Disney’s version of the classic story “Cinderella” celebrated its 70th anniversary Wednesday after its initial release on March 4, 1950.
The story of “Cinderella” has been remade into various movies, television shows, musicals and plays since its conception. The earliest iteration of this story dates back to ancient Greece, with the story of Rhodopis, a Greek prostitute living in the colony of Naucratis, Egypt, whose name means "Rosy-Cheeks." The version that eventually evolved into Disney’s 1950 movie was inspired by the French story of Charles Perrault’s “Cendrillon," which was released in 1697.
Disney’s 1950 version of “Cinderella” is arguably the most recognizable version of the classic fairytale. The basic story of “Cinderella” entails the title character and how she is abused by her wicked stepmother and stepsisters out of jealousy for her beauty. Once Prince Charming invites all available women in their village to his castle for a ball, Cinderella’s fairy godmother helps her attend the party by turning her into a beautiful princess for the night.
With an initial budget of $2.9 million, “Cinderella” has grossed close to 91 times its original budget since its release in 1950, with box office earnings of $263.6 million. “Cinderella” was Disney’s 16th film released from the studio, as well as the company’s second princess story, the first being “Snow White” in 1937.
Since the release of “Cinderella,” there have been a myriad of other princesses added to the official roster of Disney Princesses. This roster includes: Snow White, Cinderella, Aurora, Ariel, Belle, Jasmine, Pocahontas, Mulan, Tiana, Rapunzel, Merida and Moana.
While the “Frozen” franchise contains two of the highest-grossing animated Disney films of all time, neither Elsa nor Anna are official Disney Princesses. Elsa is a queen, which disqualifies her from being a princess, and Anna fits every requirement of being a princess except the crucial point of having an animal companion.
Additionally, based on the canon storyline from “Frozen II," Anna is now the Queen of Arendelle, which further disqualifies her from being a princess.
There are currently 41 movies that have been confirmed to be “spinoffs” or have been “inspired by” the original story.
The magic of “Cinderella” does not end as soon as the credits do. As with all the Princesses listed in the roster, with the additions of Anna, Elsa and Tinker Bell, guests at the Disneyland and Disney World parks all over the world can meet Cinderella in person. Cinderella’s iconic castle is the centerpiece of the Magic Kingdom at the Walt Disney World Resort. As such, an actress or “cast member” can commonly be seen within the castle for photo opportunities.
There are always multiple cast members playing the same princesses in different areas of the Disney parks. This gives fans the opportunity to find Cinderella inside her castle, walking around the parks or stationed at a specific area of the outdoor parks.
The impact “Cinderella” has had on Disney’s legacy is abundantly clear. She is one of the most recognizable characters in all animation history and still attracts both young and old fans to this day. Without the impact “Cinderella” has made within its 70 years, many of the classic fairy tales that fans know and love today would most likely never have come to fruition.