Cinderella (1950)

Cinderella (1950)
  • Time: 74 min
  • Genre: Animation | Family | Fantasy
  • Director: Clyde Geronimi, Wilfred Jackson, Hamilton Luske
  • Cast: Illene Woods, Eleanor Audley, James MacDonald, Verna Felton


When Cinderella’s cruel stepmother prevents her from attending the Royal Ball, she gets some unexpected help from the lovable mice Gus and Jaq, and from her Fairy Godmother.

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  • Walt Disney’s Cinderella, directed by Clyde Geronimi, Wilfred Jackson and Hamilton Luske, reinvigorated the House of Mouse’s box-office power after the devastation of World War II, while at the same time marking the end of their ‘golden era’. This was, critically, their final ‘classic’ film (although fans of Beauty and the Beast (1991) and The Lion King (1994) may disagree), and some of the art on display here is some of the finest animation Disney has ever produced. It also helped Walt Disney’s huge ambitions, which was to take Disney to the new medium of television, bring children’s dreams vividly to life by opening Disney World in 1971, and for Disney to become a global franchise in its own right.

    Cinderella (voiced by Ilene Woods) spends her days and nights tending to the many needs of her two bitter stepsisters, Drizella (Rhoda Williams) and Anastasia (Lucille Bliss), and her wicked stepmother Lady Tremaine (the wonderful Eleanor Audley, who would later voice Maleficent in Sleeping Beauty nine years later). When it is announced that the King (Luis Van Rooten) has organised a ball, inviting every maiden in the land to attend in a search to find a bride for his son Prince Charming (William Phipps and Mike Douglas), Lady Tremaine gives her blessing for Cinderella to attend. However, on the night of the ball, Cinderella’s stepsisters destroy her dress, leaving her distraught and humiliated. But with the help of her Fairy Godmother (Verna Felton), she gets to attend the ball with the help of a pumpkin carriage, some mice-turned-horses, and a pair of glass slippers.

    The main draw of Cinderella, apart from the gorgeous animation, is the lead character herself, who is a truly sympathetic character and far less annoying that the usual Disney princesses. Tremaine and her daughters are truly ghastly creations, and their cat Lucifer – responsible for many laugh-out-loud moments as he tumbles with the mischievous residing mice – is no better. It’s the plight of Cinderella that gives the film its backbone and emotional edge, rather than relying on musical numbers (though there are a few catchy tunes) and scenes of soppy romance, In fact, Prince Charming barely appears, but when he does it is short and all the more magical for it. It’s also very funny, with the ensemble of animals on show providing many inspired comic set-pieces. Deserving of respect from both fans of animation and fans of classical film-making.

    Rating: 5/5

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