Cinderella, based on another Brothers Grimm fairy tale, was chosen for its similarity to the Snow White story. The film’s immediate source was Charles Perrault’s French version of the fairy tale, which tells the story of a young girl whose father dies, leaving her at the mercy of her oppressive stepmother and two unsympathetic stepsisters. As in Snow White, Cinderella gets the help of a few friends-in this case singing mice and birds as well as a Fairy Godmother-to escape the prison of her servitude and win the heart of Prince Charming. Along the way to its happy ending-a Disney trademark-the film featured lively animation sequences and enduring songs like “A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes” and the Oscar-nominated “Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boo.”
Luckily, for Walt Disney, Cinderella became one of Disney’s best-loved films and one of the highest-grossing features of 1950. Disney had not had a huge hit since Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937). At the time, his studio was over $4 million in debt and was on the verge of bankruptcy. The production of this film was regarded as a major gamble on Disney’s part. At a cost of nearly $3,000,000, Disney insiders claimed that if this movie had failed at the box office, it would have been the end of the Walt Disney Studios. Cinderella received overwhelmingly critical acclaim and many international film honors, including three Academy Award nominations. Much like Cinderella herself, the Walt Disney Studios had its own rags to riches story, which eventually propelled them back to greatness and prominence after years of misfortune.
*Parts of this article were taken from history.com and imdb.com.