Cinderella (1950)

G   |    |  Animation, Family, Fantasy


Cinderella (1950) Poster

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.


7.3/10
132,365

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  • James MacDonald in Cinderella (1950)
  • James MacDonald in Cinderella (1950)
  • Cinderella (1950)
  • Ilene Woods in Cinderella (1950)
  • Cinderella (1950)
  • Ilene Woods in Cinderella (1950)

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Reviews & Commentary

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User Reviews


12 August 1999 | Spleen
9
| A success, on the whole
People criticise Disney's animated features of the 1950s for being overly glossy, set in landscapes that are much too pristine. That criticism is just. And yet it can't be the whole story, because the two least glossy - "Alice in Wonderland" and "Peter Pan" - are also the weakest. "Cinderella", on the other hand, set in a world in which the very dirt sparkles, is clearly the best.

It DOES look good. The backgrounds are subtle and consistent; the colours are pure without being too bright. The animation varies a bit. I'll swear that some of the humans are rotoscoped - but then, the rotoscoped humans (including Cinderella herself) aren't full-blooded characters in the script, so this approach works well enough. It's really the animals that make the movie. I think the studio had never quite used animals in this way before, as totems rather than sidekicks. The mice, for instance, are the creatures who draw us into the story; but they are really representatives or allies of the more colourless Cinderella. The cat, Lucifer, is a kind of witch's familiar to the Wicked Stepmother. (The cat is brilliantly conceived and animated - one of the best feline creations of all time. The supervising animator was Ward Kimball and he modelled it on his own cat. I wonder how he put up with the animal.) This approach allows the animals to steal the show without drawing our attention from the main story. Their actions are of maximum interest only in the light of the main story.

Among the supporting cast the notable humans are the King and the Grand Duke. The King is a one note character - he wants grandchildren and appears to have no other desires at all - but the note is struck in a pleasing fashion. The Grand Duke is a put-upon character who deserves to be lifted out of his sphere as much as Cinderella does. (Although he, of course, is richer.)

"Cinderella" is Disney's return to features after an eight-year hiatus, and neither with it nor with any subsequent movie would he recapture the raw brilliance of his early years. Moreover he made things hard for himself by picking "Cinderella". She's a passive heroine and there's not much anyone can do about that. (Maybe I'm wrong on this score - I haven't seen the recent "Ever After".) Nonetheless it is remarkable how successful Disney was in bringing this unpromising story to life, without cutting across the grain of its spirit.

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Did You Know?

Trivia

The first fully-developed, feature-length film the studio released after wartime cutbacks forced them to release several "package films" (Melody Time (1948), Fun & Fancy Free (1947), et al). The success of the animation department depended greatly on its success.


Quotes

Narrator: Once upon a time in a faraway land, there was a tiny kingdom; peaceful, prosperous, and rich in romance and tradition. Here in a stately chateau, there lived a widowed gentleman, and his little daughter, Cinderella. Although he was a kind and ...


Goofs

Just before the stepmother locks Cinderella in her room, she asks Gus and Jaq what they are warning her about. When the stepmother takes her key, Cinderella turns around while she says "Oh, no!", but her mouth isn't moving.


Crazy Credits

In lieu of a cast list, the opening credits specify "with the talents of" followed by nine names: Ilene Woods, Eleanor Audley, Verna Felton, Claire Du Brey, Rhoda Williams, James MacDonald, Helene Stanley, Luis Van Rooten, and Don Barclay. However, only seven of these persons provided voices for the animated characters (according to studio records) and are listed in the cast. Both Stanley and Du Brey were live action models to help the artists animate the humans. They were placed in the miscellaneous section.


Alternate Versions

In the 1988 video, instead of the original RKO logo, the film opens with the complete Walt Disney Pictures logo, with the Walt Disney Pictures theme replacing part of the title song. For the 1995 video, the portion of the song was restored, but a Buena Vista credit replaced the RKO logo. (The 1995 laserdisc used the original RKO logo; the familiar blue logo appears before and after the film, but not replacing any part. In the 2012 Blu-Ray/DVD, the familiar blue logo wasn't used at all and the original RKO logo was restored.) For the 2005 DVD, the movie opens with a shortened Walt Disney Pictures logo accompanied by the part of the song that played with the RKO logo.


Soundtracks

Cinderella
(1949) (uncredited)
Music and Lyrics by
Mack David, Jerry Livingston, and Al Hoffman
Performed by the Jud Conlon Chorus with Marni Nixon singing as a soloist

Storyline

Plot Summary


Synopsis (WARNING: Spoilers)


Genres

Animation | Family | Fantasy | Musical | Romance

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