YMMV / Cinderella

The Disney version

  • Adaptation Displacement: Some viewers misunderstand that this is adapted from the Charles Perrault version of the tale, not the Brothers Grimm version. Namely Disney did not drop the toe and heel cutting, as that's not in Perrault's version. Likewise the Fairy Godmother does not appear in the Grimm version, and there is a three-day ball there.
  • Alternate Character Interpretation: Some, like Doug Walker, see Cinderella as a broken down victim of domestic abuse who's been so conditioned since early childhood by her abusive stepmother to think she doesn't deserve better that she starts off believing it, until her taste of life and happiness away from her abusive family (at the ball, with the prince) convinces her that she is worth it, and that she needs to get out. (This is also why he dislikes the remake—it makes her more independent from the beginning, but he thinks that just makes her look stupid for not leaving.)
  • Base-Breaking Character:
    • Cinderella has received criticism for acting subservient to her stepfamily, and depending on others to help her achieve her dreams, as well as praise for maintaining faith in the face of abuse, and taking more steps towards achieving her dreams than Snow White and Aurora did. She has become far more assertive and confident in the more recent sequels.
    • The mice. Viewers will either find them annoying or adorable.
  • Broken Base: Some viewers hold it up as a true Disney classic and recognise it as the studio's return to form after the troubling World War II years. Others find it bland and unmemorable - it has notably less of a cult base than Alice in Wonderland, Sleeping Beauty or Lady and the Tramp.
  • Ear Worm:
  • Ensemble Darkhorse:
    • The Fairy Godmother of course. It's surprising to think that she's only in one scene, yet she's easily one of the most memorable things about the movie. It helps that her song is a huge Ear Worm too.
    • An odd example. The pink dress Cinderella was planning to wear to the ball is quite popular among fans, although not to the extent of her more famous ballgown. Merchandise of the pink dress exists, and there are plenty of people who cosplay in it as well.
  • Fans Prefer the New Her: At least one person opted to Cosplay in Cinderella's torn dress - the very thing that nearly pushed her over the Despair Event Horizon.
  • Fashion Victim Villains: The stepsisters.
  • "Funny Aneurysm" Moment: Cinderella was finally identified when the prince fit the glass slipper on her foot. Nearly fifty years later, the O. J. Simpson trial used a similar method (fitting a glove onto O. J.'s hand) to determine whether or not O. J. was guilty. Even better, the expression "if the shoe fits" (derived from the original fairy tale) sounds amusingly similar to a phrase used by one of O. J.'s lawyers: "If the glove doesn't fit, you must acquit." This can be considered Hilarious in Hindsight or a "Funny Aneurysm" Moment, depending on how you feel about Black Comedy.
  • Girl Show Ghetto: The Disney Princess franchise pushed several Disney movies into this, but Cinderella might have fallen the most deeply. The Platinum Edition DVD has a girlier set of games than any other movie in the collection, and the Cinderella Trilogy Blu-Ray/DVD Boxset comes packaged in a white jewelry box. In the UK, Cinderella DVDs actually got pulled out of the Disney Vault for a few weeks of 2011, so families anticipating the Royal Wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton could share them with their daughters.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • Cinderella plans to wear a pink dress to the ball, but ends up wearing a white one. Although it's shades of white in the film, it's coloured blue in merchandise. This is hilarious when one thinks of the next Disney Princess - whose fairy godmothers had a war over whether her dress should be blue or pink. And the one who changes her dress from pink in this film is voiced by Verna Felton - who voices the fairy that wants to keep Aurora's dress pink.
    • Another Sleeping Beauty one. In both films the heroine arrives home to have her friends greet her with a new dress, saying "surprise, happy birthday". The fact that Gus says the line mistakenly is amusing since it actually is Aurora's birthday the next time around.
  • Iron Woobie: Cinderella. Even with all the abuse and hate her stepmother put her through, be it by herself or through her daughters, she never lost hope that someday things would look up for her... at least not until the stepsisters destroy the dress she wanted to wear to the ball (and said dress was made from clothes belonging to her mother, so it makes sense that she'd be upset).
  • Lost in Imitation: Many a Cinderella shout-outs will feature the heroine donning a ballgown and hairstyle inspired by this version. And many of them will often involve a blue dress, which actually comes from the merchandise rather than the actual film. The dress is white in the film, but is usually coloured blue in associated artwork.
  • Memetic Mutation: "Happy birthday!" Explanation 
  • Mis-blamed: Fans of the Grimmified version of Cinderella tend to accuse Disney of toning the story down by skipping over the gory scenes. Actually, the version Disney chose to adapt is the version written by Charles Perrault, which didn't have any gore to begin with. The Grimm's version was also written over a century after Perrault's.
  • Moral Event Horizon: You can understand Lady Tremaine wanting her own daughters to come first, and even keeping the more beautiful Cinderella from going to the ball because she would outshine the Sisters. But when she actually locks Cinderella in the tower even though her own daughters can't possibly fit the slipper, it's nothing but pure spite, even though her step-daughter marrying the prince would be a fine way to enter high society. Breaking the slipper is just icing on her ruthless cake by that point.
  • Never Live It Down: The Prince for being in the film for thirty seconds despite his big role in the story, and for trying to find his true love via shoe size rather than facial recognition. (Though most viewers who accuse him of this seem to forget that the King, who was so desperate to get his son hitched to any girl ASAP so he could start giving him grand kids ASAP, deliberately misconstrued the prince's vow and used his Exact Wordsnote  to force the Prince to marry the first girl to fit the slipper, that the King himself sent out behind the Prince's back.)
  • Ugly Cute:
    • Drizella and Anastasia. Anastasia's cuteness increases subtly in the sequels with her Heel–Face Turn.
    • Also Lucifer. It helps that people tend to love animated cats and his expressions are so goofy it's hard not to find them cute.
  • Uncanny Valley: To modern-day viewers, Cinderella can come off as this occasionally - in particular, her blinking looks really creepy, like someone moving a doll's eyelids, making her sometimes look like a mannequin.
  • Unnecessary Makeover: As noted above, some people prefer the pink dress Cinderella was going to wear to the ball - especially as it was her mother's. In a meta sense, fans feel this way about Cinderella getting depicted with blonde hair and a blue dress in the Disney Princess merchandise - rather than her strawberry blonde hair and silver-white dress in the film.
  • Values Dissonance: "Leave the sewing to the women". What's weird is that it's a lady mouse who says this after Jaq volunteers to do the sewing! Then some male mice are clearly shown sewing later on anyway, making the line even weirder. The line can makes sense if the lady mice thought the men would be bad at it. Given his lack of stealth and sometimes carelessness (as seen during the sewing scene where he and Gus nearly cut off another mouse's tail), it's a reasonable fear.
  • What an Idiot: You could say that Cinderella picks up the Idiot Ball in the climax, when she goes completely dizzy over the Grand Duke touring the houses, looking for the mysterious girl who danced with the prince all night. It's what makes Lady Tremaine suspect her and lock her in her room, after all. But is it stupid, or is it just a perfectly understandable reaction to learning that you could be marrying a prince?
    • Whatever your opinion, you have to admit you wouldn't get your happy BSOD without it.
    • Was Cinderella an idiot to come downstairs in her new dress, even though her step-mother was doing everything possible to keep her from the ball? Or a case of Good Cannot Comprehend Evil, with her being too kind to see Lady Tremaine's treachery coming when she'd held up her own end of the deal so diligently?
  • What Do You Mean, It's Not Didactic?: According to this article, when the film first premiered in 1950, it's been thought a fashion allegory between Cinderella's Gorgeous Garment Generation from the tattered maidservant dress to the sparkly silver ballgown was about the transition from wartime austerity to full-time postwar glamour from Christian Dior's introduction of his "New Look" designs.
    Christian Dior: Now that Cinderella’s fairy godmother no longer exists, the couturier must be the magician.
  • What Measure Is a Non-Badass?: Cinderella is generally used as the Ur-Example of the "weak, passive" Damsel in Distress Princess Classic that gets bashed in this feminist era. While Snow White and Aurora are also pretty meek, they get at least a little bit of leeway since there's action in their films, even if they don't participate in it (the dwarves chasing the Evil Queen off a cliff; Philip battling Maleficint). Cinderella gets no such leeway, since her film is overall much more sedate.
  • The Woobie: Cinderella.

The Rodgers and Hammerstein version

  • Adaptation Displacement: The 1957 version never received a VHS release, and never aired on television again until 2004, causing people to consider the 1965 version the original.
  • Critical Dissonance: Although the 1997 movie got mixed reviews from critics, it was one of the highest rated TV musicals in years and also is fondly remembered by young girls of color for starring a black Cinderella.
  • Ear Worm:
    • "The Prince is giving a ball! The Prince is giving a ball!" King Maximilian even tires of his subjects singing the song every day in the 1957 version.
    • "Impossible! For a plain yellow pumpkin to become a golden carriage! Impossible! For a plain country bumpkin and a prince to join in marriage!"
  • Ensemble Darkhorse: Lionel in the 1997 version is a delight. There's even a stage adaptation that includes him in it, and if the actor playing him pulls it off, he can easily steal the show.
  • Evil is Sexy: Bernadette Peters as the 1997 version's stepmother.
  • Heartwarming in Hindsight: When the 1957 version came to DVD after a 47-year absence from television and home video, the phrase, "Impossible things are happening every day!" seemed to take on new meaning.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: In the 1997 remake, during the opening pan through the streets of the village, someone almost runs into a cabbage cart; the driver just barely manages to stop it from overturning, but some of his produce still rolls into the street. A highly enjoyable and highly familiar sight for Avatar: The Last Airbender fans eight years later.
  • Narm: "The Prince Is Giving a Ball" in the 90's version. In the original and the 60's remake, the song is about many of the local girls conniving to win the prince. In the 90's remake, probably out of political correctness, it is literally about preparing for a ball.
    • The ridicule game in the Broadway version. Hell, you know how the 90's version gets flack for being "overly PC"? The Broadway version plays this up to 11.
  • Older Than They Think: As progressive as the 1997 script appears to be, in reality it is closer to the 1950's script than it would like to admit.
  • Retroactive Recognition:
    • Jon Cypher made his television debut in the 1957 version as Prince Christopher, and later became better known as Fletcher Daniels from Hill Street Blues.
    • Stuart Damon made his television debut in the 1965 version as Prince Christopher, and later became better known as Dr. Alan Quartermaine from General Hospital.
    • Santino Fontana, the original Broadway Prince Topher in 2013, later lent his voice to Prince Hans in Frozen.
  • Special Effect Failure: Cinderella's flying carriage in the 1965 version looks like a cel or cut-out puppet with a painted background sliding behind it. During the shots of Cinderella inside the carriage, the "countryside" seen in her window looks like it was added with a chroma key effect.

Other versions

  • Germans Love David Hasselhoff: The 1973 Czech version, 'Tři oříšky pro Popelku' ('Three Nuts for Cinderella'), is highly beloved in countries like Germany, Slovakia, Norway, Ukraine etc. being shown annually as a Christmas special.