- "Cinderella will be put in her place."
- —Lady Tremaine
Lady Tremaine (also known as the "Wicked Stepmother") is the main antagonist of Disney's 1950 film Cinderella and its 2 saga sequels. As the arch-enemy of Cinderella, Lady Tremaine doesn't harm her stepdaughter physically, but seeks to punish and abuse her psychologically, motivated by her jealousy of Cinderella's beauty, as it matches the beauty of the stepmother's own daughters, Anastasia and Drizella. Lady Tremaine is also a socialite, determined to gain higher status by marrying one of her daughters to Prince Charming or another bachelor of noble blood.
She is often considered the most hated Disney villain, being very cold, calculating, bitter and ruthless, and also for callously maltreating her stepdaughter even when there is no material gain to be obtained; she locks Cinderella in her tower room when she knows her own daughters won't fit the glass slipper.
Unlike most other Disney villains, Lady Tremaine doesn't possess any magical powers or exert any physical force. She strongly believes in maintaining grace and self-control, reminding her daughters of this when the two fight during their music lesson. The only time she herself breaks this rule is, ironically, at the point when Cinderella interrupts the music lesson to bring Lady Tremaine the invitation to the Royal Ball and she slams her hands onto the keys of the piano in frustration. She has a sinister glare and is very cruel to Cinderella; an example is when she silences her harshly twice when ordering Cinderella to do chores in the chateau. She even does the same to Anatasia and Drizella occasionally.
She holds a great envy towards her stepdaughter simply for her beauty, and is utterly insensitive to her, treating her like a servant in her own home, and is deviously manipulative in controlling Cinderella by maintaining a "benevolence" in her authority of the household and never physically abusing Cinderella, instead leaving that to her daughters when they destroyed Cinderella's dress, and cruelly bidding her "good night" since Cinderella couldn't go to the ball in rags, ultimately maintaining her apparent fairness.
Almost all of Tremaine's actions are motivated by a hunger for power and status, as she wants to marry her daughters off to those on the top of the social-ladder, and expects her daughters to be utterly obedient, and is infuriated when they are not, as seen when Anastasia chose not to marry Princey Charming.
Lady Tremaine appears to be older, but has aged quite well. She has very sharp facial features including a notably large hooked nose with pronounced creases on both sides of it. She has gray eyes which are notably quite fierce and evil-looking when she is angered or has evil thoughts in mind and she wears green orb-shaped earrings to contrast her eye color. She has gray hair (with a small light gray streak in the middle) shaped like two buns making it somewhat resemble a heart. Her casual and most commonly seen set of clothes consists of a large red gown with a golden broach near her neck that has a green gem in it and the gown has a high purple collar with extended purple sleeves. She wears a large green ring on her right ring finger that matches her earrings and broach, and in the finale certain close ups show her nails are painted a lavender hue to compliment her sleeves. Her formal attire (which she wears to the ball) is a long purple gown with short sleeves.
Lady Tremaine is introduced in the prologue of the film. Young Cinderella's father, a widower, anxious for his daughter to have a mother figure, married Lady Tremaine, who is described as a woman of good family, with two daughters of her own, and a cat named Lucifer. After Cinderella's father died, Lady Tremaine showed her true colors, pampering her own daughters while forcing Cinderella to become a servant in her own home. After the prologue, it is revealed that Cinderella lives in a small room at the top of the tower in her house.
Lady Tremaine consents that Cinderella may attend the Royal Ball - that is, if she can finish all her chores and find a suitable dress. She then proceeds to heap chore after chore on Cinderella. Despite this, when Cinderella appears ready for the ball in a suitable dress (her mother's, altered to be more fashionable by her mice and bird friends), Lady Tremaine (indirectly, but intentionally) causes her daughters to tear apart Cinderella's dress by pointing out some of their belongings which had been included in the dress, leaving her unable to attend the ball. When Cinderella, with the help of the Fairy Godmother, nevertheless attends the ball, her step-family does not recognize her. This was because of a combination of their belief that Cinderella was at home with her dress in tatters, a dress very different style to her new dress at that, and that she was made up so very differently to her usual appearance, but Lady Tremaine notes a familiarity about her as she dances with Princey Charming. She is not, however, permitted to study Cinderella long enough to make the connection as the Grand Duke closes the curtains to give them privacy.
At the news that the Prince will marry the girl whose foot fits in the glass slipper accidentally left behind by Cinderella at the Ball, Cinderella becomes quite distracted and falls into a dreamlike state, dancing and singing to herself. Lady Tremaine makes the connection that Cinderella must somehow have attended the ball and danced with the Prince. Realizing the identity of the mysterious girl at the Ball, she quietly follows Cinderella up the tower and locks her in her room, putting the key in her pocket.
As the Grand Duke then arrives with the glass slipper, Lady Tremaine instructs her daughters not to fail her. She watches as both Anastasia and Drizella try their hardest to force their feet into the slipper. While this is happening (prolonged by the stepsisters' repeated attempts to get the slipper to fit their own rather large feet), two mice, Jaq and Gus, steal the key from Lady Tremaine's pocket and bring it to the door of Cinderella's room. Though delayed by Lucifer, the mice succeed in freeing Cinderella from her room. When Cinderella appears and calls to the Duke, Lady Tremaine insists to the Duke that Cinderella may not have attended the ball as she has been a household servant, despite having deduced that she has, but the Duke orders Lady Tremaine to step aside. As the Duke's footman delivers the glass slipper to Cinderella, Lady Tremaine, in her determination to keep Cinderella from getting a happy ending that her own daughters will not, trips him, causing the slipper to shatter into pieces. However, Cinderella reveals that she has the other slipper, and that it fits her foot, much to her stepmother's horror.
Lady Tremaine made her second film appearance in the 1st Direct-to-DVD sequel Cinderella II: Dreams Come True, this time voiced by Susan Blakeslee. In this film, she only appeared in the An Uncommon Romance segment, where Anastasia has to go against her mother for the first time. Lady Tremaine is shown to be cold towards her own daughters, forbidding Anastasia from entering a relationship with a common baker's boy, since she still wants her daughters to choose wealthy gentlemen, preferably aristocrats, as partners.
Her latest appearance - and her most significant role so far - was in another Direct-to-DVD Cinderella sequel, Cinderella III: A Twist in Time (once again voiced by Blakeslee). This time, she acquires the Fairy Godmother's magic wand after Anastasia finds it. Lady Tremaine, intent on ruining Cinderella's happy ending and stealing it for her own daughter (turning Cinderella back into her virtual slave), uses the wand to reverse time to undo Cinderella's "happily ever after". She also enchants the glass slipper to fit Anastasia so that Cinderella never gets to try on the slipper herself, then uses the wand to enchant Princey Charming into forgetting Cinderella (although he never loved her in the first place) and marrying Anastasia instead. Most notably, she uses the magic wand to transform Anastasia into the mirror image of Cinderella (making her beautiful), and teleports the genuine Cinderella into a pumpkin, which becomes a twisted parody of the original coach from the first film, and transforms Lucifer into its coachman, to take her far away from the palace and to her death.
Ultimately, Anastasia is her mother's undoing; she comes to feel reluctant to marry somebody under false pretenses - she does not care for the prince, he does not truly love her, and she cannot bear to live the rest of her life pretending to be something she is not, even if she has a beautiful face.
Angrily, the King tells all his guards to arrest Lady Tremaine, and Lady Tremaine, defending herself, turns the guards into various animals--the guards coming at her from the front turn into chickens, the guards coming from the right turn into pigs, and the guards from the left turn into rabbits, so that they could not stop her. The evil prince tries to turn Anastasia and Cinderella into frogs, but they duck and it hits Drizella and Lady Trenmaine, and they turn into toads. Anastasia then restores herself to normal before giving the magic wand to Cinderella so that she can undo all the wrongs that have been committed. During the end credits, Lady Tremaine and Drizella have been restored, but are wearing scullery clothes identical to those Cinderella used to wear, implying that they will be working in the palace under Cinderella's authority as punishment for the cruelty she endured under her stepmother.
In one of the Disney Reading Series, Lady Tremaine and her daughters visit Cinderella and her husband at his castle. She keeps up the pretense that she no longer harbors any ill will towards Cinderella, but is later shocked when her daughters inform her that Cinderella is apparently planning to supplant them with "special people" (unaware that Drizella and Anastasia were the special people she was referring to) and plotted alongside them to sabotage Cinderella's efforts.
Lady Tremaine was given a few cameos with her daughters and Lucifer in House of Mouse. In the episode "Pete's House of Villains" she makes Pete clean the floors as punishment for attempting to take over the club. Other cameos include her sitting alongside The Queen.
Lady Tremaine appear in cameo only in Once Upon a Time, portrayed by an unknown actress, as inhabitants of Fairytale Land. A carriage is seen parked on the outside of her private property, and she, with her daughters, Anastasia and Drizella, make their way toward it, wearing evening gowns. Lady Tremaine enters the chariot first, followed by her two daughters. Soon afterwards, we are treated to the sight of the fair Cinderella, dressed in rather unfair rags. The poor blonde looks with sadness at her step family as they leave their property on the carriage, headed to the prince's ball. After the curse thrown by The Evil Queen, it was explained that Lady Tremaine lives with her two daughters in Storybrooke and has cut any ties with Cinderella. Many fans theorize that Lady Tremaine and the Severe Nurse are the same character. However, it was not established.
Majority of information taken from The Keyhole-Lady Tremaine.
In Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep, Lady Tremaine's role is identical to that of her film role. Treating Cinderella as a mere servant and showing no love towards her, the wicked stepmother does all in her power to see that her daughters are successful in life. She is upset by their constant sibling rivalry, also showing an extreme affection for her devious cat named Lucifer, despite the animal's cruelty to Cinderella's mouse friends.
After discovering the identity of the maiden that had won Prince Charming's heart at the royal ball to be none other than Cinderella, Lady Tremaine immediately locked her in her room when it came time for Anastasia and Drizella to try on a single glass slipper that had been left behind when the girl fled. Enraged when Cinderella was let out of her room by Jaq and the slipper fit her, Lady Tremaine used the jealousy in her heart to turn Cinderella's pumpkin carriage into an Unversed, the Cursed Coach, in an attempt to eliminate Cinderella and Aqua. Her scheme backfired when one of the fire bombs the Cursed Coach produced landed on her and her daughters, leaving their fate unknown.
Lady Tremaine appears in the Disney Parks as a meetable character, particularly Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom and Disneyland Paris around the Fantasyland area. She is known to be considerably vain and sarcastic to the visiting guest(s), just like how she treated Cinderella and her daughters in the film. A picture of her was shown in the attraction Cinderella Castle Mystery Tour.
Along with Anastasia and Drizella, Lady Tremaine can sometimes be found for meet-and-greets at Disney's Grand Floridian Resort & Spa in Walt Disney World. She also takes part in the Disney Villains meet-and-greet sessions at Disneyland during Halloween time.
Lady Tremaine makes an appearance on Twice Charmed, a show on the Disney Cruise Line. Lady Tremaine grows a deeper hatred for Cinderella as the days go by and soon enough she gains her very own Fairy Godfather, a male counterpart of Fairy Godmother. Unlike Cinderella's magical friend, Tremaine's godfather is an evil and dark magician-like man. She uses his magic to reverse time to take control over The King's kingdom.
Behind the Scenes
Significance in Story
"The villain-victim relationship was one of the very best we had on any feature... Lady Tremaine was the only villain to live beside her victim day by day" - Frank Thomas and Ollie Johnston.
Thomas commented that Lady Tremaine was the driving force throughout the film, and that she had to be believable, even though she was far from human, to be considered a serious threat to the realistically animated Cinderella. The fights between Lucifer and the mice could be seen to reflect the (much less physical) conflict between their human counterparts, Lady Tremaine and Cinderella.
Like all of the character animators for "Cinderella" (excluding Ward Kimball, who animated Lucifer and the Mice), Thomas used live-action footage as reference when drawing the frames of animation. Eleanor Audley, dressed as Lady Tremaine, was filmed performing every action the character was required to make; the individual frames from this footage were then placed under animation paper. The actions were not traced exactly, but used as guidelines.
Whenever the photostats were followed too closely, or a piece of human action was directly copied, the results seemed to the animators to lose the 'illusion of life'. The live action reference was therefore used primarily to suggest to the animator movements and mannerisms he may not have thought of otherwise. These were then applied to the animated character within their context. Thomas praised Audley's cold, regal performance, the inspiration for his animation of the character.
- Lady Tremaine was nominated for a place in 'AFI’s 50 Greatest Villains list', along with the Queen, Stromboli, Man, Maleficent, Cruella De Vil and Ursula. Still, she wasn't chosen and the only Disney Villains to make the final list were the Queen (10), Man (20), and Cruella De Vil (39). But even with no nomation she's known for being one of the best disney villians with no powers because of her controling powers and personality.
- Lady Tremaine makes a cameo in the Who Framed Roger Rabbit Special Edition DVD on one of the menus, but does not appear in the film itself.
- Lady Tremaine's behavior is similar to The Queen, for she too is jealous of her stepdaughter's beauty, but unlike the Queen, doesn't try to do her deadly harm.
- Lady Tremaine, along with Anastasia and Drizella are all killed in Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep, but in the Disney universe and the Cinderella films, all three are alive (and in the case of Anastasia, redeemed).
- The Nostalgia Critic listed Lady Tremaine as Number 3 on his "Top 11 Disney Villains" list, stating that she practically destroyed Cinderella just because she could.
- Lady Tremaine and Maleficent both share the same English-language voice actresses (both originally and their replacement).
- Lady Tremaine is similar to Judge Claude Frollo from The Hunchback of Notre Dame, as they both don't use any magic powers and they also mistreat and abuse their stepchildren (Cinderella and Quasimodo). Only that while Frollo cared for Quasimodo because of charge of conscience, Tremaine does it both because she is forced to by law, and needs a housekeeper.
- In the original French story the stepmother is mentioned very minor in the beginning and it is the stepsisters who are noted throughout the rest of the story.
- In the opening of the film Lady Tremaine is shown to have been a brunette in her younger years and which is what Drizella inherits from in terms of looks. Since Anastasia is a redhead, then likely the late biological father was too a redhead which she inherits.
- Considering her power-hungry and manipulative character, there is a chance that Tremaine killed her second husband, Cinderella's father, in order to take control of his fortune and house.
- Eleanor Audley, who was the voice of Lady Tremaine in the original 1950 film, also voiced Maleficent in Sleeping Beauty. Similarly, her succeeding voice actors (ie, Susan Blakeslee also voices Maleficent.
- Lady Tremaine has a few similarities to Mother Gothel from "Tangled". They're both stepmothers to a beautiful blonde, are jealous, are psychologically abusive to them. However, unlike Lady Tremaine, Mother Gothel at least shows some "care" for Rapunzel, while Lady Tremaine shows nothing but hatred towards Cinderella. Another difference is that Lady Tremaine gained legal custody of Cinderella after her father died, while Mother Gothel abducted Rapunzel from her actual parents.
Cinderella • Cinderella II: Dreams Come True • Cinderella III: A Twist in Time • Cinderella Soundtrack • Who Framed Roger Rabbit • House of Mouse • Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep • A Poem Is...• Cinderella (2015 film)
Characters: Cinderella • Jaq and Gus • Mice • Birds • Prince Charming • Fairy Godmother • Bruno • Major • Cinderella's Father • Lady Tremaine • Drizella Tremaine • Anastasia Tremaine • Lucifer • The King • The Grand Duke • Pom-Pom • Prudence • Beatrice and Daphne • Baker • Flower Vendor • Conductor • Herald • Royal Ball Herald • Suzy • Perla • Mary • The Queen
Songs: "Cinderella" • "A Dream Is a Wish Your Heart Makes" • "Sing, Sweet Nightingale" • "Work Song (Cinderelly, Cinderelly)" • "Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boo" • "So This is Love" • "Perfectly Perfect" • "More Than a Dream" • "At the Ball" • "I Still Believe"
Characters: Kilala Reno | Rei | Snow White | Doc | Grumpy | Happy | Sneezy | Bashful | Sleepy | Dopey | The Evil Queen | Cinderella | Lady Tremaine | Anastasia Tremaine | Drizella Tremaine | Aurora | Maleficent | Ariel | Flounder | Sebastian | Ursula | Belle | Beast | Gaston | Jasmine | Aladdin | Jafar | Iago | Tippe | Erika | Sylphy | Kilala's Parents | Valdou