There’s no doubt Magic Kingdom’s Cinderella Castle is an iconic centerpiece. Everyone will immediately recognize it as a landmark for Walt Disney World Resort. But have you ever gone through the castle to look at the incredible details inside the tunnel leading to Fantasyland? There’s quite an impressive array of decorative murals telling a summary of Disney’s Cinderella story!
Cinderella (1950) Movie
It’s easy to cherish classic Disney films such as Pinocchio and Bambi these days. But they weren’t quite so successful when they first premiered in movie theaters. In fact, both animated movies were considered financial flops! These movies were expensive productions that released during World War II. Disney lost out on movie ticket sales overseas during the war. Even though Disney’s short films were quite successful in the 1940s, they needed a win in the box office. Their movie studio was in debt and barely staying afloat. Then the pitch came to make a movie based on the Cinderella fairytale.
Making Cinderella was a gamble. It was the first full-length animated movie made by Disney Studio since Bambi. All of their theatrical releases between 1942 through 1950 were features with compilations of shorts and multiple stories. The studio team understood how important this movie was for the future of Disney Studios.
The production of Cinderella took two years for Disney animators to complete. Walt emphasized a musical romance story and the team knew they had to strive for perfection. The music and character design teams worked hard until they were satisfied with the final result. For instance, the songwriters finished making the music before Disney found their Cinderella voice actress.
The voice actress they hired, Ilene Woods, wasn’t even told what project she was auditioning for when they asked her to try singing a few of the tunes in her demo recordings. Walt Disney listened to multiple record samples until he listened to hers. He was won over with the way she sang “Bippidi-Boppidi-Boo,” “So This Is Love,” and “A Dream Is A Wish Your Heart Makes.”
The end result of Cinderella is Disney history. The animated feature was the biggest hit for Disney since Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. After a period of thirteen years, Walt Disney was now able to finance the future of his company. The Cinderella movie earned enough money to allow Walt to pursue the production of other 1950s Disney film projects and the creation of Disneyland!
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