30 fun and fascinating facts about Cinderella and her magical story

Disney’s latest version of the classic tale of Cinderella has hit cinemas and if you’ve got a little one at home, you’ve probably already been to see it (perhaps even more than once!)

Here at The Personalised Gift Shop we’re fans of magical tales and anything Disney too, so we did some digging to find out if there’s more to Cinderella than you first think.

And there is! Read on to discover 30 fun and fascinating Cinderella facts we bet you didn’t know about the princess who loses her glass slipper.

The Cinderella as most of us know her to be is thought to have started out as a folk tale in the 17th century.

In 1634, the tale of Cenerentola, an unhappy young girl with a wicked stepmother and two evil stepsisters appeared in a book of folk tales that were put into written form by Giambattista Basile, a Neapolitan soldier.

But that isn’t the only version of Cinderella that existed. In the 19th century, the famous Brothers Grimm put the tale into their collection of stories under the name Aschenputtel.

But this tale had several twists on the Cinderella we know today. Of course, the basic tale of the young girl with wicked stepsisters and a horrid stepmother remained, but instead of having a fairy godmother there was in fact a wishing tree that grew on Cinderella’s mother’s grave.

Since then other variants of the tale appeared too, including swapping the glass slipper for other objects including gold, a ring and a bracelet.

So, already there are many variations of Cinderella simply from looking at written forms of the tale! But we mustn’t forget the story of Cinderella has also been made into a film around 46 times!

The first Cinderella film was produced in France in 1899 and was called Cendrillon. (Cendrillon translates from French to ‘Little Ash Girl’).

Despite being the most popular film adaptation, Disney’s Cinderella, that launched in 1950, is the 12th film of the tale to be released.

And here are some facts about Cinderella and the Disney adaptations!

The version of the Cinderella stories from history that Disney decided to choose for their adaptation in 1950 was the tale written by Charles Perrault in 1697. We have this Frenchman to thank for the fairy godmother, the pumpkin-coach and the glass slipper.

The 1950 film was re-released in cinemas in 1957, 1965, 1973, 1981, 1987 and 2013.

Disney has a lot to thank their animated film of Cinderella for – the Disney studio was $4 million in debt and on the verge of bankruptcy before launching Cinderella in 1950. Cinderella cost $3 million to produce and would be a make-or-break film for the company. Thankfully the risk paid off and Cinderella’s box office success enabled Disney to thrive.

Worldwide box office profits reached $85,000,000.

Did you know Lily James, the actress who plays Cinderella (in the film that's out now), was not even in the top five choices for the role initially?

The first actress directors were keen on was Emma Watson, but she turned down the role.

Prince Charming doesn’t actually have a name in the 1950 version! In fact, he isn’t even referred to in the film as Prince Charming either!

The ball gown in the 2015 film was made from more than 270 yards of fabric and 10,000 Swarovski crystals.

Nine copies of the dress were made and used for the production of the film. These extra dresses came in useful during the dance scene, which proved very difficult for the actors because of the size of the dress!

Rehearsals for the dance between actor Richard Madden and actress Lily James began two-and-a-half months before it was recorded for the film without using the dress. It is thought the pair trained as many as four days a week before introducing the dress to rehearsals, through fears that the dress would be destroyed.

Apparently it took Lily James 45 minutes to put the dress on or take it off.

And, it took around 500 hours to make with 20 tailors working on it!

Cinderella is Disney’s oldest princess at the age of 19!

The animated transformation of Cinderella’s dress in the 1950 film is thought to be Walt Disney’s favourite piece of animation.

Lily James isn’t really called Lily James! Her real name is Lily Chloe Ninette Thomson but she took her stage name in memory of her dad – actor and musician James Thomson – who died on 2008.

Lily James’s grandmother was also an actress and is the voice of Mother, the computer in the 1979 film Alien.

Cinderella is one of three of Disney’s live-action remakes. Maleficent and Jungle Book are the others.

When the 1950 film was first released on VHS, Cinderella’s hair was coloured yellow-blonde rather than the original colour of strawberry blonde.

Cinderella’s ball gown was originally white but on VHS it was changed to blue to match the merchandise that had been launched following its first release at the cinema.

At the end of the 1950 film when Cinderella and the prince leave in their wedding carriage, you can spot two Mickey Mouse heads in an emblem of a sword!

And in the 2015 film you can pick out several Mickey Mouse heads from the doors to Cinderella’s home.

So, now we’ve shared some of our favourite facts with you, why not treat your little prince and princess to a Cinderella-themed gift!

Personalised Fabric Princess Growth Chart - £29.99

Watch as your little ones grow with their very own princess chart, featuring Cinderella along with other Disney princesses!

What’s more, you make the growth chart personal with their name and date of birth to make an extra special keepsake!



Personalised Clock – Disney Princess - £15.99

Make telling the time fun with an array of Disney princesses on hand to help!

Snow White, Aurora, Cinderella, Belle, Ariel and Jasmine all feature on the clock along with your little one’s name to create a truly magical and personal gift!



Personalised Disney Princess Adventure Book Large - £14.99

Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty and The Little Mermaid all feature in this book that your little one becomes a part of!

Choose some details about your little prince or princess and see how they become a character on their very own Disney adventure!


Can you think of any Cinderella facts we’ve missed out? If so, let us know!