Walt Disney floods the screen with beauty . . . fills the air with music . . . thrills your heart with laughter . . . with his greatest picture since “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs”
On February 15, 1950, Walt Disney released his 12th animated feature film, Cinderella.
Based on the fairy tale Cendrillon by Charles Perrault, it was the biggest commercial hit for the Disney Studio since Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs in 1937. In the late 1940’s the Disney Studio was in serious financial trouble and on the verge of bankruptcy. With a production cost of almost $3 million dollars, had Cinderella failed at the box office it would have almost guaranteed the studio would have shut down. The success of the film allowed the Disney Studio to keep producing movies through the 1950’s and beyond. The profits allowed Walt Disney to finance future productions, establish his own distribution company, produce television shows and begin the process of building Disneyland.
The cast of Cinderella included Ilene Woods (Cinderella), Eleanor Audley (Lady Tremaine aka the Wicked Stepmother), Verna Felton (Fairy Godmother), Rhoda Williams (Drizella Tremaine), James MacDonald (Jaq, Gus, and Bruno), Luis van Rooten Grand Duke, the King), Don Barclay (Doorman), Mike Douglas (Prince Charming), Lucille Bliss (Anastasia Tremaine), June Foray (Lucifer), Betty Lou Gerson (Narrator). The writers included Ken Anderson, Perce Pearce, Homer Brightman, Winston Hibler, Bill Peet, Erdman Penner, Harry Reeves, Joe Rinaldi, Ted Sears, and Maurice Rapf. It was directed by Clyde Geronimi, Hamilton Luske, and Wilfred Jackson. Music was done by Oliver Wallace, Paul J. Smith, Mack David, Jerry Livingston, and Al Hoffman. Cinderella was produced by Walt Disney and Walt Disney Productions and was distributed by RKO Radio Pictures.
Cinderella received three Academy Award nominations for Best Sound (C.O. Slyfield), Best Music – Scoring of a Musical Picture (Oliver Wallace and Paul J. Smith), and Best Music – Original Song for “Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boo” (Mack David, Jerry Livingston, and Al Hoffman). In June 2008, the American Film Institute named Cinderella the 9th greatest film in the animation genre.
Cinderella was re-released in theaters in 1957, 1965, 1973, 1981, and 1987. It was first released on video in 1988 (Walt Disney Classics collection) followed by releases in 1995 (Walt Disney Masterpiece Collection), 2005 (Walt Disney Platinum Editions collection), 2012 (Walt Disney Diamond Editions collection).