In a coda added in the second edition of 1819, during Aschenputtel's wedding, as she walks down the aisle with her stepsisters as her bridesmaids, (they had hoped to worm their way into her favour), the doves fly down and strike the two stepsisters' eyes, one in the left and the other in the right. When the wedding comes to an end, and Aschenputtel and her prince march out of the church, the doves fly again, striking the remaining eyes of the two evil sisters blind, a punishment they had to endure for the rest of their lives.
Cinderella received positive reviews from critics with particular praise going to the cast, notably Blanchett, James, and Bonham Carter, Patrick Doyle's musical score, faithfulness to the original animated film, and Sandy Powell's costume designs. On review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an 84% approval rating, based on 242 reviews, with a rating average of 7.16/10. The site's critical consensus reads, "Refreshingly traditional in a revisionist era, Kenneth Branagh's Cinderella proves Disney hasn't lost any of its old-fashioned magic." Metacritic assigned the film a weighted average score of 67 out of 100, based on 47 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews". According to CinemaScore, audiences gave the film a grade of "A" on an A+ to F scale.
Cinderella's stepmother and stepsisters (in some versions just the stepsisters and, in some other versions, a stepfather and stepsisters) conspire to win the prince's hand for one of them. In the German telling, the first stepsister fits into the slipper by cutting off a toe, but the doves in the hazel tree alert the prince to the blood dripping from the slipper, and he returns the false bride to her mother. The second stepsister fits into the slipper by cutting off her heel, but the same doves give her away.
Cate Blanchett was the first actor to sign on, when it was announced in November 2012 that she would be playing Lady Tremaine, Cinderella's evil stepmother. In March 2013, Emma Watson was in talks to play Cinderella, but a deal could not be worked out. Watson went on to play Belle in Disney's 2017 film Beauty and the Beast. Gabriella Wilde, Saoirse Ronan, Alicia Vikander, Bella Heathcote and Margot Robbie were also considered for the part, but deals could not be worked out due to scheduling and other conflicts.
Categories: 1950 filmsEnglish-language filmsCinderella (franchise)1950 animated films1950s American animated films1950s romantic fantasy films1950s romantic musical filmsAmerican filmsAmerican children's animated fantasy filmsAmerican romantic fantasy filmsAmerican romantic musical filmsAnimated films featuring female antagonistsAnimated musical filmsAnimated romance films1950s children's fantasy filmsFilms about fairies and spritesFilms about princessesFilms about royaltyFilms about wish fulfillmentFilms about weddingsFilms based on Charles Perrault's CinderellaFilms directed by Clyde GeronimiFilms directed by Hamilton LuskeFilms directed by Wilfred JacksonFilms featuring anthropomorphic miceFilms produced by Walt DisneyFilms set in FranceGolden Bear winnersRotoscoped filmsFilms scored by Paul Smith (film and television composer)Films scored by Oliver WallaceWalt Disney Animation Studios filmsWalt Disney Pictures filmsUnited States National Film Registry films1950s children's animated films
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The first official presentation of the film occurred at Disney's three-day D23 Expo in August 2013. The film was previewed at CinemaCon in Las Vegas, Nevada, in March 2014, with a teaser showing Cinderella hearing about her father's death, meeting the prince while riding through the forest, her mother's ball gown being torn apart by her step-family, and a comedic bit where the Fairy Godmother transforms a pumpkin into a carriage.
In 1946, story artist and part-time lyricist Larry Morey joined studio music director Charles Walcott to compose the songs. Cinderella would sing three songs: "Sing a Little, Dream a Little" while overloaded with work, "The Mouse Song" as she dressed the mice, and "The Dress My Mother Wore" as she fantasizes about her mother's old wedding dress. In an effort to recycle an unused fantasy sequence from Snow White, the song, "Dancing on a Cloud" was used as Cinderella and the Prince waltz during the ball. After the ball, she would sing "I Lost My Heart at the Ball" and the Prince would sing "The Face That I See in the Night." However, none of their songs were used.
The glass slipper is unique to Charles Perrault's version and its derivatives; in other versions of the tale it may be made of other materials (in the version recorded by the Brothers Grimm, German: Aschenbroedel and Aschenputtel, for instance, it is gold) and in still other tellings, it is not a slipper but an anklet, a ring, or a bracelet that gives the prince the key to Cinderella's identity. In Rossini's opera "La Cenerentola" ("Cinderella"), the slipper is replaced by twin bracelets to prove her identity. In the Finnish variant The Wonderful Birch the prince uses tar to gain something every ball, and so has a ring, a circlet, and a pair of slippers. Some interpreters, perhaps troubled by sartorial impracticalities, have suggested that Perrault's "glass slipper" (pantoufle de verre) had been a "squirrel fur slipper" (pantoufle de vair) in some unidentified earlier version of the tale, and that Perrault or one of his sources confused the words; however, most scholars believe the glass slipper was a deliberate piece of poetic invention on Perrault's part. The 1950 Disney adaptation takes advantage of the slipper being made of glass to add a twist whereby the slipper is shattered just before Cinderella has the chance to try it on, leaving her with only the matching slipper with which to prove her identity.
Another interpretation of verre/vair (glass/fur) suggested a sexual element—the Prince was 'trying on' the 'fur slipper' (vagina) of the maidens in the kingdom, as a 'Droit du seigneur' right of sexual possession of his subjects. The disguised Cinderella's 'fur slipper' was of unique appeal to the Prince who sought her thereafter through sexual congress (a variety of sources including Joan Gould).
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Memorable scenes include the "Nightingale" number, with Cinderella's reflection in the soap bubbles, the evil sisters tearing her dress to shreds, her arrival at the ball, and the trying-on of the slipper. Add to that some great numbers like "Bibbodi Bobbodi Boo", and the mice's "work song". A wonderful movie, that never loses its magic, no matter how old you are.
Two years later, Disney turned to Tin Pan Alley songwriters Mack David, Al Hoffman, and Jerry Livingston to compose the songs. They were the first professional composers to be hired outside the production company. The trio had previously written the song "Chi-Baba, Chi-Baba" that Walt heard on the radio and decided would work well with the Fairy Godmother sequence. They finished the songs in March 1949.
The number of balls varies, sometimes one, sometimes two, and sometimes three. The fairy godmother is Perrault's own addition to the tale. The person who aided Cinderella (Aschenputtel) in the Grimms's version is her dead mother. Aschenputtel requests her aid by praying at her grave, on which a tree is growing. Helpful doves roosting in the tree shake down the clothing she needs for the ball. This motif is found in other variants of the tale as well, such as The Cinder Maid, collected by Joseph Jacobs, and the Finnish The Wonderful Birch. Playwright James Lapine incorporated this motif into the Cinderella plotline of the musical Into the Woods. Giambattista Basile's Cenerentola combined them; the Cinderella figure, Zezolla, asks her father to commend her to the Dove of Fairies and ask her to send her something, and she receives a tree that will provide her clothing. Other variants have her helped by talking animals, as in Katie Woodencloak, Rushen Coatie, Bawang Putih Bawang Merah, The Story of Tam and Cam, or The Sharp Grey Sheep—these animals often having some connection with her dead mother; in The Golden Slipper, a fish aids her after she puts it in water. In "The Anklet", it's a magical alabaster pot the girl purchased with her own money that brings her the gowns and the anklets she wears to the ball. Gioachino Rossini, having agreed to do an opera based on Cinderella if he could omit all magical elements, wrote La Cenerentola, in which she was aided by Alidoro, a philosopher and formerly the Prince's tutor.
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Ella and her parents live a humble but happy life until her mother falls ill. Ella promises to follow her mother's dying wish: to have courage and be kind. Years later, Ella's father marries Lady Tremaine, who has two unpleasant daughters, Drisella and Anastasia. Ella's father leaves on business, and Lady Tremaine reveals her cruel and jealous nature, pushing Ella to give up her bedroom to the stepsisters and move to the attic. When Ella's father unexpectedly dies, Lady Tremaine dismisses the household staff to save money and forces all their chores on Ella. Seeing Ella's face covered in cinders after sleeping by the fireplace, her step-family mockingly dubs her "Cinderella".
The girl retreats to the graveyard and asks to be clothed in silver and gold. The white bird drops a gold and silver gown and silk shoes. She goes to the feast. The prince dances with her all the time, and when sunset comes she asks to leave. The prince escorts her home, but she eludes him and jumps inside a pigeon coop. The father came home ahead of time and the prince asks him to chop the pigeon coop down, but Aschenputtel has already escaped. The next day, the girl appears in grander apparel. The prince falls in love with her and dances with her for the whole day, and when sunset comes, the prince tries to accompany her home again. However, she climbs a pear tree to escape him. The Prince calls her father who chops down the tree, wondering if it could be Aschenputtel, but Aschenputtel has disappeared. The third day, she appears dressed in grand finery, with slippers of gold. Now the prince is determined to keep her, and has the entire stairway smeared with pitch. Aschenputtel loses track of time, and when she runs away one of her golden slippers sticks on that pitch. The prince proclaims that he will marry the maiden whose foot fits the golden slipper.
Herodotus, some five centuries before Strabo, records a popular legend about a possibly-related courtesan named Rhodopis in his Histories,:27 claiming that Rhodopis came from Thrace, and was the slave of Iadmon of Samos, and a fellow-slave of the story-teller Aesop and that she was taken to Egypt in the time of Pharaoh Amasis, and freed there for a large sum by Charaxus of Mytilene, brother of Sappho the lyric poet.:27–28
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In 1951, the film received three Academy Award nominations for Best Sound (C. O. Slyfield) lost to All About Eve, Best Music, Scoring of a Musical Picture (Oliver Wallace and Paul J. Smith) lost to Annie Get Your Gun and Best Music, Original Song for "Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boo" (Mack David, Jerry Livingston, and Al Hoffman) lost to Captain Carey, U.S.A.. At the 1st Berlin International Film Festival it won the Golden Bear (Music Film) award and the Big Bronze Plate award.
On October 4, 2005, Disney re-released the movie digitally remastered on DVD as the sixth installment of the Walt Disney Platinum Edition series. According to Home Media Magazine, Disney sold 3.2 million copies in its first week which earned over $64 million in sales. The Platinum Edition was also released on VHS, but the only special feature was the "A Dream Is a Wish Your Heart Makes" music video by Disney's Circle of Stars. The Platinum Edition DVD along with its sequels went into moratorium on January 31, 2008. In the United Kingdom and Ireland, a "Royal Edition" of Cinderella was released on DVD on April 4, 2011, to celebrate the UK Royal Wedding of Prince William and Catherine Middleton. This release had a unique limited edition number on every slipcase and an exclusive art card.
Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment released Cinderella on Blu-ray combo pack, Digital HD, DVD, and "Disney Movies Anywhere" on September 15, 2015. Blu-ray bonus features include an alternate opening, the Frozen Fever short, and the featurettes: "Staging The Ball", "Ella's Furry Friends", "A Fairy Tale Comes to Life", and "Costume Test Fun". Five deleted scenes with an introduction by Kenneth Branagh are included exclusively on "Disney Movies Anywhere". The film debuted in second place on the home media sales charts behind Furious 7. Cinderella is scheduled to be released on 4K Blu-Ray on June 25, 2019.
At the ball, the entire court is entranced by Ella. She dances with Kit, much to the chagrin of the Grand Duke who has already promised Kit to Princess Chelina of Zaragoza, which Lady Tremaine overhears. Though surprised at Kit's true identity, Ella and the prince bond. Before Ella can tell Kit her name, the clock chimes midnight and she flees the palace, losing one of her slippers. Pursued by the Grand Duke and his men, Ella manages to escape home before the final stroke of midnight; the spell dissipates and everything reverts back to its true form. Ella hides the remaining slipper under her bedroom floorboards.
For the Fairy Godmother, Powell took a major departure from the animated film of the 1950s, instead giving actress Helena Bonham Carter an opulent white ballgown, featuring fairy wings, puff sleeves and a very full skirt. The skirt also had battery lights underneath it, which Helena said caused issues when filming scenes as the batteries would run low quite quickly. For the stepmother and stepsisters, Powell had a very clear idea about the look; "They are meant to be totally ridiculous on the outside—a bit too much and overdone—and ugly on the inside." The silhouette of the prince came from the original animation, however she created a more fitted look and less masculine colors. Some of the prince costumes were dyed to accentuate Madden's eyes.
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