Though screen adaptations of Cinderella abound, none is as well-remembered as the 1950 Disney animated version. Returning to full-length animated features for the first time since 1942, Disney also made a return to the world of fairy tales, expanding the classic French story with a host of new animal characters.
Sweet-hearted Cinderella moves in with her Stepmother and two Stepsisters, Anastasia and Drusilla, when her widowed father remarries. When the father dies, the Stepmother raises Cinderella as a domestic slave. Cinderella’s only friends are the animals-bluebirds, Bruno the dog and two mice named Gus and Jaq. The birds and mice are menaced by the Stepmother’s cat, Lucifer (and with a name like that…).
Across the village, the King announces a grand ball, inviting all eligible young ladies to come meet his unmarried son. That should include Cinderella, but her wicked family leaves her without a thing to wear. Thankfully, Cinderella has a Fairy Godmother. With a little magic, a glass slipper and some help from her animal friends, Cinderella just might live happily ever after.
True to Disney form, the film included a number of memorable tunes, including “Cinderelly,” “A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes,” and the Oscar-nominated “Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boo.” The film was a triumphant comeback for Disney's animated features, becoming one of the most-watched movies of the year. Disney decided to stick with the trend of animating popular tales, moving on to Alice in Wonderland and Peter Pan over the next few years.