From Rags to Riches: Celebrating 70 Years of Cinderella
When it comes to iconic Disney princesses, Cinderella is on the top of my list, not to mention on the peak of Disney’s as well. As the second princess to make the list of ‘official’ royalty (my beloved Snow White being the first!) Cindy encompasses all the traits we have come to know and love in our leading ladies of Disney. She is kind, creative, resourceful and, while perhaps least important the fact remains, she’s beautiful! She has the endurance of a Jedi master, the survival skills of an Avenger and most importantly, the grace of one of the most beloved Disney princesses in all of the land! With her 70th Birthday quickly approaching on Valentines Day, February 14th, (we think she looks fabulous for her age, wouldn’t you agree?) I couldn’t think of a better way to honour the lovely heroine who, quite literally, rose up from the ashes (or ya know, cinders) than to explore the magic of Cinderella throughout the years both in the parks and in film.
The Magic Begins
Although the original animated feature film was released in 1950, the adoration for this timeless classic has not dwindled in the foggiest. Little girls and boys everywhere still sit way too close to the television as they watch Prince Charming and Cinderella spin around the ballroom effortlessly. Teenagers, young adults and people of all ages still share the magic of this original with their littles and loved ones and the breathtaking talents of Ileene Woods as the incomparable voice of Cinderella remains one of the greatest gifts Disney fans have ever received.
It all started with a mouse (and a few birds!)
Where would any Disney princess be without their trusty sidekicks? In many instances, a whole lotta trouble! While the mice in Cinderella may not have made the iconic sparkly blue dress worn by Cinderella to the ball, without them initially making the pink and white dress (later destroyed in one of the most devastatingly chilling scenes in all of Disney history) Cindy may never have been introduced to Fairy Godmother or have made it out of her room in which she was locked to prove that she was the one true love of Prince Charming. Lest we forget, those birds who fly into the window of Cinderella’s room every morning to make her hair look effortlessly gorgeous (the original ‘I just woke up like this’) are the real MVPs.
Lights, camera, (live) action!
In 2015, the live action retelling of this beloved rags to riches tale was brought to the big screen starring Lily James and Richard Madden as the starry eyed couple, not to mention goddess of film Helen Bonham Carter as Fairy Godmother, breathing new life into the animated classic, this visually stunning masterpiece was a concert for both the eyes and ears. Little ones stood in line at the theatre dressed as their favorite princess whilst awaiting the reveal of the new version of this favorite fairy tale come to life. Brides that year and since have modeled their wedding dresses after the royal blue gown worn by the princess at the ball, and while glass slippers still aren’t the most practical footwear, there is something incredible about the sparkle of the real life version of Cindy’s stunning stiletto on the big screen.
My Castle, my home…
Would it even be the Magic Kingdom without the presence and glory of her majesty, the one and only, THE castle? I think not! Fantasyland isn’t just a place to enjoy all of your favorite slow, dark rides (though to be fair, it’s one of the many perfect lands to relish in just that) it is the land, nay, kingdom, owned, operated and ruled by the one of the most classic Disney princesses of all time. Whether you are king or queen of the rope drop, a rolling into Magic Kingdom at noon with a venti caramel macchiato with an extra shot park goer, or one of those obnoxious Disney lovers (like yours truly!) who has to see the castle in every form from the ‘Let the Magic Begin’ ceremony to Happily Ever After, we still see this beautiful piece of Disney architecture as one thing, the home of our beloved Cinderella.
There is nothing I love more than a good rags to riches, happily ever after kinda story. The humble beginning of Cinderella is what makes the ’riding off into the sunset’ ending so grand, so worthy of this Disney version, and one of the best, most timeless tales of love in all the land.
From the inception of Disney’s Cinderella seven decades ago, to the live action reimagining five years ago, to the imperative, lovable sidekicks( little Gus Gus!) to the magic that is Cinderella’s home, just a car, plane ride, or for the lucky few, Minnie Van ride away, the influence of this beautiful fable can be seen in 3000 different ways. However you choose to celebrate Cinderella’s platinum birthday, we hope you do it with a smile on your face and a song in your heart.