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Cinderella is a 1950 American animated musical fantasy film produced by Walt Disney and released by RKO Radio Pictures.

Based on the fairy tale Cendrillon by Charles Perrault, it is twelfth in the Walt Disney Animated Classics series, and was released on February 15, 1950. Directing credits go to Clyde Geronimi, Hamilton Luske and Wilfred Jackson. 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", "The Work Song", and "Cinderella".

At the time, Walt Disney Productions had suffered from losing connections to the European film markets due to the outbreak of World War II, enduring some box office disasters like Pinocchio, Fantasia, and Bambi, all of which would later become more successful with several re-releases in theaters and on home video. At the time however, the studio was over $4 million in debt and was on the verge of bankruptcy. Walt Disney and his animators turned back to feature film production in 1948 after producing a string of package films with the idea of adapting Charles Perrault's Cendrillon into a motion picture. After two years in production Cinderella was finally released on February 15, 1950. It became the greatest critical and commercial hit for the studio since Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937) and helped reverse the studio's fortunes. It is considered one of the best American animated films ever made, as selected by the American Film Institute. It received three Academy Award nominations, including Best Music, Original Song for "Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boo". In the years to come, it was followed by two direct-to-video sequels: Cinderella II: Dreams Come True and Cinderella III: A Twist in Time.

A live-action re-imagining produced by Walt Disney Pictures, directed by Kenneth Branagh and starring Lily James as Cinderella, Richard Madden as Prince Charming, Cate Blanchett as Lady Tremaine, and Helena Bonham Carter as The Fairy Godmother, was released in 2015.[3]

Plot

File:Cinderella 1950 Disney.jpg

Cinderella is the beloved child of a widowed aristocrat. Anxious for his daughter to have a mother's love, he remarries to Lady Tremaine, with two daughters: Drizella and Anastasia. After her father dies unexpectedly, Lady Tremaine is revealed to be a cruel and selfish woman, and Cinderella is abused and mistreated by her stepfamily, who take over the estate and ultimately reduce her to being a scullery maid in her own home. Despite this, Cinderella grows into a kind and gentle young woman, befriending the animals in the barn and the mice and birds who live around the chateau.

One day, while Cinderella is preparing breakfast, Lady Tremaine's wicked cat Lucifer chases Gus, one of the mice, into the kitchen. Cinderella delivers breakfast to her stepfamily, not realizing that Gus is hiding under Anastasia's teacup. The angry Anastasia tells her mother of the apparent joke, and Tremaine punishes Cinderella with extra chores.

Meanwhile, at the royal palace, the King discusses with the Grand Duke his desire for his son, Prince Charming, to settle down and have children. They organize a ball in an effort to find a suitable wife for the Prince without arousing suspicion. Cinderella asks her stepmother if she can attend, as the invitation says "every eligible maiden" is to attend. Lady Tremaine agrees, provided that Cinderella finishes her chores and finds a nice dress to wear. Cinderella's animal friends, led by Jaq, Gus and the other mice, fix up a gown that belonged to Cinderella's mother using beads and a sash thrown out by Drizella and Anastasia, respectively. When Cinderella comes down wearing her new dress, Lady Tremaine compliments the gown, pointing out the beads and the sash. Angered by the apparent theft of their discarded items, the two stepsisters destroy the gown.

Just as Cinderella is about to give up hope, her Fairy Godmother appears and turns the remains of Cinderella's dress with her magic wand into a new ball gown with glass slippers. She also transforms a pumpkin into a carriage, the mice into horses, her horse Major into a coachman, and her dog Bruno into a footman. Fairy Godmother warns her the spell will break at the stroke of midnight. At the ball, the Prince rejects every girl until he sees Cinderella. The two fall strongly 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, dropping one of her glass slippers by accident. After her gown turns back into rags, the mice point out that the other slipper is still on her foot.

Back at the castle, the Duke tells the King of the Prince's meeting with the unknown girl. The King, after hearing that the girl disappeared, and thinking that the Duke was "in league with the Prince all along", goes into a rage and tries to behead him. Fortunately, the Duke is able to calm him down with news of the girl's glass slipper and states that the Prince will only marry the girl who fits that slipper.

The next morning, the King proclaims the Grand Duke will visit every house in the kingdom to find the girl whose foot fits the glass slipper. When news reaches Cinderella's household, her stepfamily prepare for the Duke's arrival. Overhearing this, Cinderella dreamingly hums the song played at the ball. Realizing Cinderella was the girl who danced with the Prince, Lady Tremaine locks her in the attic.

When the Duke arrives, Jaq and Gus steal the key to Cinderella's room, but Lucifer ambushes them before they can free her. With the help of the other animals and Bruno, they chase him out the window and Cinderella is freed. As the Duke prepares to leave after the stepsisters have tried to shove their enormous feet into the slipper, Cinderella appears and requests to try it on. Knowing the slipper will fit, Lady Tremaine trips the footman, causing him to drop the slipper, which shatters on the floor. Cinderella then produces the other glass slipper, much to her stepmother's horror. A delighted Duke slides the slipper onto her foot, and it fits perfectly.

Cinderella and the Prince celebrate their wedding and live happily ever after.

Cast

Directing animators

Production

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 actress, selected from 400 other candidates) heavily influenced Cinderella's styling and mannerisms. Stanley was the live-action model for Anastasia Tremaine as well.[4] She would be so again for Princess Aurora in Sleeping Beauty and Anita Radcliffe in One Hundred and One Dalmatians.[5] Animators modeled Prince Charming on actor Jeffrey Stone, who also provided some additional voices for the film.[6] Mike Douglas was the Prince's singing voice while William Phipps recorded the prince's dialogue (or speaking voice).

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 Work Song", which was part of a fantasy sequence that was set to take place after Lady Tremaine tells Cinderella that she can go to the ball if she finishes all of her chores and has a nice dress to wear. In this abandoned sequence, Cinderella imagines herself being cloned into an army to divide up the work while pondering what the ball itself will 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 stepfamily, 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.

The song "Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boo" became a hit single on four occasions, including a cover version recorded by Perry Como and the Fontane Sisters. 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.

During production, Walt Disney pioneered the use of double tracked vocals for the song "Sing Sweet Nightingale", before it had been used by artists in studio recordings such as the Beatles. When Ilene Woods had completed the days recording of "Sing Sweet Nightingale", Walt listened and asked her if she could sing harmony with herself. She was apprehensive about the idea as it was unheard of; though she ended up singing the double recording, including second and third part harmonies. Ilene Woods reveals the innovation in an interview.[7]

The clothes also received considerable attention. A scholar has demonstrated that Salvador Dalí, with whom Disney worked on the short Destino a few months before starting Cinderella, inspired the dress that Cinderella's stepsisters tear apart and that the magic new gown worn by Cinderella at the ball references French haute couture and, more precisely, the style of Christian Dior, who traveled through the U.S. in 1947.[8]

Music

  • "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
  • "Bibbidi-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

The soundtrack for Cinderella was first released by Walt Disney Records on February 4, 1997 and included a bonus demo.[9] On October 4, 2005 Disney released a special edition of the soundtrack album of Cinderella, for the Platinum Edition DVD release, which includes several demo songs cut from the final film, a new song, and a cover version of "A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes".[10] The soundtrack was released again on October 2, 2012 and consisted of several lost chords and new recordings of them.[11] A Walmart exclusive limited edition "Music Box Set" consisting of the soundtrack without the lost chords or bonus demos, the Song and Story: Cinderella CD and a bonus DVD of Tangled Ever After was released on the same day.[12]

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  • February 15, 1950 (original release)
  • February 14, 1957
  • June 9, 1965
  • March 23, 1973
  • December 18, 1981
  • November 20, 1987

<span class="error">Node-count limit exceeded</span> 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 the 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.'"`UNIQ619acd827560bd25-Node-count limit exceeded-00008AD5-QINU`"' The Platinum Edition DVD of the original 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 to celebrate the UK Royal Wedding of Prince William and Catherine Middleton. This release had a unique limited edition number on every slip case and an exclusive art card.'"`UNIQ619acd827560bd25-Node-count limit exceeded-00008AD6-QINU`"' Disney released 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 was released on November 20, 2012.'"`UNIQ619acd827560bd25-Node-count limit exceeded-00008AD7-QINU`"'

<span class="error">Node-count limit exceeded</span> Cinderella currently has a score of 97% on Rotten Tomatoes. The overview of the film is, "The rich colors, sweet songs, adorable mice and endearing (if suffering) heroine make Cinderella a nostalgically lovely charmer".

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.

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 million, Disney insiders claimed that if Cinderella failed at the box office, then the Disney studio would have closed (given that the studio was already heavily in debt).'"`UNIQ619acd827560bd25-Node-count limit exceeded-00008AD8-QINU`"' The film was a huge box office success and allowed Disney to carry on producing films throughout the 1950s.'"`UNIQ619acd827560bd25-Node-count limit exceeded-00008AD9-QINU`"' It was the 5th most popular movie at the British box office in 1951.'"`UNIQ619acd827560bd25-Node-count limit exceeded-00008ADA-QINU`"'

<span class="error">Node-count limit exceeded</span> The film received three Academy Award nominations for Best Sound (C. O. Slyfield) lost to All About Eve, Best Original Score (Oliver Wallace and Paul J. Smith) lost to Annie Get Your Gun and Best Song for "Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boo" (Mack David, Jerry Livingston, and Al Hoffman) lost to Captain Carey, U.S.A..'"`UNIQ619acd827560bd25-Node-count limit exceeded-00008ADB-QINU`"' At the 1st Berlin International Film Festival it won the Golden Bear (Music Film) award and the Big Bronze Plate award.'"`UNIQ619acd827560bd25-Node-count limit exceeded-00008ADC-QINU`"'

In June 2008, the American Film Institute revealed its "10 Top 10"— the best ten films in ten "classic" American film genres—after polling over 1,500 people from the creative community. Cinderella was acknowledged as the 9th greatest film in the animation genre.'"`UNIQ619acd827560bd25-Node-count limit exceeded-00008ADD-QINU`"''"`UNIQ619acd827560bd25-Node-count limit exceeded-00008ADE-QINU`"'

American Film Institute recognition:

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