The story of Cinderella has been told many times and in many different ways, but the animated Disney classic film is one of the (if not the) most popular versions out there, even 65 years after it’s original release. It has several memorable songs, gorgeous animation and background paintings, and interesting characters.
After Cinderella’s mother dies, her father remarries. His new wife is cruel, and she takes out that cruelty on Cinderella after he dies by forcing Cinderella to basically be a slave to her and to her two bratty daughters. Cinderella takes this in stride, and still manages to have hopes and dreams and be generally cheerful despite everything they do to beat her down.
The music fit the film very well. “Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boo” is probably the most well-known song from the soundtrack, and it’s a fun one to sing once you figure out the lyrics. Ilene Woods (the voice of Cinderella) has a beautiful voice, and shows it off when she sings “A Dream Is a Wish Your Heart Makes”. The instrumental works of Oliver Wallace and Paul J. Smith do a nice job of bringing feeling into the film.
My favorite part of Cinderella is all the background work, especially the outside scenes and those in the palace. I love Mary Blair’s works, and this is one of the best films for showcasing her talent with color choices and design. This was her first feature film work at Disney Animation.
Cinderella, despite being “rescued” by Prince Charming at the end, was a very capable character in the film. She took her circumstances in stride and didn’t let a bad situation get the best of her. I think this was very forward-thinking of Disney, as she wasn’t at all the helpless damsel in distress. She had good friends (albeit mice and birds as those friends), and her friends stood by her when she needed their help.
The only real weak points in the film were the occasional lapse in frames per second for some of the animation (it may have just been odd jumps, you can see this especially near the end when Cinderella is riding away in the carriage after her wedding to the prince) and the pretty simple plot. Simple plots aren’t necessarily a bad thing, but this is definitely one where you don’t have to pay attention too closely for fear of missing something important.
Despite the minor weak points, Cinderella is still a very enjoyable film, and children of all ages will continue to enjoy this film for many years to come. I recommend this film for any library or collection.
Release Date: February 15, 1950 (USA)
MPAA Rating: G
Alcohol/Drugs: 1 (cigar smoking for humor, minor social drinking)
Violence: 1 (minor slapstick violence, crazy stepsisters)