Evolution Of The Cinderella Story

Bailey Engel, Writer

  Cinderella was written by the Grimm brothers in 1812, it starts out with the death of a young girl’s(Ella’s) mother. Later Ella acquires two evil step sisters. The step sisters make her sleep on the floor with the cinders nick naming her Cinderella. Many different celebrities and actors have played Cinderella from around 1914 to 2015 and the story started to change a little bit more and more and has been adapted for films, poems, novels and plays. 

 The first actor playing Cinderella in 1914 was Mary Pickford and the original story was directed as the original story exactly as the original story was told. Later if we skip to the 1955’s we see it changes as Ella becomes an orphan instead of acquiring a new step mother and later having both of her parents die. She also has known the prince for a long time and they have known each other since they were kids, however, in the original story they first meet at the big ball. As well as a glass slipper starts to be involved. This version also hides its magical elements until the very end of the movie. As well as Cinderella has brown short hair, while in the original story she has long blonde hair. 


Later in 1957, the first ever live broadcast on Cinderella happened. In this musical, Julie Andrews played Cinderella and John Cypher played Prince Christopher. This musical was very similar to the original story, but just with more dancing and songs. Later, in 1965 this musical was remade with new scenes. The prince meets Cinderella right before the big ball, and a couple new songs are included. In 1977, the musical was remade again! This time featuring Rodgers and Hammerstien. The film was applauded for the more diverse cast featuring the first African-American Cinderella, Brandy, and  Paolo Montalban, a Pilipino American prince. Also including Whitney Houston as a fairy god-mother. 


Released in 1998, “Ever After-A Cinderella Story” the story is very similar to the original one but differs with a take on history and French Revolution. Many people from the audience said it felt more like historical fiction than a fairy tale. Later, in 2004 “A Cinderella Story” was released, very different from the original story. A highschool girl loses a cell phone instead of a glass slipper. Hillary Duff and Chad Micheal Murry played “Cinderella” and “Prince Charming” in this more modern day film. Instead of working as a maid/servant she works as a waitress to earn money for college as a straight A student. All of the magic is completely cut out in this story. Sam is also a student who is the “prince charming” and at a school dance she has to run off to somewhere and drops a cell phone instead of a glass slipper. Instead of ending with a wedding the couple ends up going to college together. Furthermore, again in the 2004’s “Ella Enchanted” brings a more retelling enchanted version of the original “Cinderella”. Anne Hathaway, playing Ella, is under a spell where she obeys every command given and tries to find her fairy godmother to undo the spell. Ella even plays more of a hero role as she saves prince charming from being poisoned. So, this story differs a lot from the original story. 


Later, in 2008, “Another Cinderella Story” came out again, very different from the original one. Selena Gomez plays Mary Santiago who is a highschool student wanting to be a dancer. She is forced to live with her legal parent after her mother dies instead of her father dying. A famous pop star, Joey, comes back to his hometown and highschool as Mary falls in love with Joey. They also wear masks in the movie as seen in “A Cinderella Story”. Cinderella’s dress is also very different. As well as all of the magical elements are taken out. 


The most recent “Cinderella” movie came out in 2015, nearly identical to the animated version in 1950. Many details are extremely similar to animated version such as Cinderella having long blonde hair and appearing in the classic blue dress. Magic is heavily involved like the animated version involving a pumpkin turning into a carriage and Cinderella going from scrubbing floors to being ready for a ball gown. The film is a little different as it provides more information about the background and absence of Cinderella’s parents. There is also a twist added as the prince goes house to house to find the perfect match for the slipper. As the step sisters try to make their foot be the perfect fit for the slipper. This version is one of the most similar films to the original story. Upcoming, July 26th, 2021 a new “Cinderella” is coming out! Featuring Camilla Cabello as cinderella. Although not many details have been revealed, it is supposed to be a new more empowered and modern version. Many people are excited to see this film!


Cinderella has clearly changed a lot over many years! Although each different version makes it so unique. It started out with a simple story that has been conducted into many different things eventually, in the newest version revolving back around the original story. Cinderella is a fun family movie also teaching people important lessons which is that you can still make good choices while facing unfair treatment or circumstances.