Cinderella is a 2015 romantic fantasy film directed by Kenneth Branagh, with a screenplay written by Chris Weitz, and co-produced by Walt Disney Pictures, Kinberg Genre, Allison Shearmur Productions, and Beagle Pug Films. The film is based on the folk tale and is a live action adaptation of Walt Disney’s 1950 animated film of the same name
1. Cinderella is the first Disney Princess:
Cinderella was the first princess to appear in a Disney movie and it always has been, and will be, my favorite 🙂 I don’t know why but I relate myself with her quite a lot (even though we don’t look similar at all). Maybe because she’s also Polish like me?
2. There are TWO ‘Cinderella’ Fairy Tales written by Charles Perrault:
My mom wrote about this somewhere on one of her blog posts back in 2009 (if you want to read that click here ). The truth is that there were two different fairy tales written by the same author: Charles Perrault: ” La belle au bois dormant “, published in 1697 (the sleeping beauty), and ” Cendrillon “, published in 1698 (Cinderella). The original Cinderella story created by the Grimm brothers was very sad … let’s just say that it didn’t end well.
3. Disney’s Cinderella is based off of 1950’s Movie Version:
The movie came out in 1950, telling the story about young Ella (known as Zezolla), living happily with her father (Dandini) and mother until her mother dies. Her father remarries a cold-hearted woman who has two equally mean daughters, thinking that they will treat Ella nicely because she is their step sister NOT true! They don’t even wait for their father to die before throwing poor Ella into the attic with nothing but some rats for friends.
4. ‘Cinderella’ was Walt Disney’s favorite fairy tale:
It’s quite known that Walt Disney loved this particular fairy tale (he kept a copy of Charles Perrault’s book in his library), which is probably why he was more than willing to whoop up on it and make it one of his own! He turned Cinderella, Dandini, Anastasia, and Drizella into mice (instead of just two mice like Charles Perrault had written). He also included an actual Fairy Godmother (which hadn’t existed in any previous versions) instead of having Cinderella rely on her own wits. Another interesting thing about this movie is that all of the characters are anthropomorphic animals, meaning that they all walk on two legs, wear clothes, and have human-like facial features.
5. The Disney’s Cinderella’s Fairy Godmother is based off of 1950’s version:
Do you know what her name is? It’s Flora! She was created especially for the movie by Walt Disney himself (that means she didn’t even exist before). Her design apparently is a combination of two different characters from Charles Perrault’s fairy tale : la Fée aux choux (the cabbage fairy) and la Vieille dame (the old lady), who both had one tooth sticking out. The reason why I brought this up is because it seems like most people believe that her name is ‘Fauna’ which is incorrect.
6. Lady Tremaine (Cinderella’s main antagonist) and the stepsisters weren’t in Disney’s original fairy tale:
Although, they were included in other versions such as the one written by Giambattista Basile (published 1634), Charles Perrault (1697 – fairy tale that inspired Disney’s Cinderella ) and the Grimm brothers (1812). We MUST give credit to Walt Disney for creating one of the best villains we have ever watched on screen – Lady Tremaine – even though she wasn’t part of Perrault’s version. The character gives me chills every time I watch her scenes! It’s so hard to believe that she was just an ‘extra’ in the original story!
The stepsisters Anastasia and Drizella, however, were originally created by Charles Perrault. The fact that their faces are covered with ‘mushroom sauce’ (or any other objects) during their dance with the prince is actually something from Basile’s version. It was Walt Disney who decided to give them completely different features than what they had in previous versions, such as: making Drizella look like a redhead and giving her freckles across her nose and Anastasia blonde hair instead of brunette. I guess he wanted to make them even uglier? There has been a lot of debate over why they’re supposed to be so ugly … some say that the ugly stepsisters were supposed to represent Cinderella’s harsh treatment at their hands while others believe it simply was Disney’s creativity.
7. Lady Tremaine (Ugly Stepsister) and Prince Charming aren’t in the original fairytale:
The stepmother wasn’t even in Charles Perrault’s version! Walt Disney found a way not only to make her the antagonist, but also to add more depth to her character by giving her two equally evil daughters. I can definitely see how he thought of this because his movies always show an ‘evil family’ and how they’re all fighting for power, which is why Lady Tremaine wants to become princess herself and live happily ever after with her daughters married into royalty – kind of like modern day Cinderella’s stepmother.
Walt Disney included Prince Charming in this version, but he wasn’t present in Charles Perrault’s fairy tale; nor was the fairy godmother. The prince was actually added to Basile’s version which inspired Walt Disney to bring him back for his own story. But, why did Walt Disney decided to make him a part of his story? Well, the most popular theory is that he felt bad for how poor Cinderella had treated him at their first meeting so he wanted to give her a ‘second chance’ by having another opportunity with the handsome prince after she ruined it the first time.
8. Fairy Godmother originally had two teeth sticking out before Walt Disney fixed her:
This isn’t really something I was able to find out myself, thanks to this great article I found online. It states that Walt Disney decided to give her a different appearance than the other versions because he wanted to add humor and make her ‘friendly’. Which is also why she’s white instead of black; we know we’ve seen at least two black fairy godmothers in movies – Pinocchio (1940) and The Princess and the Frog (2009). If you grew up watching Cinderella like I did, then there’s no way you can forget her famous song:
‘Bibbity bobbity boo’! Even though she wasn’t included in Basile’s original story, it seems almost certain that she was inspired by his fairy godmother (Zezolla) who was both large and ugly. Disney decided to introduce the fairy godmother later in the story; according to the Grimm brothers it happened after Cinderella had been locked up by her stepmother and stepsisters.
9. The original version of ‘Cinderella’ didn’t even include a Fairy Godmother:
10. Walt Disney put hints about his personal life throughout the movie:
Not only did he add references from previous movies, but also included small little snippets about their own lives! For example, when we see Lady Tremaine holding Cinderella’s dress I immediately remembered Snow White holding up her mother’s dress and crying over how she was going to look like when she wore it for the first time (*sad music*). But then, not only did Walt Disney put that in there, but also added a reference to the Battle of the Little Bighorn which was one of his hobbies! This famous battle happened on June 25th, 1876 – almost 500 years after Charles Perrault’s fairy tale was written! Pretty cool right?
But what I believe is even more interesting is how likely it is that Walt Disney included this little feature (the battle) because he wanted to express his own opinion. He actually named the Prince ‘Charming’ rather than its original name; ‘Charles’. Why would he do this?! We all know he had some problems with his wife and her parents (and how they treated him like nothing), so it wouldn’t be so far fetched to assume that he wanted to express his opinion about it.
In Charles Perrault’s fairy tale, the carriage is also drawn by two different horses when Cinderella finally meets her prince – but they were white! Walt Disney didn’t want to use the same color twice so of course he picked brown and black instead of white. And of course, why not add a reference to Snow White once again?! Just like in the previous movies, there are seven of them this time as well; all of which perform perfectly with their roles!