Cinderella is the protagonist of both the film and story ‘Cinderella’ – multiple versions of which have appeared over the years, with the most popular being Walt Disney’s 1950 film ‘Cinderella’, and the Brothers Grimm recounting of the ‘Cinderella’ tale in the 1800s.
Cinderella did indeed have a mother, but even with the many versions of her story available, her mother remains unnamed (frustrating, I know!). In fact, furthering this, very little is known about how Cinderella’s mother actually died – all that is known is that she most definitely passed away from an unidentified illness when Cinderella was eight to ten years old.
As little information about Cinderella’s mother as there may be, it seems to be generally accepted within the tale that Cinderella herself embodies her mother’s beauty and kindness.#
So, Who Is Cinderella?
Cinderella was born into a wealthy family with two doting parents. While Cinderella was still a young girl, her mother sadly passed away from an illness that isn’t specified.
Concerned with wanting his daughter to have a maternal figure, Cinderella’s father marries again. Cinderella’s new step-mother is called ‘Lady Tremaine’, and she has two daughters; ‘Anastasia’ and ‘Drizella’.
Shortly after their marriage, Cinderella’s father too passes away, and Cinderella is left at the hands of Lady Tremaine and her daughters. Their true cruel natures are revealed, and they begin to treat Cinderella and her home extremely badly. Lady Tremaine dotes on her daughters, but gives Cinderella virtually nothing bar a few dirty rags to wear. Cinderella is forced to do hard labour around the house, and is constantly at the receiving end of abuse from her step-mother and step-sisters.
That’s Awful! What Happened To Cinderella?
In the kingdom of Cinderella’s home, the king wants his son to be wed. To help him find a potential wife, he arranges a grand ball and invites all of the surrounding nobility. Lady Tremaine and her daughters are invited, but of course Cinderella is forbidden to go.
After Cinderella has helped Lady Tremaine, Anastasia and Drizilla to prepare for the ball, she’s left alone as the trio depart for the ball.
Suddenly, a fairy godmother appears, and tells Cinderella that she will help her attend the ball. The fairy godmother turns a pumpkin into a carriage (I didn’t know pumpkins could do that!), some mice from the grounds into horses for the carriage, and Cinderella’s rags into a dress. The only catch? Cinderella must leave the ball before the clock strikes 12, as from then on the spells will work no more.
Cinderella goes to the ball, and meets the prince. They share a magical night of dancing, and Cinderella loses track of time. Hearing the clock chime, she rushes from the balls and in her haste, accidentally leaves a glass shoe behind.
The prince is heartbroken at the thought of losing her, and so journeys throughout the kingdom, asking each woman to try on the shoe until he could find Cinderella, whose foot it would fit.
The prince arrives at Cinderella’s house and the step-daughters desperately attempt to squeeze their feet into the shoe, but to no avail. Cinderella then tries on the shoe, and it fits perfectly.
The prince has found her, and they wed soon after. Cinderella’s step-sisters and step-mother attend her wedding, and Cinderella graciously forgives them.
What Does Cinderella Look Like?
In Walt Disney’s 1950 ‘Cinderella’ film, Cinderella is slender, with fair hair and skin and bright blue eyes. While working in the house, she most often wore a brown bodice and a brown skirt, along with a white apron and black shoes.
The dress that perhaps most people who have seen the film will associate with Cinderella is her iconic ball gown dress: the dress is a sparkling pale blue, with white puffed sleeves and long white gloves.
Most importantly, her glass slippers (without which, we wouldn’t have the story!) are delicate, with sparkles.
Who Wrote The Original ‘Cinderella’ Story?
The original Cinderella tale’s origins are difficult to know, but the first time that we can see it as a recorded tale is in the 1800s, thanks to the Brothers Grimm. Jacob Ludwig Carl Grimm and his brother Wilhelm Carl Grimm compiled a vast collection of folk stories and tales, many of which are still told today.
It does have to be said though, the original Brothers Grimm ‘Cinderella’ tale was much, much darker than the more popularly known Walt Disney version!
What Happened In The Original Grimm Tale?
In the Brothers Grimm telling of ‘Cinderella’, her father does not in fact die: he instead remains very much alive, and just ignores Cinderella’s sufferings (he doesn’t sound like a particularly nice guy in this version).
When the prince arrives at Cinderella’s house with the shoe for the women to try on, the shoe is made from gold – not glass. When the shoe doesn’t fit one of the step-sisters, she cuts off her toes to attempt to fit her foot in.
Cinderella does get reunited with her prince in this tale too, and her step-sisters do again attend her wedding ceremony. However, in this tale, doves attack the sisters during the wedding ceremony and peck out their eyes.
It’s some seriously gruesome stuff.
What Other Popular Fairy Tales Did The Grimm Brothers Write/Record?
The Brothers Grimm collection of fairy tales (known as ‘Grimm’s Fairy Tales’) has over 200 stories. Some of the more well-known of these are: Snow White, Hansel and Gretel, The Frog King, Rapunzel, Little Red Riding Hood, Rumpelstiltskin and Little Briar Rose (also known as Sleeping Beauty).