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Comparing Cinderella Stories

Updated on February 5, 2017
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Story Changes

There are many versions of Cinderella, but the one most remembered is the Disney classic 1950 animated version. The animated version was based on Charles Perrault's "The Little Glass Slipper" which was published in 1634. Disney then made a live action adaptation in 2015. It mixed elements of their 1950 animated version and the Grimm's Brother's version.

Even though the Animated version claims to be based on the Charles Perrault version, there were a few similarities to the Grimm Brothers version as well. Each story has their own unique spin to the Cinderella story with the 1950 animated version being the most lighthearted to the Grimm Brothers' version being the least lighthearted.

How Cinderella became Cinderella

The Little Glass Slipper - She lay in a garret in a straw bed while the stepsisters lay in beds. Cinderella would sit in the cinders and ashes of the chimney and she was called a cindermaid because of it, but her younger sister nicknamed her Cinderella (supposedly to lighten being called a cindermaid like her elder sister.)

Cinderella 1950 Animation - Didn't talk about how she became Cinderella.

Cinderella 2015 - After the stepmother dismissed the servants from the household, Ella took over the chores. The attic was too cold to sleep in during the cold months so she lay by the dying embers in the hearth to keep warm. From that, she got dirt on her face from the ashes and one of the stepsisters called her Cinderella.

Grimm Brother's Cinderella - After working, she had no bed so she had to sleep by the hearth in the ashes and because of her appearance after sleeping in the ashes her sisters called her Cinderella.

The Promise

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The Little Glass Slipper - Cinderella's mother did not make an appearance and was never mentioned in this version.

Cinderella 1950 Animation - Cinderella's mother did not make an appearance and was never mentioned in this version.

Grimm's Brother Cinderella - while the mother was dying, she told Cinderella to be pious and kind.

Cinderella 2015 - the mother made Cinderella promise to be courageous and kind. Her father also told her to protect the house where her mother's memories were. In fact, when Ella was visiting town someone asked her why she stayed.

(It seems the point of the mother telling her to be pious and kind or courageous and kind may have been to remind Cinderella to remember who she is even when times get hard. I always wondered if the prince had not come to take Cinderella from the house, how long would she have stayed there. I also wondered if it was possible for her to stay pious and kind without becoming either bitter or extremely pitiful and forgetting what her mother told her.)

Stepmother and Stepsisters' Names

The Little Glass Slipper - Cinderella had two stepsisters. One of the stepsister's name was Charlotte. The book did not mention the name of the other stepsister or the stepmother.

Cinderella 1950 Animation- Anastasia Tremaine and Drizella Tremaine. Stepmother is Lady Tremaine.

Cinderella 2015 - Stepsisters are Anastasia and Drizella. Stepmother is Lady Tremaine.

Grimm Brother's Cinderella - The stepmother and stepsisters were not referred to by name.

Extra Characters

The Little Glass Slipper - A cat did not exist. There were rats that were not named, but they were turned into coachmen.

Cinderella 1950 Animation - The stepmother had a cat named Lucifer and Cinderella had pet rats named "Jaq" and "Gus" and a dog named "Bruno".

Cinderella 2015 - There was a cat named Lucifer and a dog named Bruno. Jaq the mouse changed genders and became Jacqueline.

Grimm Brother's Cinderella - There was no Jaq, Gus, Bruno or Lucifer. But there were animals that helped Cinderella mostly birds like pigeons, turtledoves and a white bird.

The Father's Gifts

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The Little Glass Slipper - Did not mention any gifts that were given to Cinderella by her father.

Cinderella 1950 Animation - Does not mention the father giving any gifts because he died within the first few minutes of the film.

Cinderella 2015 - The father is going away for a couple of months asks Cinderella what she wants. Stepsisters ask for parasols and lace. Cinderella asks for him to bring her the first branch his shoulder brushes against on his journey. The father dies on the road and a Farmer John is able to give Cinderella her branch but no gifts for the others.

Grimm Brothers Cinderella - The stepsisters ask for dresses, pearls and jewels. Cinderella wants the first twig that brushes against her father's hat on his way home. Cinderella and her stepsisters all received their gifts. Cinderella received the twig and planted it on her mother's grave. She cried and her tears watered the ground surrounding the twig and it grew to be a tree. Cinderella visited this tree 3 times a day and cried and prayed. A white bird had came their each time to grant a wish of hers.

This is the only version out of the four that the father did not die. This is also the only version out of the four that doesn't make the father out to be kind and doting to Cinderella. In fact, her father refers to her as "deformed" and actually went to the ball without his daughter.

Invitation To The Ball

The Little Glass Slipper - Not everyone was invited to the ball, only people of high status and those who mingled with them were invited.

Cinderella 1950 Animation - All eligible women were invited.

Cinderella 2015 - The king wants a ball and the prince thinking of the girl he met in the forest asks his father to allow both commoners and nobles to attend the ball. The ball would be held within 3 weeks time. The king had an announcement made that at the royal ball the prince would choose a bride and that every woman no matter what their status was invited to attend the ball.

Grimm Brother's Cinderella - The king announced that there would be a festival that would last 3 days. All beautiful girls were invited as potential marriage candidates for the prince.

Permission

The Little Glass Slipper - They asked Cinderella if she would like to go to the ball, but she knew that the question was meant to taunt her. Cinderella never once asked them or thought that they would let her go.

Cinderella 1950 Animation - The stepmother tells Cinderella if she can get all her work done and find something suitable to wear then she can go to the ball. To her stepmother and stepsister's surprise with the help of Gus and Jaq and her other animal friends they help update her mother's dress and add Drizella's unwanted pearls and Anastasia's unwanted sash. But when they destroy her dress, Cinderella ends up with a dress unsuitable to wear to the ball.

Cinderella 2015 - Like in the animation, Cinderella was given permission to go to the ball if she could get her chores done and find a suitable dress. She wears her mother's dress which gets destroyed by the stepsisters.

Grimm Brother's Cinderella - The stepmother claimed to give her permission to go to the festival if she could gather all the lentils she had scattered in the ashes within 2 hours. Cinderella gets the pigeons, turtledoves and all other birds to gather them. And they gathered them in less than an hour.

The stepmother then tells Cinderella that she doesn't have any clothes and can't dance so she can't go, but Cinderella begins to cry and the stepmother says that if she can pick up two bowls of lentils from the ashes in an hour then she can go. Cinderella has the pigeons, turtledoves and other birds gather the lentils again. The stepmother then says that since Cinderella does not have a dress and doesn't know how to dance that she can't go anyway and leaves for the festival with her two daughters.

Transformation

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Little Glass Slipper - Cinderella was dressed in gold and silver beset of jewels, had pearls around her neck, she had a snow white robe with diamonds around the hem that hung like a fringe like dewdrops and had lace on her throat and arms.

Cinderella 2015 - At the beginning Cinderella had her mother's dress which was destroyed. Cinderella's dress was then transformed by her fairy godmother. The gown was blue and sparkled. Nothing like the Charles Perrault version. At the end, Cinderella put the shoe on, but before that she made a speech about him taking her as she is so she did not transform into a princess when the shoe was put on.

Cinderella 1950 Animation - At the beginning, Cinderella wore her mother's dress which was pink. She borrowed Drizella's pearls that she didn't want and Anastasia's sash. When her mother's dress was destroyed, the fairy godmother transformed her dress making it a light blue accessorized with a black choker necklace and light blue headband.

Grimm Brother's Cinderella - There is no fairy godmother. Cinderella goes to a the hazel tree at her mother's grave and asks for the tree to give her gold and silver and a bird gives her a gold and silver dress and slippers and she puts the dress on herself. To go to all 3 days of the festival, Cinderella asks the hazel tree 3 times to give her gold and silver and each time a bird would give her a dress more beautiful than the last.

Love At First Sight

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Little Glass Slipper - The prince heard that there was a "Great Princess" that noone knew and had ran out to recieve her at the coach.

In this version Cinderella gets to meet the prince three times. The third time was when he found her and married her the same day.

Cinderella 1950 Animation - When the prince first seen Cinderella it was when he was being introduced to many of the girls at the ball. At the precise moment though was when he was being introduced to Cinderella's stepsisters.

Cinderella 2015 - The prince had met Cinderella once prior to the ball.

Grimm Brothers' Cinderella - The prince approached Cinderella at the ball after seeing her beauty. And had met her 3 times before marrying her.

When The Clock Strikes 12

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Little Glass Slipper - Cinderella shared the food she got from sitting at the Prince's table with her sisters and chatted with them. They did not recognize her. She seen the clock strike 11 and 3 quarters (11:45).

Since the prince had wanted her to go to the ball the next day. So the next day the two sisters went to the ball and Cinderella came more beautifully dressed. She had mistaken it to be 11:00 when it was 12:00 and ran out and lost her slipper which the Prince picked up. The guards at the palace gate were asked if they seen the princess, but they say they seen a younger girl that was dressed like a pauper and did not have the air of a gentlewoman.

Cinderella 2015 - It seems she had about 3 minutes from the time she noticed the clock before everything gradually turned back.

Cinderella 1950 Animation - In the animation, the clock struck 12:00 while she was with the prince.

Grimm Brothers' Cinderella - Since there isn't a fairy godmother, there isn't a curfew of 12. Cinderella simply got tired and wanted to go home and would run off and hide so that the prince wouldn't know where she lived and then return her dress to the hazel tree.

(In the versions where Cinderella ran out when the clock struck 12, there is no way that she should have had enough time to run through the castle, down the steps into the carriage, through the palace gates and through the path that leads to the palace unless the fairy godmother knew she was going to forget.)

What is Your Name?

Little Glass Slipper - The prince never bothered to ask Cinderella's name even after meeting her twice before she ran off.

Cinderella 1950 Animation - They danced, they kissed but the prince never asked Cinderella her name. The king wanted to know who she was and had the people at the palace try to figure out who she was, but noone knew.

Cinderella 2015 - The prince asked Cinderella several times what her name was. I wondered why at the end Ella never called herself "Ella" when "Cinderella" was a nickname that was given to her by her stepsister. Did she call herself that because the Prince called himself by his nickname? Also, between the animation and the two books this version is the only one where the prince is referred to by some name other then "the prince" or the "king's son".

Grimm Brothers' Cinderella - Instead of asking her name the prince tried to escort her to her house to figure out where she lived, but Cinderella would always figure out a way to hide as she was running away.

(I always wondered if they didn't ask Cinderella her name because they were embarrassed that they did not know someone who looked like a "Great Princess". Was it because they thought she should have been well known amongst their social circles if she was?)

Unrecognizable

Little Glass Slipper - Just like when a superhero changes into their outfit and for some reason no one recognizes them, Cinderella chatted with her sisters and shared food that she got from the Prince's table without them recognizing her.

Cinderella 1950 - At the ball, the stepmother thinks Cinderella looks familiar but can't quite figure out who she is. The stepsisters don't recognize her.

Cinderella 2015 - I'm assuming the fairy Godmother only made it where the stepmother and stepsisters would not recognize her during the ball because it seems the prince recognized her right off as the girl he met before.

Grimm Brothers' Cinderella - The stepmother and stepsisters do not recognize Cinderella since they were so used to seeing her covered in dust.

As for the prince recognizing Cinderella, he did not recognize her and almost married her stepsisters. The older sister cut off her big toe to try to fit her foot in the shoe and the younger sister cut off her heel to try to fit in the shoe. The prince was on his way to take each one of them to be his bride, but the birds at the hazel tree would tell him that they were false brides. The prince does not recognize her until she washes her face and hands from the dirt after she tries on the shoe.

Proclamation

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Little Glass Slipper

First proclamation: He would marry any girl of royal blood whose foot could fit the slipper.

Second proclamation: He would marry any lady in the land that could not only fit the slipper but produce the match.

Cinderella 1950 Animation - No one not even the prince knows who Cinderella is. They only have the glass slipper to identify her. The grand duke is ordered to try it on every girl in the kingdom and whichever girl can fit the show will marry the prince.

Cinderella 2015 - After Kit, the prince, mourned the death of the king there was a proclamation that the prince would marry the girl who wore glass slippers and would present herself to him if she would like to marry him. The stepmother tells the duke who wants the prince to marry someone that would be advantageous to their kingdom who Cinderella is. And they negotiate a deal, the stepmother gives the duke permission to do whatever he wants with Cinderella and the duke would provide advantageous marriages for her daughters and make her a countess. When the girl with the glass slippers does not present herself, the prince strikes a deal with the duke that if he can not find the girl then he will marry the princess that the duke chose. And they then go around and have every woman try on the shoe.

Grimm Brothers' Cinderella - On the third day of the festival, the prince knew Cinderella would run away so he laid down pitch which caused Cinderella's shoe to get stuck. The prince then said to Cinderella's father who had helped him look for the girl who had run off the other two times that noone should be his wife unless they could fit the shoe. Besides Cinderella, the stepsisters were the only women that tried on the shoe. Also in this version, the lost shoe was not made of glass it was made of gold.

(I know it's a fairy tale, but the prince is lucky that the glass slipper could only fit one person. Did he know that the glass slipper was made of glass by fairies therefore by magic? Or does he believe the glass is made to form a certain foot?)

Forgiveness/Karma

Little Glass Slipper - Cinderella forgave the sisters for their unkindness and hugged them. The prince took Cinderella and married her that day and the Godmother was the guest of honor and the stepsisters were invited, but they don't say anything about her stepmother.

Cinderella Animation 1950 - The movie doesn't show what happens to the stepmother and stepsisters after Cinderella tries on the shoe.

Cinderella 2015 - Cinderella didn't hug the stepsisters and walked right passed them. She also told the stepmother that she forgave her. None of them were invited to her wedding but instead were banned out of the kingdom with the Grand Duke.

Grimm Brothers' Cinderella - When Cinderella and the prince were getting married, the older sister walked on the right side and the younger sister on the left and the pigeons pecked out an eye from each sister. When they came out of the church with Cinderella and the prince the older sister was on the left side and the younger sister on the right and the pigeons pecked out the other eye and this was their punishment for their behavior towards Cinderella and for being a false bride.

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