Cinderella, poster, top right: Prince Charming, bottom right: , 1950. (Photo by LMPC via Getty Images)
Movies - TV
Without The Success Of Cinderella, Disney Would Have Likely Folded In The 1950s
When Disney was about to release “Cinderella” in 1950, it was still feeling the sting from box-office bombs such as “Pinocchio” and “Fantasia.” “Cinderella” was a huge risk for Disney, and if the movie hadn't done well, it could have destroyed the company or, at the very least, shut Disney Animation down for good.
Production began on “Cinderella” in 1948 and took two years to finish. It was based on the version of the story by French author Charles Perrault in “Histoires ou contes du temps passé” from 1697 and was first written down (so far as scholars know) in 1634 by Italian author Giambattista Basile in “Pentamerone.”
The decision to shoot “Cinderella” entirely in live-action before the animation process began was a first, and it gave the animators excellent references for the movement of the characters. This pioneering method led to fewer mistakes and less time needed for the animators to complete their work.
The result was a box-office smash hit, and even though there are various claims of how much the movie actually made, the fact of the matter is that it kept Disney’s animation studio alive. The film’s legacy is still alive and well, and it has been re-released a number of times and remade in various ways, including the 2015 live-action version and the 1998 film “Ever After.”