • Chuck Jones does uncredited work on this film
  • The digitally remastered DVD shows Cinderella as a blonde, when her hair was originally supposed to be titian (light reddish-brown)

See alsoEdit


External linksEdit

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