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    NOTE: This page is dedicated to the late Ilene Woods (1929-2010).

    Cinderella
    "A dream is a wish your heart makes."
    Gender: Female
    Type: Motherly and Kind-hearted Princess
    Age: 19
    Species: Human
    Portrayed by: Ilene Woods (1950 film)
    Jennifer Hale (2000-present)
    Tami Tappan Damiano (singing voice in Cinderella III)
    Lily James (2015 live action remake)
    Eloise Webb (2015 live action remake, child)
    Anne Lloyd (Walt Disney's Song Parade from Disneyland)
    Patricia Parris (Disney Read-Along)
    Kath Soucie (Disney Parks)
    Karen Strassman (Mickey Mouse TV series)
    Jessy Schram, Alejandra Perez, and Dania Ramirez (Once Upon a Time)
    Brandy Norwoord (Descendants: The Rise of Red)
    Status: Alive
    Media of origin: Cinderella


    Cinderella is the titular protagonist of Disney's 1950 animated feature film of the same name. After the death of her mother, her father remarried, believing that she "needed a mother's care". He died shortly thereafter, upon which she was forced to work as a scullery maid for her wicked stepmother, Lady Tremaine and two stepsisters, Anastasia and Drizella.

    Despite the cruelty of her jealous stepfamily, Cinderella remained kind, spirited, and internally beautiful. Her faith and everlasting optimism manifested itself into a Fairy Godmother, whose magic served as a catalyst for Cinderella's ascent from servant to princess.

    Cinderella is the second official member of the Disney Princess line-up, preceded by Snow White.

    Background

    Cinderella was born to wealthy, unnamed parents who treated their daughter with great love. The family resided in a French château, 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 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 beautiful château in a state of 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 remained sweet, humble, and kind.

    Official Description

    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.

    Development

    The Disney version of Cinderella was based on the protagonist of the French version of the tale by Charles Perrault, "Cinderella", written in 1698.

    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 the character. The animators understood the necessity for this approach and in retrospect acknowledged that Disney had handled things with considerable subtlety.

    Voice

    About 400 contestants auditioned for the role of Cinderella. Out of all of them, Walt Disney chose Ilene Woods, who worked on the radio at the time and did not know anything about the audition itself. 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 at 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.

    When casting for Cinderella II: Dreams Come True in 1999, Jennifer Hale was selected as Woods was deemed too old to be able to produce the sweetness needed for Cinderella. Hale has been the main voice of Cinderella since the House of Mouse debuted in 2001.

    Personality

    Yet, through it all, Cinderella remained ever gentle and kind, for with each dawn she found new hope that someday, her dreams of happiness would come true.
    ―Opening narration

    Despite being raised in toxicity and emotional abuse, Cinderella declared herself independent and strong-willed by remaining kind-hearted and self-loving, unlike her cruel stepfamily, 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, birds, and dozens of mice that have found themselves trapped over the years by Tremaine's mouse traps, only to be rescued and spared by Cinderella. She would also protect her animal companions from her stepfamily, mostly the mice, and would take it upon herself to make sure they were well-fed, clothed, and had places to stay. In gratitude, the birds and mice would become loyal companions to Cinderella, providing her with company and serving as diligent helpers should something troubling occur. The particular devotion of the mice 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 (though her dreams and other goals also seemed to be of romance, especially with the lyrics from "So This is Love" where Cinderella and the Prince sing, "So this is the miracle that I've been dreaming of.") However, as she was under Lady Tremaine's control since her childhood when her father passed away, 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 and stepsisters as a direct result of this.

    In addition to being intelligent, Cinderella is also witty and sarcastic, at least when she is alone, and during those moments she would often make 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, especially seen when she stands up for herself as being able to go to the ball, and though she strives to contain her optimistic aura, she can fall into fits of frustration and annoyance quite often. This is seen through her interactions with Lady Tremaine's cat, Lucifer, who she sarcastically refers to as "Your Highness" and "Your Majesty", and openly berates for his cruelty, which mirrors that of her cruel 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. She also is shown to have some degree of common sense, as after Drizella and Anastasia rushed to Lady Tremaine in fear about how Cinderella had allegedly put a mouse in their teacup, Cinderella, hearing the report, immediately deduced that it had been Lucifer who had actually been responsible, and forced him to reveal Gus, allowing Gus a quick escape.

    In Cinderella II: Dreams Come True, Cinderella further utilizes her bravery and kindness as she navigates through her new life as a princess. In the film's first segment, Aim To Please, Cinderella is tasked with organizing a royal banquet to test her worthiness as the kingdom's new princess. With her upbringing as a servant, Cinderella struggles to adapt to the lavish traditions of the palace, but ultimately decides to break tradition and throw the party her own way. The third segment, A Uncommon Romance sees Cinderella helping her stepsister, Anastasia, when she discovers she and a local baker have fallen in love, showing that Cinderella is willing to forgive her stepfamily for their mistreatment of her.

    In Cinderella III: A Twist in Time, Cinderella's hard-working ethics, optimism, kindness and devotion are put to the test when she is magically stripped away from her "happily ever after" by a vengeful and then magically-empowered Tremaine and is forced to jump into physical action to restore her happy life and relationship with Prince Charming and save Anastasia from her mother's cruel and vain influence when it becomes clear that she is also being abused and manipulated by her mother. 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, repair her relationship with a reformed Anastasia and retain her much-deserved life of happiness, proving both her independence and strong will.

    Why She's a One-of-a-Kind Princess

    1. Not only she's one of the smartest Disney Princesses, but she is arguably regarded to be one of the most iconic characters, because of her kind and smart traits.
    2. She has a well-developed personality, as proven when she is hard working, intelligent, kind, and very matured.
    3. Her character design is beautiful, even in Cinderella III: A Twist in Time.
    4. She is very caring and protective of her animal friends, particularly with Jaq and Gus. She even saves the mice and give them a place to live, while defending them from Lucifer. This goes to show that it was the teamwork she had with the mice and her own intelligence that saved her, not Prince Charming.
    5. She founds inner beauty and able to stay positive, despite being in an abusive household by Lady Tremaine.
    6. She is able to take initiative of going to the ball when she has to get her work done in order to achieve going to the ball.
    7. By attending the ball, she risked public humiliation when she instantly falls for Prince Charming
    8. Even though she is a damsel in distress, she is not afraid to be brave, as proven when she told the birds to get Bruno (whom she told him to keep his dream of chasing Lucifer away until the right time to disobey orders) and when using her brains to keep the other glass slipper a secret in case the other one breaks.
      • Speaking of which, she saved the duke from having to face his master’s bad temper when she stopped the duke from leaving and showing the other glass slipper when the other one got destroyed by Lady Tremaine.
    9. Simply put, her relationship with Prince Charming is interesting, especially in the third film where their chemistry is even fleshed out.
    10. She is known to be forgiving, as proven when she helps Anastasia to become a nicer person.
    11. Of course, in the second sequel, she gets into more physical action into undoing Lady Tremaine's time travel crime and save everyone, including Prince Charming and Anastasia, from Tremaine's grasp.
    12. Ilene Woods did a spectacular performance and singing job as Cinderella, so does Jennifer Hale.
      • Lily James gave a graceful performance in the 2015 remake and she was an amazing casting choice for Ella.
    13. She was also portrayed really well in the 2015 live action remake and her backstory was fleshed out even more; we get to see Cinderella's real parents and it's really sad to see them die.
      • Ella's mother gave her this message: "Have courage and be kind."
    14. Speaking of which, Cinderella (2015) was arguably a beautiful remake that knows how to reboot a Disney classic. It has enough similarities and differences to the original film, expanding the story and developing the characters even more.
      • It's one of the few live action Disney remakes to work as a whole because it didn't blatantly copy the original's story or drastically change its source material to something too dark and gritty for it's own good or flanderize any of the characters; it's just an emotional, visually gorgeous, thought-provoking, magical, and self-aware movie that beautifully honors its classic source material.

    The Only Bad Quality

    1. She was somewhat flanderized in Cinderella II: Dreams Come True as she slightly became a generic housewife who whines about not wanting to be a princess, though it is not too severe and she kept some of her charm and likability for the most part. Thankfully, she managed to redeem herself in Cinderella III: A Twist in Time.

    Trivia

    • Cinderella's hair color has long been a subject of debate amongst 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 color is orange-like in the films. The most common consensus is that her hair is strawberry-blonde, which is blonde hair bearing an orange tint.
      • In her 2021 design, Cinderella's color scheme is closer to her original appearance.
    • 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 of 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, having often been positioned in the center of publicity photos. There has been some controversy, however, because she is the second Disney Princess, after Snow White. Some feel that Snow White should be the leader, simply because she was the protagonist of Disney's first full-length feature film, and was introduced to the world 13 years before Cinderella, although others feel that Cinderella's assertiveness, even in her first film, and coping with her abusive upbringing, along with her even greater capacity for forgiveness, gave her more potential to be leader. Despite these arguments, both Snow White and Cinderella's films have been credited for saving Walt Disney's company from bankruptcy in the 1930s and 1950s respectively, though this has also been applied as well to One Hundred and One Dalmatians in the 1960s, and for The Great Mouse Detective and The Little Mermaid in the 1980s.
    • Not counting movie books like Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Cinderella is the first Princess to be shown as a child.
    • Cinderella seems to share a number of similarities with Snow White:
      • They both lost their biological parents and were replaced with cruel stepmothers whom are both bitterly jealous of their physical beauty.
      • Both of them were forced to become servants in their own respective households.
      • Despite the hardships they've faced in life, both of them remained kind-hearted and strong-willed.
      • Both of them can communicate with animals.
      • Both of them were aided by characters with good will at their time of need, namely the Seven Dwarfs and the Fairy Godmother.
    • 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), was 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 the Platinum Edition, most merchandise, this is published in a bright blue shade (most likely to make her dress seems 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.
    • In Aladdin and the King of Thieves, the Genie transforms Jasmine's outfit into Cinderella's ball gown.
    • 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, "Did you ever see such a beautiful dress?"
    • Cinderella has the same character design as Katrina Van Tassel from The Legend of Sleepy Hollow and the Golden Harp from Mickey and the Beanstalk.
    • 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 rumormongers. 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 mid-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) Website, 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 side parted. Sofia the First, LEGO, her 2016 Funko Pop! figure and some dolls have her hair parted on the right side of her head.
    • Throughout the first film, Cinderella's toes were barely visible, almost looking like she didn't have any. This was most likely a result of there being less detail in the animation of the time. However, in every media following the first film, they were clearly visible.
    • Cinderella loses her shoes three times in the first movie:
      1. 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.
      2. When the clock strikes midnight, Cinderella 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!
      3. 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.
    • In the Disney Princess Beginnings book series, Cinderella's appearance is based on the likeness of her live-action child counterpart in the 2015 film.
    • Cinderella has the greatest number of film variants produced by Disney, with five. The other three variants are her 2015 live-action counterpart, her 1997 Rodgers and Hamerstein's counterpart, her Into the Woods counterpart, and her Sneakerella counterpart.
    • Despite being labeled as the typical damsel-in-distress, Cinderella has shown rebellion and bravery in her third movie. She is also the first classical princess to develop from being "reactive" to "proactive", as proven in both her third film and live-action remake.
      • Although Cinderella's singing voice was provided by Tami Tappan Damiano for most of the 2000s, Jennifer Hale took on this role herself in Sofia the First: Once Upon a Princess.
    • According to Disneystrology, her birthday is September 6.

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