In honor of World Princess Week, we’re exploring one Princess in particular that was quite special to Walt Disney. It almost feels wrong to say that Walt Disney had a favorite Princess as if he didn’t love all of his creations. But for many reasons, Cinderella (1950) became a fast favorite of the mogul.
Cinderella was released in 1950, the second Disney Princess film after Snow White and The Seven Dwarfs (1937). Walt Disney decided on creating the animation in 1948 which was a risk but clearly a reward with the turnout of the film. According to Fandango, “At the end of World War II, Disney was $4 million in debt, and Cinderella was considered to be a big ole’ roll of the dice for Disney Animation.” Furthermore, Snow White was the last hit film in 1937, with flops that followed like Fantasia. If it wasn’t a hit, Walt may have had to grapple with closing down Disney Animation.
Luckily, Cinderella was a fan favorite, and the rest is really history! It’s also said that the scene of Cinderella’s dress transforming was another one of Walt’s favorite pieces of art. As the Princess saved Walt, and The Walt Disney Company, in a way, here are some fun facts you didn’t know about the beloved Princess.
No #TBT is complete without the most magical transformation of all (featuring pencil test footage of original animation drawings from the Walt Disney Animation Research Library)! ✨ #Cinderella 🎨: Marc Davis, Animator l George Rowley, Effects Animator pic.twitter.com/XgttDE7X6d
— Disney Animation (@DisneyAnimation) June 13, 2019
Fun Facts About Walt’s Favorite Princess
1. As told by Pop Sugar, “Ilene Woods, who voiced the character of Cinderella, remembered Walt Disney saying to her, “You’re my favorite heroine, you know.” She said, “You mean Cinderella?” “Yes,” he said, “there’s something about that story I associate with.” Maybe the story of perseverance yet never giving up on your dreams is what Walt associated so well with.
2. Cinderella hinted at Disneyland Resort well before it existed! “Five years before Disneyland’s gates would open, ads for the film proclaimed, “It’s so full of the wonderful fun, hilarious characters, singable songs—the sheer enchantment that comes only from Disneyland,” D23 wrote.
3. Animators love to hide Mickey Mouse in plain sight in their animations. If you watch the scene where Cinderella is singing “Sweet Nightingale” you can spot the hidden Mickey ears. Just look really closely at the bubbles above Cinderella to spot the three round circles!
4. Cinderella is considered older than most Princesses. At around 19 or 20, Fandango adds, Tiana is the second oldest coming in at 19, while Snow White was reportedly 14. Additionally, the third version of Cinderella claims her shoe size is merely 4 1/2.
As we continue to celebrate World Princess Week it’s unique to look back at the history of our favorite characters. Furthermore, to see the lessons Cinderella brought to fans all over the world, and even to the creator himself, Walt Disney.
What did you learn about Cinderella?