10 Things You Might Not Know About Cinderella

by | Jul 23, 2017 | Lists and Trivia

  1. Cinderella is well known for her glass slippers, but were they always glass? A popular tale is that her slippers were originally made of fur, and the notion that her slippers were glass came from a mistranslation of an early French manuscript.
  2. Not so fast. The supposed mistranslation stems from a version written by Charles Perrault in 1697. The story as written includes the phrase “pantoufle de verre,” which means glass slipper. However, many assume he meant “pantoufle de vair,” meaning fur slipper. But did he? This supposed fact has been examined at length, with some concluding that it was indeed a mistranslation, and others deciding that he really meant “glass slipper” after all.
  3. Too confusing? You can always opt for the Grimm Brothers version of the tale, which had Cinderella wearing gold slippers!
  4. The actual tale goes back much farther than 17th century France. About 400 versions of the story have been documented, with the earliest going all the way back to the first century B.C. Examples have been discovered in the early literature of China and Vietnam, and a variation was included in the One Thousand and One Nights collection of stories (also known as Arabian Nights). A version of the famous tale was also a sub-plot in Shakespeare’s King Lear.
  5. The Disney film was released in 1950 and represented a return to feature length animation for the studios. The last major release had been Bambi in 1942, with World War II and other factors forcing Disney to release six package films made up of various shorts in the intervening years.
  6. The film cost $3 million to produce, more than double the final budget for Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.
  7. The Disney film was based primarily on the version by Charles Perrault, but there is one major difference between the original story and the film. In Perrault’s version, Cinderella attends two balls, leaving the first before midnight strikes. She loses her slipper the next night when she returns to attend a second ball. In the film, of course, there is only one ball.
  8. Cinderella’s voice was provided by Ilene Woods, who actually won the part after Walt Disney heard the demo recordings of her singing “Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boo,” “A Dream Is a Wish Your Heart Makes,” and “So This is Love.” He was so enthralled with her voice that he asked her to take on the title role, beating out over 300 actresses who were vying for the part.
  9. The vast majority of the film was produced using live sets and actors as visual references. The part of Cinderella was performed by Helene Stanley, who would go on to supply live action references for Sleeping Beauty and Anita Radcliff in One Hundred and One Dalmatians. So if you ever thought those three Disney damsels looked similar, now you know why!
  10. If it weren’t for Cinderella, Disneyland and Walt Disney World might never have come into existence. At the time of the film’s release, the studio was in financial straits. The production of Cinderella was a big gamble, and if it had bombed the studios would likely have closed. As with all fairy tales though, this story had a happy ending, and the enduring success of Cinderella propelled Disney to new heights and new innovations.