“A dream is a wish your heart makes.” And, with that iconic lyric, one of the most famous Walt Disney Animated features made its way into theaters and into our hearts way back in 1950 before “Cinderella” eventually made its way into our homes and on Disney+. The story is as old as time, to paraphrase a different Disney film, and has been told hundreds of times across different media.
This film changed the Walt Disney Animation Studios. In 1950, after years of package films due to an animators’ strike, war, and box office closures; Disney finally released its first full length animated feature film narrative with “Cinderella.” It brought back a form of storytelling the company hadn’t used over the past six films and ushered in Disney’s Silver Age of Animation. This would last all the way until the release of the passing of Walt Disney and the release of “The Jungle Book.” While the box office success of films during this timeframe would be hit and miss, even the ones that failed at the box office became recognized as classics. And, we have “Cinderella” to thank for that wonderful time in the company’s history.
This film features Walt Disney’s favorite piece of animation the company ever produced. The scene where the Fairy Godmother transforms Cinderella’s tattered pink dress into a beautiful blue gown is iconic. Plus, “Bippity-Boppity-Boo” and “Cinderelly” are two amazing songs that have entered the annals of Disney memories for multiple generations. While some of the ideas have progressed and this movie is definitely a product of its time in places, the total product is greater than the sum of its parts and the work as a whole is as great today as it ever was.
It’s hard to believe that a studio that has a reputation for princesses and had been making feature length films since 1937 only released its second princess film in 1950, but it’s true. At the time of release, Disney wasn’t known for its princesses, but this story stands the test of time.
My favorite part of this film is when the mice and birds make the dress for Cinderella while her wicked stepmother and stepsisters are making her work right up until the carriage arrives so she can’t go. I love to see the camaraderie these creatures have with her and how much they want to help her. Plus, Gus Gus has been the sneaky MVP of the film to this point, and that’s saying something because it’s a great film start to finish.
There’s very little more I can say about “Cinderella” that hasn’t been said before. It’s a classic. It’s an all-time great. It’s one of the best films I’ve ever seen; not just animated films; not just Disney films; one of the best films I’ve ever seen. Cinderella is a better princess than Snow White and would really set the framework for what a Disney princess should be and how the company could improve the role in subsequent films. This movie is just awesome.
Ranking: 5 stars out of 5
What did you think of “Cinderella?”