This article is about the animated character. For the Into the Woods character, see Cinderella (Into the Woods).
- “Cinderella, you're as lovely as your name
Cinderella, you're a sunset in a frame
Though you're dressed in rags, you wear an air of queenly grace
Anyone can see a throne would be your proper place.”
- ―Lyrics to the film's opening song
Cinderella was born to wealthy, unnamed parents, who treated their daughter with great love. The family resided in a French chateau, just beyond a small but powerful kingdom. Sometime during her childhood, Cinderella's mother tragically passed away, and as a result of believing his daughter needed a mother figure in her life, Cinderella's father remarried to a woman named Lady Tremaine, who notably had two daughters of her own, both around Cinderella's age: Anastasia and Drizella. After the death of her father, Cinderella was under the control of Lady Tremaine, whose true colors finally surfaced, showing a cruel and cold-hearted woman. Her selfishness and vanity destroyed both the family fortune and left the once handsome chateau in disrepair; while pampering her own two daughters and spoiling them rotten, she raised Cinderella in abuse and virtual slavery. This was a result of being wickedly jealous of the young girl's natural beauty and charm, which she and her own daughters all lacked. This went on for many years but Cinderella's personality still remained sweet, humble and kind.
- Cinderella is kind to all, especially her mice friends, Jaq and Gus. She has faith that if you keep on believing, your wish will come true. With help from her fairy godmother, she gets a chance to live her dreams.
Cinderella was animated by Marc Davis and Eric Larson, but the two animators did not have the same perception of the character, accentuating the elegance of Davis and Larson's opting for simplicity. This resulted in Cinderella being a more complicated character than her predecessor Snow White, due to her duality. As done with other Disney films, Walt Disney hired actress Helene Stanley to perform the live-action reference for Cinderella. She later was asked to do the same kind of work for the characters of Aurora in Sleeping Beauty and Anita Radcliffe in One Hundred and One Dalmatians.
According to Christopher Finch, the author of The Art of Walt Disney:
|“||Disney insisted that all scenes involving human characters should be shot first in live-action to determine that they would work before the expensive business of animation was permitted to start. The animators did not like this way of working, feeling it detracted from their ability to create character. The animators understood the necessity for this approach and in retrospect acknowledged that Disney had handled things with considerable subtlety.||”|
About 400 contestants auditioned for the role of Cinderella. Out of them all, Walt Disney chose Ilene Woods, who worked on the radio at the time and did not know anything about the audition. One day, her colleagues Mack David and Jerry Livingston asked her to sing a song from Cinderella, and she agreed. Then, without saying a word to her, friends of Ilene transferred to the office of film Disney. After listening to the material, Walt Disney immediately decided that he had found the voice with which to speak and sing its main character, and contacted Ilene.
Despite being raised in toxicity and emotional abuse, Cinderella declared herself independent and strong-willed by remaining kind-hearted and self-loving, not allowing the bitterness surrounding her life to overtake her and morph her into someone as cruel as her stepfamily. She makes the most of her misfortunes by remaining optimistic of the possibilities of a brighter future, keeping herself preoccupied with enforced housework and friendly bonds built with her pets, and dozens of mice that have found themselves trapped over the years by the Tremaine's mouse traps, only to be rescued and spared by Cinderella. In gratitude, the mice would become loyal companions to Cinderella, providing her with company and serving as diligent helpers should something troubling occur. The mice's devotion to Cinderella would ultimately play a crucial role in the young woman escaping her abusive household, thus furthering the example of how Cinderella's evergreen kindness towards others, despite her situation, would ultimately lead to her uprising.
As assumed, Cinderella's primary goal in life was to escape her stepfamily. However, as she was under Lady Tremaine's control since childhood, such a feat proved to be difficult, with the emotional abuse and manipulation having been planted in Cinderella's mind for far too many years, making for an obedient and fearful young woman when faced with Tremaine's wrath; she would typically make attempts to avoid any form of conflict with her stepmother as a direct result of this.
Cinderella is also witty and sarcastic. When in private, she often gives quips regarding her stepfamily's laziness, lack of talent, and over-dependence on her. She is also unafraid to stand up for herself when she feels she's in the right—or at least, attempt to do so. And though she strives to contain her optimistic aura, she can fall into fits of frustration and annoyance quite often. This is especially seen through her interactions with Lady Tremaine's cat, Lucifer, who she sarcastically refers to as "Your Majesty", and openly berates for his cruel behavior, which mirrors that of her stepmother. Her daily goal is to make the most of her situation, but she never forces herself to bottle up her true emotions in an unhealthy manner; instead, wisely keeping them under control, while also keeping in mind that the future holds brighter experiences.
In Cinderella III: A Twist in Time, Cinderella's hard-working ethics, optimism, and devotion are put to the test, when she is magically stripped away from her "happily ever after" by a vengeful and then magically-inclined Tremaine, and is forced to jump into physical action to restore her happy life and relationship with Prince Charming. During these events, Cinderella is shown to be cunning, tactical, persistent, and a fierce rival to those who oppress her. With no magic, being forced to rely solely on her intelligence and fearlessness, Cinderella is able to defeat her stepmother and retain her much-deserved life of happiness, proving both her independence and strong-will.
Cinderella is of average height, well-proportioned and slender with a softly-shaped kind face. She has a curvy and hourglass figure. Her skin is fair and flawless, her lips are pink, and her eyes a twinkling blue. Cinderella's hair is a beautiful strawberry-blonde (light strawberry-blonde in her childhood) and medium-length with soft bangs.
In most of her appearances, she was seen in a maid's outfit which consisted of a dark brown bodice with light aquamarine long sleeves, and a brown, knee-length skirt. Her hair was softly tied back into a low ponytail with an aqua ribbon. She also wore a white apron and a pair of black ballet flats. On her occasional tasks, she wore a white apron and a scarf in her hair. In the near end of the movie the sleeves of her maid outfit changed from light aquamarine to cyan and her hair is now loose rather than a low ponytail. In later appearances in both two direct sequels, the sleeves of Cinderella's maid outfit is now pale blue and her hair remains loose.
For her first ball gown, she wore a frilly, sleeveless, pink-and-white dress with pink ribbons and a sash with jade and teal colored beads around her neck before her stepsisters violently destroyed it.
Her second dress and most commonly seen Princess outfit is a sparkling silvery-blue ball gown with a low-cut neckline, lighter peplum, capped sleeves, opera gloves, a delicate-laced white petticoat and glass slippers topped with sparkly hearts. (It should be noted, though, that the ball gown is often colored light powder blue in merchandise and later productions, and was even recolored as such in the original film's DVD and Blu-Ray releases.) Her hair is pulled up into a variation of a French twist that is complimented with a light silver band over it. She wears a simple black choker around her neck and long evening gloves cover most of her arms.
Her wedding dress consists of a beautiful white dress and petticoat that exposed little cleavage. She uses her hair in a bun with a white tiara with another tiara (the same of the ball). Her veil is pulled back of her hair. The dress has long triangular sleeves, with a white ribbon around the neck, along with white high heels.
In Cinderella II: Dreams Come True, she wore a pink-and-white version of her original Princess outfit, while getting ready for the banquet, the dress she had to wear was a pink, formal and rather puffy dress, with an elaborate hairstyle with lots of pink bows.
The dress she wears to the royal ball she arranges is a sea green/teal ball gown rather like her original, but with a corset attached to a flat triangular overskirt and a spiky-laced white petticoat. She has a simple black choker with emeralds hanging on it. She wears a more sea green version of her original headband and evening gloves.
In the live-action movie, Cinderella was portrayed as a beautiful and slender young woman with long, wavy blond hair and dark brown eyes. For the vast majority of the movie, she was seen in a blue dress, which later became a maid's outfit with the additions of a light maroon apron tied around her waist and a white scarf in her hair.
Cinderella's first intended ballgown had been her mother's old dress, which she had mended herself: a simple-styed, somewhat old-fashioned, yet still elegant and beautiful gown made completely of blush-pink soft chiffon, with a ruffled neckline and puffed sleeves.
Her second gown retained elements of her mother's dress, but it had been enhanced: the colour changed from soft pink to sky-blue, the skirt filled out and swirled around her as she moved, and the sweeping neckline was decorated with pastel-coloured butterflies. Her hair was styled in a half-chignon and adorned with diamonds, and her feet wore a pair of beautiful sparkling glass slippers that were surprisingly comfortable.
- Animal Empathy and Communication: Cinderella has a special talent to empathize with animals, perceive what they say and communicate with them.
Cinderella is a daughter of a widowed aristocrat who gave her every luxury and comfort. Her father, believing she needed a mother's love, married Lady Tremaine, who has two daughters about her age: Anastasia and Drizella. However, after her father's death, Lady Tremaine reveals herself to be a passive-aggressive tyrant who is jealous of Cinderella's beauty. She, her daughters, and their pet cat Lucifer abuse and mistreat Cinderella, ultimately forcing her to become a scullery maid in her own home. She is notable for being silenced repeatedly by Lady Tremaine, creating the assumption that Cinderella is expected to do chores without speaking out. Her only friends around the château are the mice (especially Jaq and Gus), the birds, Bruno the dog, and Major the horse.
One day, Cinderella receives an invitation to a royal ball at the King's Castle. She immediately delivers it to her stepmother, who tells her she can go―provided she finishes all her chores and is able to find something suitable to wear. After thanking her stepmother, she goes back to her room, where she shows the mice and birds a dress that had belonged to her late mother. As of that moment, her most magical experience of all had begun.
She is about to begin fixing her dress when she is unexpectedly called downstairs by her impatient, needy stepsisters. The mice and birds, feeling sorry for her, take it upon themselves to repair the dress for Cinderella. Jaq and Gus find a sash that Anastasia doesn't want anymore, as well as some beads thrown out by Drizella, and take them to help fix the dress.
Later that night, Cinderella sees a carriage outside the chateau through a large window. She goes to inform her stepmother that a carriage has arrived to take them to the ball. When Lady Tremaine notices that Cinderella has not yet dressed for the event, Cinderella replies that she is not going, to which Lady Tremaine points out that there are other times Cinderella will be able to attend while smiling wickedly about Cinderella not going. Cinderella walks back to her room and looks out the window toward the castle, wondering what a royal ball will be like. Just then, her bird and mouse friends reveal a surprise: they had fixed the dress for her. She thanks them for showing how much they care for her, changes into the dress, and rushes downstairs to join her stepfamily. However, when they see Cinderella, Lady Tremaine compliments her dress and points out Drizella's beads. The stepsisters then fly into a rage and furiously tear Cinderella's dress apart until Lady Tremaine puts it to a stop.
Cinderella is left with her dress reduced to rags as her stepmother wishes her good night before leaving for the ball with the stepsisters. It is in that moment that Cinderella's breaking point has finally been reached, and the girl bursts into tears and runs outside to the garden, with the mice, Bruno and Major watching her in sadness. She throws herself onto a bench and begins sobbing at the apparent loss of her dreams, feeling unable to continue enduring the cruelty of her stepfamily through hope and optimism. Shortly thereafter, the magical Fairy Godmother appears on a bench to comfort Cinderella, explaining the latter's hope still reigns strong, as the former wouldn't be able to appear otherwise. The Fairy Godmother then insists that Cinderella attend the ball and demonstrates her magical abilities as she transforms a pumpkin into a coach, mice into horses, Major into a coachman, and Bruno into a footman before transforming Cinderella's ragged dress into a beautiful, sparkling ball gown, complete with glass slippers. The Fairy Godmother warns Cinderella that all her magic will be undone at the stroke of midnight. Cinderella thanks her, unimaginably grateful for the Godmother's kindness, and quickly jumps into the coach and sets off for the ball, waving goodbye to the Fairy Godmother as she does.
Cinderella arrives at the castle while the ball is still in procession. She walks upstairs to the castle's ballroom, where she attracts the attention of Prince Charming, who is enchanted by her sparkling appearance and walks over to her. He escorts her to the middle of the ballroom, and (surrounded by other maidens in attendance) the two begin to waltz. The two then have some private time together outside (courtesy of the Grand Duke), during which they become completely enthralled with each other and are about to kiss, but then the clock begins to strike midnight, prompting Cinderella, who has lost track of time and also has not realized at this point that she has been dancing with the Prince himself, to leave abruptly, realizing that the Fairy Godmother's magic is about to end.
As she runs down the stairs, she inadvertently drops one of her two glass slippers; nevertheless, she jumps into the coach and leaves the castle. At the clock's twelfth strike, the spell breaks, reverting everything back to what it was. After running behind the bushes to hide from from the palace guards (summoned by the Grand Duke) who gallop past the pumpkin (smashing it in the process), Cinderella, once again in rags, apologizes to the mice, Major and Bruno for forgetting the time before going over her wonderful time at the ball, including her dance with the Prince. Just as she accepts that it has all ended, Jaq and Gus point out a glass slipper, the only remaining object from the Fairy Godmother's magic, on her foot. Cinderella takes off the slipper and thanks her friends and her Fairy Godmother for everything.
Meanwhile, at the castle, the King has ordered the Grand Duke to search all over the kingdom for whoever can fit the slipper, the only clue of the mysterious maiden. Back at Cinderella's chateau, Cinderella has resumed her duties of a maid. As she walks upstairs, carrying breakfast for Anastasia and Drizella, she overhears Lady Tremaine telling Anastasia and Drizella about the news of the Duke's search for the girl who has lost a slipper at the ball last night and whom the prince is madly in love with, causing Cinderella, upon realizing that handsome man she danced with was Prince Charming, to become so distracted that she drops their breakfast in the process. As she cleans up the mess (ordered by Lady Tremaine), she overhears Lady Tremaine continuing to tell her daughters that the girl who can fit the slipper will be the prince's bride, making Cinderella smile dreamily, even when her stepsisters stack clothing in her arms, the sight of which makes them suspicious of her peculiar facial expression.
Upon hearing that the two have to get dressed in preparation for the Duke's arrival, Cinderella decides that she too must get ready. She puts down the clothes and heads upstairs to her room, singing and humming the tune she and the Prince had sung at the ball. Unknown to her, Lady Tremaine is spying on her dance-like movements, and realizes Cinderella was the mysterious girl who danced with the Prince. Jaq and Gus see Lady Tremaine heading upstairs to the tower and, sensing the danger, rush to Cinderella's room to warn her, but Cinderella is too busy preparing herself to meet the Duke. By the time she sees them trying to warn her, she catches sight of Lady Tremaine at the door (through a mirror), but it's too late, as the wicked stepmother slams the door shut and locks it. Having seen Lady Tremaine put the key into her pocket, Jaq and Gus decide to steal the key and take it to Cinderella's room to free her.
A short time later, the Grand Duke and the Herald arrive at the chateau. While Cinderella sobs in front of the locked door, believing that her dreams of being reunited with the Prince have been lost, Jaq and Gus steal the key to her room from Lady Tremaine. Cinderella hears Jaq and Gus panting up the stairs outside her room and looks through the keyhole to see that the two mice have finally made it to the top with the key in tow, filling her once again with relief and hope, but is again shocked when Lucifer traps Gus inside a bowl, along with the key. She orders Lucifer to let Gus go, but the stubborn cat refuses. When the mice and the birds' attempts to make Lucifer release Gus fail, Cinderella, quickly realizing that Bruno can be the one to get rid of Lucifer, implores the birds to fetch the dog. Bruno quickly arrives and frightens the cat into jumping out of a window. Now victorious, Jaq and Gus wedge the key through an opening between the door and the floor, allowing Cinderella to finally exit her room and head downstairs.
Just as the Duke is about to leave, Cinderella calls out to him. Lady Tremaine initially tries to dismiss Cinderella as a mere maid, but the Duke rebuffs her and helps Cinderella onto a chair so that she can try on the slipper. He calls for the Herald to deliver the slipper, but Lady Tremaine, refusing to allow it, trips him with her cane, causing the slipper to fly and shatter into pieces in front of the Duke and Cinderella. As the Duke reacts in horror and terror about the King's reaction, Cinderella reveals that she has the other slipper, which she pulls out from her apron, horrifying her stepmother and stepsisters but filling the Duke once again with joy and hope. He slides the slipper onto Cinderella's foot, and it fits perfectly.
Cinderella, along with the mice, Bruno and Major, are taken to the castle, where she reunites with Prince Charming and becomes his bride and a princess. The King and the Grand Duke happily celebrate their marriage as the newlyweds head downstairs to a carriage that will take them on their honeymoon. As Cinderella walks down the stairs with the Prince, she drops her slipper once again, prompting her to go back for it. The King assists her in putting it back on, and Cinderella gives him a kiss on the head as a way of thanking him. Cinderella and the Prince ride off in the carriage, and Cinderella waves goodbye to her mice friends, who wave back at her. As the carriage pulls away, Cinderella and the Prince share another kiss (with the final words in the book, below the illustration of the couple kissing, reading "and they lived happily ever after forever").
One year later after the events of the original movie, Jaq and Gus set off to make a new book to narrate what happens after the ending of the previous story, by stringing three segments of astounding stories together, making three separate stories that are titled: "Aim to Please", "Tall Tail" and "An Uncommon Romance".
In the first story, "Aim to Please", Cinderella and Prince Charming return home from their honeymoon, only to find that Charming and the King have to leave once again for royal affairs, leaving Cinderella in charge of a royal banquet that is to be held. Not knowing the first thing about organizing parties or the royal traditions, Cinderella struggles with her new life and tasks as royalty, eventually deciding to disregard the old traditions and setting things anew, successfully throwing the party in her own, unique style.
In "Tall Tail", Cinderella and the Grand Duke work together throughout the castle to prepare for a festival, whilst Jaq feels guilt for his inability to assist her, due to his size. Fairy Godmother, however, transforms Jaq into a human by the name of Sir Hugh, and in this new guise, he offers Cinderella assistance numerous times, only to fail abruptly when he does.
In the third story, called "An Uncommon Romance", Anastasia falls in love with a local baker, much to the disgust and disapproval of Lady Tremaine and Drizella, Anastasia is told by her mother to never speak a single word to the baker again. Having been watching the whole time, Cinderella comes up with a plan to get her stepsister back with the baker by getting her mice friends (including Jaq and Gus) to distract him while the bird steal Anastasia's hat and fly off to the bakery with the intention of having her run after them to get it back and reunite with the baker again. The attempt backfires when the mice run into Lucifer (their old nemesis) who gives chase, resulting in a startled horse kicking Anastasia into the baker's shop. Anastasia runs out breaking down in tears and retreats to a quiet area in the village. She is found and comforted by Cinderella, who offers to help her stepsister change for the better and win the baker's heart. In the end, not only does Anastasia blossom a romantic relationship with the baker, but a loving relationship between her and Cinderella is also formed, finally accepting one another as like true sisters.
Cinderella and Prince Charming are celebrating their first anniversary when Fairy Godmother accidentally loses her wand to Anastasia. She immediately takes it to Lady Tremaine and Drizella, who learn the power of the wand and how to wield it properly. After the Fairy Godmother is accidentally transformed into a statue, Lady Tremaine then reverses time to before Cinderella tried on the slipper. By using magic, the slipper is able to fit Anastasia. Cinderella tries to convince Lady Tremaine that the slipper belongs to her by showing her the other. Instead, Lady Tremaine calls her night with Prince Charming nothing more than a dream and destroys the other slipper. Cinderella is left at the chateau while her stepmother and Lucifer make way to the castle to meet her prince. Devastated and confused, Cinderella begins to attend to her normal duties but regains her confidence and decides to meet with the prince herself knowing he should recognize her when he sees her. Cinderella, Jaq, Gus and two bluebirds, sneak into the palace and begin their search.
When she finally bumps into him, however, he fails to recognize her. Heartbroken, Cinderella cries at the loss of her former love, until Jaq and Gus arrive to expose Lady Tremaine's villainy. Upon finding out that Lady Tremaine used the wand to wipe Charming's memory of herself and make him believe Anastasia was the one he danced with, Cinderella forgets her sorrows and jumps into action. At Lady Tremaine's room, Jaq and Gus sneak in to grab the wand. They are almost exposed by Lucifer until Cinderella enters disguised as a maid.
Lady Tremaine discovers her anyway and a chase follows. While Jaq, Gus and Cinderella evade Tremaine and the palace guards, the bluebirds rush to warm Charming of the danger, hoping to lure him to Cinderella's location for the spell to be broken. Meanwhile, Jaq and Gus hands the wand over to Cinderella just as Charming arrives onto the scene, but before she could flip the spell, the guards arrest her. Lady Tremaine regains the wand and orders the guards to send Cinderella to the next ship leaving the kingdom to have her banished.
Jaq, Gus and the bluebirds meet up with Prince Charming. They explain that his memory was altered (referring to Cinderella as Cinderelly), and he rushes off on his horse to find her before the ship sets sail. He is too late, but manages to find himself on board, reintroducing himself to Cinderella (whom he calls Cinderelly before she corrects him), and immediately takes advantage of the moment by proposing to the girl, which she gladly accepts. With their love having prevailed Lady Tremaine's curse, the two return to the palace and explains the situation to the King and Grand Duke. Infuriated, the King orders the Grand Duke and the guards to search the castle for the stepfamily to have them arrested, while other members of the castle prepare to wedding, which is set to take place that same night.
As Cinderella is preparing for her wedding with the help of her animal companions, Lady Tremaine and Lucifer appear out of the shadows. Not only that, Tremaine soon summons Anastasia, who is revealed to have been magically transformed into an exact copy of Cinderella. Tremaine explains her plot to have Anastasia marry the prince under her guise. Seeing her apprehension, Cinderella makes an attempt to talk down her stepsister, but before the former can conjure a change in heart, Tremaine sends her off to be killed by a human Lucifer.
Still, Cinderella manages to escape her death and uses her time to make way to the castle. Prince Charming and "Cinderella" are ready to marry but Anastasia refuses and reveals herself. Lady Tremaine tries to turn Anastasia and Cinderella into toads, but Prince Charming intervene by reflecting the magic with his sword, causing it to hit Drizella and Lady Tremaine instead. They are transformed into toads and fall into the palace's basement. Anastasia brings the real Cinderella and Charming together and transforms herself back to normal. Cinderella thanks Anastasia, and the two reconcile, putting their animosity behind. Together, they restore the Fairy Godmother, who gives Cinderella a brand new wedding attire. As they are unaware of the twist in time, Cinderella and Prince Charming decline the fairy's offer to restore the timeline, and the two finally tie the knot, and they live happily ever after...again.
Cinderella makes numerous cameo appearances in the animated series House of Mouse always in her classic ball gown.
In the episode "The Stolen Cartoons" when Donald was left in charge, she fled away from the bad show, leaving behind her glass slipper.
In the episode "House of Scrooge", she lends Mickey the dress the mice made for her and after he thanks her she replies with "That old thing?"
In the episode "Rent Day", Cinderella was part of Mickey's borrow and exchange chain, telling him she'd give him her pumpkin so long as he can find her another mode of transportation.
She also appears in Mickey's Magical Christmas: Snowed in at the House of Mouse, in which she is trapped in the House with the other guests. At one point, she talks about how she is thankful for friendly mice who make nice evening wear (this segment was also used in the series episode "House of Turkey").
She also makes a cameo in Mickey's House of Villains, cowering during the hostile takeover of the club.
In the film, Cinderella is summoned by Sofia's magical amulet after the young princess casts a spell that makes everyone at the royal ball fall asleep. Cinderella explains that when Sofia's in trouble, the amulet will summon one of the princesses to help her. Cinderella tells Sofia that the best way to solve the problem is to make amends with her stepsister Amber. Sofia is reluctant to do so, however, since Amber had treated her harshly since she first arrived at the castle.
Cinderella tells Sofia that Princess Amber was only jealous because Sofia had gained more attention recently and that showing her compassion could help her change her views. She also tells her that she went through a similar thing with her two stepsisters, Drizella and Anastasia, of how their jealousy for her made them cold and cruel and if she had tried to make amends with them, maybe things would have been better for her now. She sings a song about her own troubles she had with her own stepsisters before departing. Her pumpkin carriage is seen at the end of the special of the series.
Other animated productions
Cinderella makes a cameo appearance at the end of the Teacher's Pet movie; she is shown holding a frog during the closing song.
Cinderella has a brief cameo in the Mickey Mouse Works cartoon "Mickey's April Fools", when Donald Duck fantasizes about replacing Mickey Mouse as Disney's biggest star, imagining himself in a parade with Cinderella, Aurora and Snow White as his entourage.
Cinderella was slated to star in the second installment of the Disney Princess Enchanted Tales series of DVDs with Mulan. However, the film was canceled due to poor sales of the first installment.
Cinderella was also one of the many heroines set to appear in the cancelled animated short Princess Academy. In concept art for the abandoned project, Cinderella could be seen engaging in a dance beside Ariel and Jessica Rabbit, while another shows her riding in a boat with other characters, apparently speaking to Tiana.
An emoticon version of Cinderella also appeared in the As Told by Emoji retelling of the original 1950 animated film. Her ballgown in the short is modeled after the redesign featured in the Disney Princes franchise, as opposed to the film.
Cinderella (played by Jessy Schram), (also referred to as Ella) was a maid who wished to attend the royal ball. Her fairy godmother appears to grant her wish, but Rumplestiltskin kills the fairy. Warning her that "all magic comes with a price," he offers her a contract: her wish in exchange for something she will have in the future. She signs it without reading it and goes to the ball. She meets Prince Thomas, and the two fall in love and marry. At the wedding reception, Rumplestiltskin reminds Ella of the contract and informs her that he asked for her first-born child. When she discovers she is pregnant, she tries to run away. But Thomas and Prince James devise a plan to capture Rumplestiltskin. The plan succeeds, but Thomas disappears. Rumplestiltskin vows that she will never see Thomas again until the contract is fulfilled.
In Storybrooke, she is 19-year old Ashley Boyd, a single, pregnant maid. The baby's father Sean Herman, who is really Thomas, is not allowed by his father to continue seeing Ashley. Sean's father arranges for Mr. Gold, who is Rumplestiltskin, to pay Ashley in exchange for the baby. She originally agrees to the exchange, but she later decides to keep her child. She tries to flee town but goes into labor at the city limits. Emma Swan finds her and brings her to the hospital. There, Emma agrees to do Mr. Gold a favor if Ashley is allowed to keep the baby. Mr. Gold agrees to the arrangement. Ashley gives birth to a daughter, Alexandra, and Sean visits the hospital to reconcile with Ashley and to give his daughter a pair of shoes that fit her feet perfectly (a reference to the original Cinderella story). A few months after, he proposes to Ashley and the pair are engaged.
She later begins teaching parenting classes in Storybrooke, as revealed in Season 4. Cinderella will return in the third episode of the show's sixth season where it will be revealed that she has a connection to the Land of Untold Stories. The episode will also reveal how she became good friends with Snow White.
Cinderella's counterpart, Ashley Boyd, makes a cameo appearance in Storybrooke at the beginning of the first episode of the spin-off series Once Upon a Time in Wonderland. She and Leroy are packing away from the diner when Will Scarlet manages to steal her keys.
In this film, the protagonist is a young woman named Ella (shortened form of Eleanor) whose merchant father remarries following the tragic death of her mother. Keen to support her loving father, Ella welcomes her new stepmother, Lady Tremaine, and her daughters, Anastasia and Drisella, into the family home. But when Ella's dear father suddenly and unexpectedly goes on a trip to an unknown location and passes away in the process, she finds herself at the mercy of the jealousy, ice-cold venom, abuse, and ridicule of her new unloving stepfamily.
The Tremaines began showing their true colors shortly after Ella's father left on his trip, when Lady Tremaine persuaded her to give up her room to Drisella and Anastasia―ostensibly as a temporary measure―while she slept in the attic. However, things turned for the worse after her father's death. Eventually, Ella is relegated to nothing more than a servant girl and spitefully renamed "Cinderella" after she wakes up with her face coated in soot from the attic fireplace. Ella could easily begin to lose hope. Yet, despite the cruelty inflicted upon her, Ella is determined to honor her mother's dying words and to "have courage and be kind." She will not give in to despair, nor despise those who abuse her.
One day, she meets a dashing stranger in the woods. Unaware that he is really a prince and not merely an employee at the Palace, Ella finally feels she has met a kindred spirit. It appears as if her fortunes may be about to change when the Palace sends out an open invitation for all maidens to attend a ball, thus raising Ella's hopes of a second encounter with the charming "Kit." When Lady Tremaine refuses to buy her a dress, Ella fixes up an old dress of her mother's. However, her stepfamily not only refuses to let her attend, but proceeds to callously rip apart her dress. This latest act of cruelty breaks Ella's spirit, and she runs to the garden in tears. She encounters an old beggar woman who is really her Fairy Godmother. She lends a helping hand by magically transforming a pumpkin, mice, lizards and a goose into a carriage, horses, footmen, and a coachman. She also transforms Ella's torn dress into an exquisite ball gown with glass slippers; however, the woman warns Ella that the spell will only last until midnight.
When she arrives at the ball, she discovers that Kit is really the heir to the throne. They fall strongly in love, but just as she's about to tell him her name, the clock strikes 11:59. She drops one of her slippers, but manages to get home in the rain and hides the other slipper in the attic. When she hears that the prince―who is now king―wants every maiden in the kingdom to try on the missing slipper, she is ecstatic. However, Lady Tremaine, having discerned her identity, demands that she become head of the royal household if Ella marries Kit. She also demands that Ella ensure worthy husbands for her daughters. Ella has never forgiven herself for not protecting her father, and is unwilling to let Kit get in her stepmother's clutches. Enraged, Lady Tremaine smashes the slipper and locks Ella in the attic.
The Grand Duke and the Captain of the Guards were about to leave the Tremaine estate, they heard Ella singing Lavender's Blue from the attic. Feigning ignorance, the Grand Duke persists in leaving, but then one of the guards reveals himself to be Kit in disguise, and demanded that the singing girl be tracked down. When the captain found Ella in the attic, Lady Tremaine tried to forbid her from trying on the slipper, saying that she is her mother. However, Ella curtly retorted that Lady Tremaine had never been and never would be her mother.
As Ella made her way to present herself before Kit, she drew the confidence and composure she needed from her promise to her mother. When she and Kit finally met face-to-face, she confessed that she was no princess, and had neither parents, nor carriage, nor dowry, and asked if Kit was able to take her as she was if the slipper fit her: an honest country girl who truly loved him. As expected, Kit answered in the affirmative, and the slipper fitted perfectly.
Just as Kit and Ella were about to kiss, however, Drisella and Anastasia burst in on them and begged her for forgiveness, going as far as to curtsey to her. The Grand Duke bowed to her as well in acknowledgement. Before she left with Kit for her new life, Ella turned to shoot Lady Tremaine a long meaningful stare, and finally tells her that she forgives her. At this, Lady Tremaine sinks to the ground in defeat.
Unlike the animated film, Cinderella here becomes a Queen upon marriage, rather than a mere princess.
In the manga series Kilala Princess, Cinderella plays an important role in Kilala's quest of royalty. Kilala enters Cinderella's world after getting shot in the back and transferring her conscience into it. While helping Cinderella with her chores, the maid also teaches Kilala how to eat, dance and walk like a princess. Her mouse friends secretly help her make a dress for the royal ball. After her sisters tear it apart, Kilala confronts them and accidentally loses her Magic Tiara. The Fairy Godmother shows up later than expected, and makes a princess gown, carriage and escorts for Cinderella. Affected by the crown's magic, the Fairy's power will run out sooner than expected if the tiara is still in the Tremaine sisters' hands.
With the fairy godmother's magic, Kilala manages to get to the palace and steal back the tiara before Anastasia can use it to hypnotize the prince. Cinderella and the prince meet and dance romantically till midnight.
Kilala later receives a clear crystal from the adventure and becomes the next jewel of her magic crown.
Cinderella is one of the different classic Disney characters who appears in Kingdom Hearts. She plays a small but important role in the game as one of the Princesses of Heart. Her world was destroyed by Maleficent, but she was taken into captivity.
In Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep, she reprises a similar role to that of the film. Jaq and a mouse-sized Ventus made a dress for Cinderella to wear to the royal ball since she had to do the chores. However, the two stepsisters tore apart her dress in jealousy and guile, causing her to rush out in tears. Terra encourages her to keep faith and then the Fairy Godmother appears and makes her a ball gown and carriage. At the royal ball, her and the Prince fall in love but she rushes away at midnight before the Fairy's magic wears off, leaving a single slipper behind as she runs. The Prince was determined to find the girl and let every girl in the kingdom try the slipper on to see if it matched. Lady Tremaine locked Cinderella in her room but Aqua and Jaq free her in time for the Prince so the two found each other and lived happily.
In Kingdom Hearts II, her name was part of the password needed to open Tron's world.
Cinderella plays a major role in the game, appearing as a meet-and-greet character near the Village Haus restaurant in Fantasyland. When she meets the player for the first time, she gives them a magic wand from the Fairy Godmother as a gift. Cinderella will also ask the player to accompany her to a royal ball and gather some supplies so that she and the mice can make an outfit (male players will get a Prince costume, while female players will get a Cinderella costume). While the mice are making the dress, Cinderella asks the player to find food (buckets of popcorn) for them. She also asks if the player can find more thread. Cinderella also loses her slippers during the game and asks the player to find them for her. Cinderella also participates in the Mickey's Soundsational Parade and Princess Fantasy Faire mini-games.
A costume of Cinderella is also an add-on costume in Disney Universe.
Cinderella is a staple character at Disney theme parks around the world. She is often the spokeswoman for "Princess themed" scenes in various show and parades. Her castle, Cinderella Castle, has become an icon at Walt Disney World and Tokyo Disneyland and is often used as the primary symbol for Walt Disney Parks and Resorts in general. She is commonly found in entertainment offerings and meet-and-greet sessions.
Cinderella also makes an appearance during the finale of World of Color. In her scene, it shows her transforming into a princess from the Fairy Godmother's magic.
In Stitch's Great Escape!, Cinderella makes a brief cameo (though only her voice is heard) at the end of the ride where Stitch attempts to woo her at her castle by pretending he is Prince Charming. She quickly shoves him out when she realizes that he isn't the prince.
Cinderella used to have a starring role in a Magic Kingdom Castle Show known as Cinderella's Surprise Celebration. The plot was that she wished to share many special gifts, with a little assistance from Mickey and the gang, with the visitors of the Kingdom.
In the first phase of Magic Kingdom's Fantasyland expansion, the Tremaine chateau was to be featured as a walkthrough and meet and greet called Dreams Come True With Cinderella. Guests would see Cinderella singing with audio-animatronic birds and mice, the making of the dress, the stepsisters ruining the dress, Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boo and Cinderella being transformed into her princess incarnation and Cinderella would then teach guests how to dance or be Knights. This idea was eventually scrapped and the area that it was to occupy is now part of Seven Dwarfs Mine Train.
In Disney's Hollywood Studios' version of Fantasmic!, Cinderella appears during the princess-themed medley.
Cinderella also has a spell card known as "Cinderella's Magic Ribbon" in the attraction Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom. Also in the Magic Kingdom, Cinderella can be seen in the Festival of Fantasy parade.
Cinderella stars in her own sequence in the Tokyo DisneySea version of Fantasmic!.
Cinderella used to star in a nighttime spectacular called Cinderella's Royal Coronation, in which as the title suggest, celebrated her coronation as a Princess.
In Tokyo Disneyland's nighttime spectacular Once Upon a Time, there is a Cinderella segment where guests see the dress-making scene and "So This is Love".
In the park's Enchanted Storybook Castle, Cinderella is depicted on one of the wall carving displays.
Cinderella appears during the final montage of Ignite the Dream: A Nighttime Spectacular of Magic and Light. Her iconic transformation sets off the finale.
In the Disney Princess franchise, Cinderella has proved to be the most popular and iconic. Her status acts as a symbol of a princess as well even being referred to by fans as "the leader of the Disney Princesses." In promotional images, Cinderella is often placed in the center as a way to point out her leadership. Recent polls throughout 2009 and 2010 have shown that even with the new princesses who gained popularity rather quickly inducted into the franchise, Cinderella has still been able to maintain her title.
Cinderella received multiple changes in her late 2012 redesign.
Rather than its normal strawberry-blonde, her hair is now a vivid bright blonde in color, is primarily parted on the right side of her head and tied up into an elaborate, high chignon. Her headband no longer covers her ears, and she now has individual earrings.
Cinderella's glass slippers are now tinted bright blue rather than being clear like the original glass. The style of her sleeves are now more separated from the actual dress itself and now seem to be made of pale blue organza, as is her long evening gloves.
Her new dress is a very simplified combination of a Mantua, Robe à la Française and a Robe a l'Anglaise with strong influences from 1950's debutante gowns; particularly with the upper half of the dress. Much of the cloth is a now distinct sky-blue color with the pale blue organza overskirt drawn back and pinned up to display the matching petticoat that is revealed by the frontal opening of the sky-blue gown. The hem of the dress and part of its upper half is decorated with many elaborate swirly designs. The hem also contains designs that resemble the shape of her glass slippers, and the entire ensemble is now glittery.
Cinderella's new dress has unmistakably left behind the lighter blue influence of her silver gown in the original film along with her strawberry-blonde hair, which is now a golden blonde similar to Aurora's and Rapunzel's.
This modified design of her is seen during her appearance in Sofia the First: Once Upon a Princess.
Cinderella's Palace Pets are Pumpkin, Bibbidy, Slipper and Brie; a puppy, a pony, a kitten and a mouse respectively.
Differences from the source material
Cinderella, coming from one of the most iconic fairy tales of all time, keeps much of her character continuity from the original Charles Perrault story. However, Disney has done some changes:
- "Cinderella" was a spiteful nickname which derived from the word "cinder", and her real name was never revealed (although some fans believe it to be Ella). Disney made this her actual birth name (although it was brought back in the 2015 remake).
- Many storybooks, such as the Little Golden Books adaptation, did, however, claim her original name was Ella.
- Cinderella bore her stepfamily's abuse patiently and hid it from her father who would have scolded her because he was entirely ruled by his new wife.
- Cinderella never had any animal friends. Although, it has been suggested that this was a reference to the Grimm's version, in which Cinderella has friendly birds helping her.
- Instead of falling in love with the prince in one night, it was two. The prince had one ball where he met Cinderella and the next night he had a second ball in which he fell madly in love with her. She lost one of her glass slippers at the second ball. Her fairy godmother helped her get ready for both balls by transforming a pumpkin into a coach, six mice into horses, a rat into the coachman, and six lizards into footmen. Two differently colored gowns and jeweled pendants and tiaras were magically given to Cinderella to wear at each ball as well as glass slippers.
- In the 2015 movie, the Fairy Godmother only transforms two lizards into footmen.
- A supper was served at the first ball and Cinderella shared oranges and lemons with her stepsisters and likely at the second ball.
- Cinderella simply showed the second slipper for good measure when the one she lost 'happened' to fit her like it was molded in wax.
- Cinderella in the 2015 movie tries to do this, but Lady Tremaine intercepts her on her way and smashes the second slipper. However, Prince Charming still manages to fit her feet into the first slipper.
- The stepsisters both pleaded for forgiveness, and Cinderella agreed to let bygones be bygones. The stepsisters also married two lords. No mention of her father and stepmother is ever read of after the beginning of the story which is before the ball announcements.
- In the 2015 movie, Cinderella does indeed forgive her stepmother and stepsisters, and they go to live with the Grand Duke (who is kicked away from the royal palace).
- She was named Cinder-clod by the older stepsister due to the cinders that came from sitting by the corner of the chimney, but was given the name of 'Cinderella' by the not-so spiteful younger stepsister.
- Cinderella's hair color has often been the subject of debate among fans. In the original film, Cinderella's hair seems to be of a light orange tone, classifying her as either a redhead or a ginger as her hair had been officially called burnt orange. In the franchise and in the Disney parks, Cinderella's hair is publicized as bright yellow, making her a golden blonde, although her hair remained orange-like in the films. The most common consensus is that she is a strawberry-blonde, which is blonde hair bearing an orange tint.
- It is very likely that Cinderella's last name is Tremaine. It is possible that her father was a lord, thus causing her stepmother and stepsisters to take the family name, as her stepmother would gain the title of "lady" upon her marriage to Cinderella's father. The 2015 film contradicts this, although Cinderella's father is portrayed as a merchant rather than a gentleman.
- Cinderella's facial features and expression are similar to Alice from Alice in Wonderland and Wendy Darling from Peter Pan although the latter films are released one to three years after Cinderella.
- In the third movie, her shoe size is mentioned to be a size 4½ in women's.
- The symbolic message of the glass slippers is that Cinderella is so delicate that she can walk in glass shoes and not break them. It is also symbolic how she can be comfortable in glass shoes, meaning that she can easily adapt to typically "uncomfortable" situations.
- Cinderella is often considered the "leader" of the Disney Princesses, often being positioned in the center of publicity photos. This has been subject to some controversy, however, because she is the second Disney Princess, after Snow White. Some feel that Snow White deserves to be the leader, because she is the protagonist of Disney's first film, and was introduced to the world 13 years before Cinderella.
- Cinderella is derived from the French word Cendrillon, which translates in English as "little ash girl".
- The only mention of Cinderella's mother was in the first movie, when she showed the mice a dress that belonged to her that she was planning to fix up for the ball.
- Cinderella never sang a song in her second film. In fact, none of the songs heard in Cinderella II: Dreams Come True, aside from the two reprises of "Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boo" (one by the Fairy Godmother and the Mice, and the other by only the latter), were sung by any of the characters. However, she did sing in the third film.
- In the movie, when Cinderella's ball gown is produced, the dress appears sparkling silver. However, in most merchandise, this is published in a bright blue shade (most likely to make her dress seem more like a ball gown as opposed to a traditional white wedding dress―which the mistake is shown in the storybook ending, when her wedding dress changed into her ball gown). In the Kingdom Hearts series, the ball gown is correctly colored to silver.
- Cinderella makes a cameo appearance of sorts in Aladdin and the King of Thieves when Genie turns Jasmine into Cinderella. Both Jasmine and Cinderella are Disney Princesses.
- One of Cinderella's stock poses used for her official artwork and clip art actually only appeared for a split-second in the actual film, right when she receives her iconic ball gown from the Fairy Godmother and twirls around in it, telling her, "Won't you take a look at this wonderful dress?"
- Cinderella has the same character design as Katrina Van Tessel from The Legend of Sleepy Hollow.
- According to Les Harding in his book "They knew Marilyn Monroe", a popular legend arose that Marilyn Monroe was the physical model for Cinderella. It seems that someone within the Disney organization heard a critic say that Cinderella was too voluptuous. This was in 1954, and the reigning queen of voluptuousness was Marilyn Monroe. The fact that Marilyn was not connected to the Disney studio and was all but unknown in 1949, when the movie was in production, did not stop the rumor mongers. An actress named Helene Stanley was the actual model for Cinderella.
- The moment when the Fairy Godmother transforms Cinderella's torn dress into a beautiful gown fit for a princess is said to be Walt Disney's favorite piece of animation ever. It was drawn by Marc Davis, one of Disney's Nine Old Men.
- Cinderella was actually rich at the beginning, even before she married the prince. This was exempted, however, as she was forced to work as a servant.
- In the 2015 movie, she was rich until her mother died. When her father marries Lady Tremaine, they both expect to regain their wealth, but her father dies before that can happen.
- Cinderella's time period is also implied during the montage where she attends the ball, as gas lamps were seen near the streets of the village that she passed to get to the castle, which didn't come into existence until the 19th century during the Industrial Revolution.
- In some stories, Cinderella's real name was Ella (short for Eleanor), and because she would always lie in cinders, her stepfamily would call her Cinderella. However, in the Disney film, "Cinderella" is truly her name by birth. The live-action remake, however, uses the original story's revelation that her original name is Ella, and some Disney-issued storybooks also use this as well.
- In the book entitled Disney Trivia from the Vault - Secrets Revealed and Questions Answered by Dave Smith, who is also known to have his own column in the very first Disney Magazine called 'Ask Dave', or the most recent D23 (Disney's community for Disney fans) Web site, he said that Cinderella's last name would likely have been Tremaine, since her stepmother's name was Lady Tremaine, if Lady Tremaine hadn't changed it from the time she wed Cinderella's father.
- For her redesign, her hair is seen parted on both sides of her head. She was first seen with it in Sofia the first with the larger part of her hair parted on the left side of her head. LEGO also has it parted the correct way.
- Throughout the first film, Cinderella's toes were barely visible, almost looking like she didn't have any. However, in every media following the first film, they were clearly visible.
- Cinderella loses her shoes three times in the movie:
- When she is carrying breakfast trays up the stairs to her stepmother and stepsisters, she loses her right shoe. She stops and slips the shoe back on her foot.
- When the clock strikes midnight, Cinderella she has no choice but to leave the ball. Hurrying down the steps that lead to the castle, she loses her left shoe - the infamous glass slipper. The slipper is picked up by the Grand Duke... the rest is history!
- After Cinderella weds the Prince, the two depart from the castle to embark on their honeymoon. As the two are making their way down the steps, her left shoe slips off. The King helps by slipping the shoe back on.
- "Cinderella Stamps" is a term for false stamps. They were made resembling a postage stamp, but not issued for postal purposes by a government postal administration.
- Not counting movie books on Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Cinderella is the first Princess to be shown as a child.
- Despite being labelled as the typical damsel-in-distress, Cinderella has shown rebellion and aggression in her third movie. She is also the first classical princess to develop from being "reactive" to "proactive", as proven to both her third film and live-action remake.
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