Moviefan12: Hello & welcome back to Power of The Princesses, A Look at Disney’s retrospective on the Disney Princesses. Going from Snow White to Anna and Elsa. Last time, R8 & I looked at Snow White. Today, I am joined by Les to look at Cinderella. I’ll freely admit that there is some bias here on my part as this is one of my favorite Disney films. Les, thank you for joining me. And as a reminder, we will be looking at the Original Voice Actress, First Appearance, Personality, Favorite Moment, Later Appearances (like last time, DisneyOtoko has stepped in to cover the princess’ appearance in the Kingdom Hearts games), and Is Cinderella A Good Character? With that out of the way, let’s begin.
LES: Splendid! Let’s do this, my friend.
Original Voice Actress
Moviefan12: If I may be so bold, Ilene Woods looks rather gorgeous for her time. A lady with class, if you will. I personally love the way, she portrayed Cinderella as she made Cinderella a soft-spoken yet strong female character. The way, she voiced Cinderella brought a level of class to the character. Miss Woods was called in to record the music for the film and two days later, Walt Disney asked Miss Woods to voice the lead role. Though, she did not meet Walt until production on the film was done. In 2003, Ilene Woods was honored as a Disney Legend. And sadly in 2010, she passed away. Still, the way she voices Cinderella is so classic that even when I hear Cinderella’s new VA, Jennifer Hale, my mind pictures Ilene Woods doing the voice.
LES: Agreed. I don’t know if it’s just the way voice actresses were trained in the day, or the recording technology at the time, but I hear a vocal quality that makes me think of the 40s…artists like Doris Day and Vera Lynn. Ilene has that kind of voice. It’s clean and boisterous in her delivery and it suits the character of Cinderella really well.
Moviefan12 : Cinderella made her first appearance in the 1950 film of the same name. Which this film saved the company as at the time, it opened, the company was nearing bankruptcy. The film opened to much critical acclaim. It was the company’s first big hit since Snow White and The Seven Dwarfs. Now in film, we first see Cinderella as a young child with her father. This is the only glimpse of her father, we get but we know from the narration that they loved each other dearly.
If memory serves, the first time we see Cinderella as a young adult is A Dream Is A Wish Your Heart Makes.
LES: And what an appearance it is. First, the song is great. Add to it the clever way the birds help her get up and get going, and you get the first glimpse into Cinderella’s special relationship to all creatures. Like Snow White, before her, she has that….I’m going to call it…”Fluttershy” way with birds, mice, etc. By the end of the number, you can’t help but like her and then you immediately see her put upon by her Stepsisters and Stepmother and the great struggle begins. Your heart goes out to her and you really hope she’ll see a happy ending before it’s over.
Moviefan12: Using Fluttershy is an apt comparison because I find that out of all the princesses, Cinderella is the one who best shows kindness. Now I’ve seen some detractors try to claim that Cinderella is nothing more then a doormat. They usually refer to the scene where Anastasia and Drizella tear Cindy’s dress.
And I guess I do see that but at the same time, I look at the situation that Cinderella is in, and I can’t help but feel sorry for her because she’s had no one that truly cared for her, her entire life. I do agree that it would’ve been nice to see Cinderella stand up for herself but at the same time, I must give her credit for taking all the crap, the Tremaines threw at her in stride. She is a better person then most for that.
LES: Absolutely. This is a girl who is genuinely kind to everyone…even the Tremaines…and it speaks more to their cruelty than to her allowing them to walk all over her, when she strives to please them after all they’ve done to her (In fact as her story continued in Cinderella II, you see her actually help her Step Sister Anastasia to stand up to her Mother to have love in her life, but I digress….). When she finally breaks down, you know it’s for real, and that her feelings have been so crushed that she has no more hope, but the faint hope that allows Fairy Godmother to appear and help her for the first time. It makes her a very relatable character, as everyone has had their feelings unjustly hurt in their lives.
Moviefan12: Ah, yes I completely agree that when Cinderella breaks down and cries, you feel for her because of all the turmoil that she has been put through and when her Fairy Godmother shows up to comfort her, it’s hard to not to feel for her.
Moviefan12: For my Favorite Moment, it was a toss up between the dress sequence with Fairy Godmother and what I ultimately ended up going with, which is…
A Dream Is A Wish Your Heart Makes
Moviefan12: I’m a sucker for songs that let us know who the character is and what they want, the “I Want” songs and this is one of the best of those. And it makes me admire Cinderella for having such a positive attitude with the cards that life has thrown her. That is admirable and I applaud Cinderella for that. Because not many people would be able to have such a sunny disposition on life in her situation.
LES: Those are pretty good. For me, my favorite moment is right after Lady Tremaine trips the servant and the glass slipper shatters into thousands of shards. The Grand Duke is shocked and fearful he’ll never fulfill his orders. Cinderella then produces the other slipper, and Lady Tremaine’s look of terror is priceless. The shoe fits, Cinderella wears it and bells ring across the land. I love that moment.
Moviefan12: That is also a great moment as you finally get to see Cinderella have her happy ending.
Moviefan12: We are now going to take a look at her Later Appearances. Cinderella fell victim to not one but two cheapquels. Cinderella II: Dreams Comes True and Cinderella III: A Twist In Time.
My feelings on these films is I don’t really like them. II feels like a TV show that wouldn’t even air on Disney Junior and III, while it has a lot of improvement over the second film, the big reason, I don’t like the third film is because I saw this story done better before the film came out. You see for a while, on the Disney Cruise, they had a play called Twice Charmed that is a direct sequel to the film.
This picks up where the 1950 film left off and with an evil fairy godfather and in the end, the Tremaines get a better comeuppance in the play, then they do in the third film.
Now like many Disney characters, Cinderella made her fair share of cameos on House of Mouse.
Though, I think my favorite post-movie Cinderella appearance comes from the pilot movie for Sofia The First. In that, Cinderella shows up to help Sofia as her amulet had summoned her there and through a rather beautiful song, titled True Sisters helps Sofia to avoid having the relationship with her stepsister that Cinderella ultimately ended up having with her stepsisters.
It’s a sweet song that to me, gets better each time, I hear it. One also cannot ignore Cinderella Castle at Walt Disney World as that is perhaps the most iconic of all the castles from Disney. Not hard to see why.
And coming next year from director, Kenneth Branagh will be a re-imaging of the Cinderella tale with actress, Lily James playing Cinderella.
Personally, I’m very much excited to see this new spin on Cinderella. Now, I couldn’t forget Once Upon A Time, which that episode was weird but then again, this Once, we are talking about. It’s the standard set up for the Cinderella fairy tale in Fairy Tale Land but Rumpelstiltskin shows up and kills her Fairy Godmother and makes a contract with Cinderella that’ll allow her to go to the ball. Cinderella signs the contract without reading it.
She ends up becoming pregnant and vows to never see the prince again until her contract with The Dark One is fulfilled. Her Storybrooke counterpart is 19 Year Old Ashley Boyd, who just happens to be pregnant and a maid as well.
Just go look up season 1 of Once and in particular, the episode, The Price of Gold, as it is hard to explain what really happens in this show.
Cinderella also had a cameo in the debut short of Mickey Mouse (2013) It was a nice cameo but I hate these shorts.
And then of course, there is always the meet and greets with her and the other princesses at the Disney parks. In the parks, Cinderella just as with this franchise seems to have been given the most importance out of all the princesses, I mean, her castle is the icon of the most famous park in the world.
And she can be found in most parks for meet & greets.
And Jennifer Hale as Cinderella can be heard in Stitch’s Great Escape after 626 t.p.s the castle.
That’s still more dignified than the birthday cake castle. And interestingly during the planning stages of New Fantasyland, Cinderella’s Chateau was supposed to be a part of New Fantasyland but was replaced by the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train.
Les, before I hand this to DisneyOtoko for the Kingdom Hearts, section, anything you’d like to add?
LES: Um…I don’t think I’ve much more to add. You covered it pretty definitely LOL! I do really like Cinderella’s castle at Walt Disney World, even if I’ve never been there. The castle in Disneyland is modeled after the castle in Sleeping Beauty and is a shorter castle comparatively. While the cheapquels were disappointing, I did really like the 3rd story in Cinderella 2 where she helps Anastasia break free from her dominating Mother to pursue her love with the village baker. That really showed her character off well.
Cinderella In Kingdom Hearts
Moviefan12: Here to give us the rundown on Cindy’s appearance in Kingdom Hearts is DisneyOtoko.
DisneyOtoko: like Snow White before her and almost all the Princesses of Heart for that matter has a simple yet significant and passive role in the series. However, Cinderella is more active than most. Chronologically in the series timeline she first appeared in the prequel Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep.
Cinderella in Birth by Sleep Ventus Campaign
When Ventus visits the Castle of Dreams (the name of Cinderella’s world) he has a misstep in his ability to travel and ends up being the size of a mouse and ends up taking Gus’s place in the Cinderella story. Cinderella’s actual physical role is pretty much the same as the movie she’s constantly being called upon to do her chores so she can’t get her dress done. This part of the story focuses mainly on the friendship between Jaq and Ventus as they gather materials for Cinderella’s dress. But as I’ve stated before the interactions and significance of many of the characters in Kingdom Hearts aren’t the obvious physical interactions, but emotional and spiritual. By helping Cinderella and seeing Jaq’s love and selflessness towards Cinderella to help her achieve her dream causes him to reflect on his own dream and how Cinderella’s optimism and passion toward going to the ball and potentially getting out of her step family’s control has rubbed off on Ventus.
Cinderella in Terra’s campaign
This is where things get more interesting and the interaction is much stronger than it was in Ventus’s campaign. Terra enters the world after Ventus left and the dress that Ventus and Jaq made has shared the same fate as the dress in the movie: torn apart by the step sisters. Terra enters the world and sees Cinderella crying at the fountain and he goes to comfort her and the Fairy Godmother appears and makes the dress and carriage as in the movie. The Fairy Godmother has a conversation with Terra that gets things moving. She asks him if he believes that dreams can come true and he responds with a yes, but says that one must make an effort for them to come true. And while the Fairy Godmother agrees she senses that Terra doesn’t REALLY believe. She tells him that even believing and regaining faith in oneself is easier said than done and she wishes that Terra escort her to the ball. Terra decides to go to protect Cinderella who he senses is another Heart of Pure Light. After escorting Cinderella to the Ball Terra sees Unversed (the monsters of the game) at the balcony overlooking the Ballroom. They were spawned because they responded to Lady Tremaine’s jealousy toward Cinderella. After Terra dispatches the boss the clock strikes midnight and he decides to leave along with Cinderella. As he’s leaving he encounters Aqua and he gets her up to date on his mission, but also tells her what he’s learned. Cinderella taught him the importance of having real passion and believing in a dream as opposed to getting caught up in the how (the effort) and forgetting why you have the dream. He asks Aqua if she ever encounter Cinderella to give her his thanks. This is a much more direct emotional and spiritual effect and interaction between Cinderella and the Keyblade Wielder and adds to the development of the main characters of Kingdom Hearts and this is one of the main reasons why I love the series and Birth by Sleep in particular as my favorite in the series.
Cinderella in Aqua’s campaign
Unlike the last campaign Cinderella’s situation is more like the film. After conversing with the Prince and Grand Duke Aqua goes to the Chateua and senses that Lady Tremaine and the step sisters are up to no good and tries to intervene directly, but the Fairy Godmother says that Aqua’s approach isn’t the best. Aqua is the most loyal to her master and Master Eraqus takes a very Anti Darkness approach. He believes Darkness should be eradicated and this is not only untrue it is also unwise and it rubs off on Aqua the most. The Fairy Godmother is the one that wants to teach Aqua that Light and Dark are an intricate balance and that when one uses the Light for the wrong reasons it is just as disatrous as pure Darkness. The Fairy Godmother directs Aqua to assist Jaq in getting the key to unlock the door in Cinderella’s room. After doing so she goes downstairs and stalls for Jaq to get Cinderella out and then we get the glass slipper fitting and Aqua delivers Terra’s thanks to Cinderella. After the Grand Duke and Cinderella leave they get attacked by an Unversed that looks like the Pumpkin Carriage from Hell. After that is defeated Aqua sees Cinderella’s reunion with the Prince and ponders what the Fairy Godmother told her, but is still unfortunately ignorant to the importance of balance between good and evil. Cinderella in this campaign is more of a symbol of the theme of light. If Aqua had gone in Keyblade swinging that would have undermined the genuine friendship and love that Jaq was displaying with getting the key to Cinderella. The love and friendship created by being around a wonderful human being like Cinderella. The Fairy Godmother did not want Jaq’s efforts to be in vain and would rather have Light protected by genuine love as opposed to a hollow and misguided self righteousness like Aqua.
After Birth by Sleep
In the credits of the game we see Cinderella dancing with the Prince again and Jaq has moved into the castle with her and the Fairy Godmother celebrates their marriage with magical, safe, indoor fireworks. Some time after though something terrible happened and the Heartless ravaged the world and destroyed the Castle of Dreams and Cinderella was taken by the Heartless under Maleficent’s command to Hollow Bastion where Maleficent put her into suspended animation awaiting more Princesses so she can open the Final Keyhole and eventually the way to Kingdom Hearts where Maleficent and her League of Villains wish to attain godhood.
Cinderella in Kingdom Hearts 1
After Maleficent’s death and another fight with Riku Sora frees Kairi’s heart from within himself and Riku’s keyblade dissolves into the other six hearts and the hearts are returned to the other Princesses. Cinderella has awoken and now that her powers have been unearthed she and the other Princesses are aware of their abilities and Cinderella along with the others stay behind in Hollow Bastion to hold the darkness back. When Sora and company return Cinderella acts as the main spokesperson and leader of the Princesses of Heart and along with the others encourage Sora to seal the Keyhole and after Sora seals it she and the other Princesses upgrade his Fire spell to its maximum power and wish him luck and since she and the others have no place to go they will stay and continue to use their powers to minimize the darkness in the vicinity. If one decides to return to Hollow Bastion to take on the secret boss of Kingdom Hearts Final Mix Cinderella will comment on the powerful evil and unsettling presence she senses.
Moviefan12: Thank you for that, DisneyOtoko. Alright, it’s now time to answer the question…
Is Cinderella A Good Character?
Moviefan12: In my opinion, yes. Cinderella is a good character, she would make a list of my favorite princesses. Right now, she currently ranks at number 6 behind Anna from Frozen. The biggest reason, I feel Cinderella is a good character comes back to what we talked about up above with her showing kindness to everyone, even the Tremaines, with how cruel they are to her. And how she mostly tries to find the good in life.
LES: And that’s basically it. She’s a good person. Kind and caring. She doesn’t let the cruelty conquer that quality inside of her and that’s significant, as far as I’m concerned. She’s a Princess of the people, never considering herself above anyone else, and that’s what rulers should be like, my friend.
Moviefan12: I do not know how popular a opinion, this may be but out of the first three princesses, I find Cinderella to the be the one that stands out the most.
LES: Absolutely. I’d rank the first 3 as
2. Snow White
3. Sleeping Beauty
Moviefan12: I completely agree with that ranking. Les, thank you for joining to take a look at this wonderful princess.
LES: As always, it’s a pleasure to blog with you, my friend. Thanks, again 🙂