List of All Cinderella Movies: A History 1899 to 2015
With the impending release of the new Cinderella live-action retelling, it’s important to take a step back and understand some of the history behind this age-old story.
History has shown a fond interest in the generational retelling of great stories, fables and fairy tales, and Cinderella is just the next in a long-line of successful refreshes of classic tales. A quick search of previous Cinderella movies leads to the conclusion that this refresh might be slightly different from most, as the IMDb page alone credits over 100 previous attempts at retelling the story, or tailoring it to fit new audiences, or generations.
Going all the way back to 1899, this series has certainly made its mark on society, and while all “Cinderella” movies on the IMDb page certainly aren’t fairy tales, or even all that true to the original story, it’s amazing at just how many times this classic has been reworked to fit a (at the time) modern audience. In addition, several others have drawn inspiration from the classic tale in an attempt to spin the story in a slightly different direction, such as 1998’s Ever After: A Cinderella Story.
Being that the titles to choose from are far too numerous for a single piece, we’ll instead focus on some of the most popular or historically significant adaptations.
Cinderella Movies: Cinderella (1899)
The first credited (short) film in the history of the story was a French piece produced by Georges Meiles. The film met with little critical review and was deemed a complete failure at the time.
Cinderella Movies: Cinderella (1911)
In 1911, the story met with slightly more praise and featured Florence La Badie as the leading lady. The silent film was a hit with audiences although critical reviews varied greatly.
Cinderella Movies: Walt Disney’s Cinderella (1922 & 1950)
The first animated feature in the series was a Laugh-O-Gram piece produced by Walt Disney in 1922. The film was released on December 6, and ran a total of 7 minutes.
In 1950, Disney re-imagined the original animated feature, and released their own version without the assistance from Laugh-O-Gram. This release is the version that most of us grew up with, and is widely considered to be a Disney classic, and one of their most well known film adaptations.
Cinderella Movies: The Glass Slipper (1955)
The Glass Slipper was released at the height of the musical craze in the 1950s. This adaptation, made by MGM, was directed by Charles Waters and produced by Edwin H. Kopf, featuring music from Bronislau Kaper, who also received acclaim for his scoring of the MGM retelling of the classic Mutiny on the Bounty.
Cinderella Movies: Cinderella (1957, 1965 & 1997)
After its musical adaptation, Rodgers and Hammerstein had their go at a remake (their first of three) in 1957. This made-for-television film featured Julie Andrews as Cinderella and was the most successful adaptation to date. The 1957 version boasted the largest audience in history (at the time of its premiere) with a total of 107,000,000 people having seen the film. To put that into perspective, that was a full 60 percent of the population in the United States at the time.
In 1965, the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical was again produced and released as a direct-to-television film, this time starring an 18-year-old Lesley Ann Warren in the leading role. This film was re-broadcast (in color) annually for the next 10 years.
The 1997 remake of the 1955 and 1965 films featured Brandy Norwood (the first Cinderella of color), Whitney Houston, Jason Alexander and Whoopi Goldberg. The musical was well received by viewers with this direct-to-television release boasting over 60 million viewers during its initial broadcast. Critics, however, were rather lukewarm.
Cinderella Movies: Ever After (1998)
Ever After was the most successful re-telling of the original story with significant adaptations to the original storyline. This storyline, deemed a post-feminist take on the original, was met with warm reception by both critics and theater goers.
Cinderella Movies: Another Cinderella Story (2008)
Another Cinderella Story was a modern re-telling of the original featuring the likes of Selena Gomez and Drew Seely. This version was retold as a modern story that was deemed as more of a romantic comedy and a thematic sequel to the 2004 film, A Cinderella Story, which was widely hated by both fans and critics. The follow-up was met with praise, which led to a third release in the (unconnected) series titled, “A Cinderella Story: Once Upon a Song,” which was also deemed a flop by critics and moviegoers.
Only time will tell what sort of reception the newest adaptation of the classic story will receive, but the trailer shows promise and early buzz is quite promising.