Cinderella and her fairy godmother in an illustration by Sylvester Charles Herbert from the 1922 American textbook Journeys Through Bookland.

"Cinderella" (Italian: "Cenerentola"; French: "Cendrillon ou la Petite Pantoufle de verre"; German: "Aschenputtel") is a European fairy tale. There are similar stories from the British Isles and similar tales exist in the folklore of several Asian countries.

The story's title character and protagonist is a young woman who, although she comes from a wealthy family, lives a life of misery and drudgery. She suffers at the hands of her cruel stepmother and stepsisters who treat her like a servant. Cinderella's stepsisters go to a ball at which a prince or king will be present. They do not expect Cinderella to attend. With some help, usually supernatural in nature, Cinderella gets to attend the ball. She is very beautifully dressed and, as a result, her stepsisters do not recognize her. Cinderella attracts the attention of the prince or king. She leaves the ball in a hurry, leaving one of her shoes behind. The prince or king decides to marry the owner of the shoe. He finds that the shoe fits Cinderella exactly and marries her. Cinderella's miserable life of hard work is over and she lives happily ever after. Her stepmother and stepsisters may be punished for their mistreatment of her.

The earliest known written version of the European "Cinderella" story is "La Gatta Cenerentola" ("The Cinderella Cat") by the Italian author Giambattista Basile. It is included in Lo Cunto de li cunti (The Story of Stories), also known as Il Pentamerone, Basile's anthology of stories in the Neapolitan language that was originally published in two volumes in 1634 and 1635. A retelling of the story is included in Histoires ou Contes du temps passé (Fairy Tales from Past Times with Morals or Mother Goose Tales), the 1697 anthology of fairy tales by Charles Perrault. The majority of retellings and adaptations of the tale with which many people in the English-speaking world are familiar continue to follow Perrault's version of the story fairly closely. Another version of the story is included in Kinder- und Hausmärchen (Children's and Household Tales), the 1812 anthology of German folktales compiled by the Brothers Grimm.

There have been numerous adaptations of the "Cinderella" story to other media. The word Cinderella has entered the English language with various meanings, including "a mistreated and impoverished girl", "neglected and denied resources" and "rising unexpectedly from obscurity to success'.


Version in Giambattista Basile's Pentamerone

Image of Giambattista Basile from an 1891 edition of the Pentamerone.

Zezolla is the daughter of a prince. Her mother has died and her father has remarried. Zezolla and her stepmother dislike each other. Zezolla has a tutor named Carmosina whom she likes very much. Zezolla wishes that Carmosina were her stepmother. She tells her tutor this. Carmosina comes up with a plan to make this happen. She says that Zezolla should wait until her father has gone out and then tell her stepmother that she wants to exchange her dress for an old one out of a heavy trunk in the attic. According to Carmosina, the stepmother will be happy to find a tattered old dress for Zezolla to wear. She will ask Zezolla to hold up the lid of the truck while she rummages in it. Zezolla should then let go of the lid of the trunk. It will break the stepmother's neck and kill her. Everything happens as Carmosina said it would. Zezolla kills her stepmother.

After her stepmother's death, Zezolla begins telling her father that she should marry Carmosina. The prince does not take this suggestion seriously at first. Eventually, however, Zezolla persuades her father that Carmosina would make a good wife. The prince marries Carmosina. At their wedding party, a dove comes to Zezolla. The bird tells Zezolla that whenever she wants anything, she need only send her request to the Dove of the Fairies on the island of Sardinia.

At first, Carmosina treats her new stepdaughter Zezolla extremely well. Then Carmosina's six daughters come to live with her. Carmosina praises her daughters constantly. The prince comes to think of Carmosina's daughters as being better than Zezolla and almost completely forgets about his own daughter. Zezolla becomes neglected and ill-treated. She soon becomes nothing more than a servant in her own house. She no longer has her own room and sleeps in the kitchen. Even her name becomes forgotten and instead of Zezolla she is referred to as Cinderella (Cenerentola).[1]

1881 painting of Cinderella by the British artist Sir John Everett Millais.

The prince has to visit Sardinia. He asks his stepdaughters if they would like him to bring anything back for them. They all ask for expensive presents. He then jokingly asks Zezolla if she would like a present too. She says that she just wants her father to ask the Dove of the Fairies to send her something. She adds, "and if you forget my request, may you be unable to stir either backwards or forwards." The prince gets presents for Carmosina's daughters. He does not, however, carry out Zezolla's request. When the time comes for him to leave Sardinia, the ship cannot get out of the harbor. The ship's captain then has a dream in which a fairy tells him that the ship cannot move because the prince has not kept his promise to his daughter. The prince then goes to the Grotto of the Fairies and asks for Zezolla to be sent something. A beautiful woman appears. She gives the prince a date tree, a golden hoe, a golden pail and a silk handkerchief.

When the prince returns home, he gives the presents to Zezolla. She plants the date tree in a pot, hoes the soil around it with the golden hoe, waters it with the golden pail and wipes its leaves with the silk handkerchief. The date tree soon grows very tall and a fairy emerges from it. The fairy tells Zezolla that she will have her wishes granted and will be able to leave the house without her sisters knowing about it by going to the date tree and saying,

'My little Date-tree, my golden tree,
With a golden hoe I have hoed thee,
With a golden can i have watered thee,
With a silken cloth I have wiped thee dry
Now strip thee, and dress me speedily." .

When she wants the wish to be undone, Zezolla need only repeat the verse, replacing the last line with, "strip me, and dress thee."

A ball is to be held. Zezolla's stepsisters are to attend it. Zezolla is not expected to go. As soon as her stepsisters leave, Zezolla goes to the date tree and says the verse. She is given a beautiful dress, a horse, twelve pages to attend her and a large amount of gold coins. Zezolla goes to the ball. Carmosina's daughters notice the beautiful young woman and regard her with jealousy. They do not recognize her as Zezolla. The king himself attends the ball. Zezolla attracts his attention. He tells one of his servants to follow the young woman home to find out where she lives. Zezolla notices that she is being followed. She scatters the gold coins on the ground. The servant stops to pick them up, allowing Zezolla to get away.

When Zezolla's stepsisters return home, they try to make Zezolla feel jealous by telling her about what they saw at the ball. They tell her about the beautiful woman that they saw there, not realizing that Zezolla was that woman.

Early 20th century illustration for "Cinderella" by the American artist Sarah Noble Ives.

Some time later, another ball is held. After her stepsisters have left, Zezolla again goes to the date tree and says the verse. Many female servants appear who dress and beautify Zezolla. She travels to the ball in a coach drawn by six horses and is attended by several pages and footmen. Zezolla is also given some pearls and precious stones. At the ball, Zezolla again attracts the attention of the king. Again, the king gets a servant to follow Zezolla. She distracts the servant by scattering the precious gems and pearls on the ground for him.

A third ball is held. Having gone to the date tree and said the verse, Zezolla arrives at the ball in a golden coach. So many servants attend her that she looks like a queen. As before, Zezolla attracts the attention of the king and, as before, he gets one of his servants to follow her. Zezolla tells her coachman to leave as quickly as possible. She loses one of her slippers when the coach goes. The king's servant is unable to follow the coach. He picks up the slipper, however, and brings it to the king.

The king holds a banquet to which all the women in the kingdom are invited. All of the women who attend the banquet are made to try on the slipper. It does not fit any of them. The king suspects that not all of the women in the kingdom are there. He says that another banquet will be held the following evening and that all of the women in the kingdom should be there. The prince says that he has another daughter who never leaves the house and is not worthy of sitting at the king's table. The king insists on Zezolla attending the banquet the next evening.

The following evening, the king notices Zezolla immediately. When the slipper is brought towards Zezolla, it flies onto her foot as if it had been magnetically attracted. Zezolla is immediately crowned queen. Everybody bows down before Zezolla, apart from her stepsisters who leave the banquet in disgust.

It is implied that Zezolla's stepsisters are punished in some way, although it is not specified how.

Charles Perrault version

Front cover of a 1930 French picture book edition of "Cinderella".

A gentleman has a daughter who, like her late mother, is extremely kind and sweet-natured. As his second wife, the man marries an extremely proud and haughty woman. She has two daughters whose personalities are exactly like that of their mother. As soon as the marriage has taken place, the gentleman's second wife takes a dislike to his daughter. The woman knows that the girl's goodness makes her own daughters look even worse. For that reason, the girl is given all of the most unpleasant tasks to do in the house, including cleaning the rooms of her stepmother and stepsisters. She sleeps on a mattress of straw in the attic. Having finished her work, she warms herself by sitting at the corner of the fireplace among the cinders. She becomes known as Cinderella (Cendrillon)[2] as a result. Cinderella puts up with all her ill treatment with good grace and dignity. She is unable to complain to her father because he has become totally dominated by her stepmother.

The king's son gives a ball to which all the members of high society are invited. Cinderella's stepsisters are going to attend it. Knowing that Cinderella has good taste, they ask her what clothes they should wear to the ball. Cinderella willing gives them good advice and even volunteers to do their hair for them. While Cinderella is doing their hair, her stepsisters mockingly ask her if she is going to the ball too. Although she knows that her stepsisters are making fun of her, Cinderella answers that she cannot go because she does not have any decent clothes to wear.

On the evening of the ball, Cinderella watches her sisters leave until they are out of sight. She then cries. Cinderella's fairy godmother appears. She says that Cinderella will go to the ball. She magically transforms a pumpkin into a golden coach, six mice into horses, a rat into a coachman and six lizards into footmen. The fairy godmother then touches Cinderella's tattered old clothes with her magic wand. Cinderella is then dressed in clothes of silver and gold studded with jewels and has two glass slippers on her feet. Before Cinderella goes, her fairy godmother tells her that the magic will only last until midnight and that Cinderella will have to leave the ball before then.

Early 20th century depiction of Cinderella and her fairy godmother by the British artist William Henry Margetson.

When Cinderella arrives at the ball, everybody is impressed by her beauty and elegance. Believing her to be a princess, the prince himself escorts her inside and seats her at the best place at the table. The prince dances with Cinderella. Everybody is impressed by how gracefully she moves. The prince gives her oranges and lemons. Cinderella willingly gives some of the fruit to her stepsisters. They are surprised by this because they do not recognize the beautiful woman. Cinderella is careful to leave the ball fifteen minutes before midnight. As she leaves, the prince tells her to come back to the ball the following night.

Cinderella finds her fairy godmother. She tells her what happened at the ball and says that she wants to go back the following night. Her stepsisters return home. They tell her about the beautiful and kind princess at the ball who gave them oranges and lemons. They say that nobody knows the identity of the princess and that the prince is very keen to find out who she is.

The following night, Cinderella goes back to the ball. She is dressed even more beautifully than she had been the night before. Cinderella enjoys herself very much and loses track of time. She is surprised when she hears the first chime of midnight. She hurries away, leaving one of her glass slippers behind her. Her dress is transformed back into rags before she has left the palace grounds. The other glass slipper, however, remains on her foot. The prince asks the guards if they saw a princess leave. They say that they only saw a woman who looked more like a peasant than a lady.

When Cinderella arrives home, she puts her glass slipper in her pocket. When her stepsisters return home, they tell her that the beautiful princess was there again and that she left one of her glass slippers behind. They add that the prince picked up the slipper and is keen to find its owner.

1999 depiction of the prince and Cinderella by artist Elena Ringo.

A few days later, the prince announces that he will marry whoever's foot fits the glass slipper. It is first tried on by princesses, duchesses and all the women at court. It does not fit any of them. A gentleman then takes the glass slipper to Cinderella's stepsisters. It does not fit them. Cinderella asks if she can try on the slipper. Her stepsisters laugh at the suggestion. The gentleman, however, allows it. The glass slipper fits Cinderella perfectly. Cinderella then produces the other glass slipper from her pocket. Her fairy godmother reappears. She touches Cinderella's rags with her magic wand. They are again transformed into beautiful clothes.

Cinderella's stepsisters realize that she was the beautiful and kind princess whom they met at the ball. They fall at her feet and beg to be forgiven for how badly they treated her. Cinderella gets them to stand up and kisses them. She tells them that she wholeheartedly forgives them and says that she wants to be their friend always. Cinderella is taken to the prince and marries him a few days later. She gets her two stepsisters to come to live with her at the palace and has them married to two fine noblemen from the court.

According to Perrault, the moral of the story is either that being kind is better than being beautiful or that it is difficult to advance in society without the help of godparents.

Brothers Grimm version

1910 illustration for "Cinderella" by the German artist Hermann Vogel.

A rich man's dying wife tells her only daughter that, if the girl promises always to be good, she will look down on her from Heaven and take care of her. When the woman dies, she is buried in the rich man's garden. Her daughter tends her grave.

The rich man marries again. His second wife brings her two daughters to live with her. They are beautiful but have extremely unpleasant personalities. They take an instant dislike to their stepsister. They take away her fine clothes and force her to wear an old gray dress. They make her do all the housework and constantly mock her. Having no bed, the girl is forced to sleep in front of the fireplace among the ashes and cinders. As a result, she is constantly dirty and becomes known as Cinderella (Aschenputtel).[3]

Cinderella's father has to go to town. He asks his stepdaughters what presents they would like him to bring back for them. They ask for fine clothes, pearls and diamonds. He asks Cinderella the same question. She asks him to bring back the first twig that brushes against his hat when he sets off on the journey home. When he returns home, Cinderella's father gives her a twig from a hazel tree. She plants it in her mother's grave and waters it with her tears. The twig soon grows into a large tree in which a bird builds its nest. The bird takes care of Cinderella. Whatever she wishes for is brought to her by the bird.[4]

19th century illustration by the German artist Alexander Zick which depicts birds coming to the aid of Cinderella.

The king's son is to hold a feast that will last for three days. He plans to choose a wife from the women who will attend the three balls. Cinderella has to dress her stepsisters and do their hair before they go to the first ball. Cinderella wants to go to the ball too. She begs her stepmother to let her go. Cinderella's stepmother empties a dish full of peas into the ash heap in the kitchen. She says that Cinderella can go to the ball if she can get every pea out of the ash heap within two hours. Cinderella recites a verse that makes a large number of birds come into the kitchen. The birds pick the peas out of the ash heap in less than an hour and put them on a plate. Cinderella takes the plate to her stepmother. Cinderella's stepmother still does not want her to go to the ball. She empties two dishes full of peas into the ash heap. She says that Cinderella can go to the ball if she can get all of the peas out of the ash heap within an hour. Cinderella again calls on the birds. They get all of the peas out of the ash heap in less than thirty minutes. Cinderella takes the peas to her stepmother. The woman still refuses to let Cinderella go to the ball on the grounds that she has no decent clothes to wear and does not know how to dance.

After her stepsisters have left, Cinderella sits under the hazel tree and says,

"Shake, shake hazel-tree,
Gold and silver over me."

The bird that lives in the tree brings Cinderella a fine dress and silk slippers. Cinderella goes to the ball. Her stepsisters see her but do not recognize her. They think that she must be a princess. The prince dances with Cinderella and does not allow anyone else to dance with her.

Postage stamp issued in West Berlin in 1965 which depicts birds bringing a dress to Cinderella.

Late in the evening, Cinderella wants to go home. The prince follows her because he wants to find out where she lives. Cinderella notices that she is being followed. When she reaches her home, she goes into the pigeon-house and closes the door. Unseen by the prince, she runs through the pigeon-house and into the hazel tree. She takes off her dress and leaves it at the foot of the tree for the bird to take away. She puts on her old gray dress and goes inside the house. The prince waits until Cinderella's father comes home. He tells him that there is a beautiful young woman in the pigeon-house. The prince and Cinderella's father go to investigate. They find nobody there. When they go inside the house, they see Cinderella sleeping in front of the fireplace.

The following evening, after her stepmother and stepsisters have left, Cinderella again goes to the hazel tree and recites the verse. The bird brings her an even finer dress than she was brought the previous evening. Cinderella again goes to the ball and again dances with the prince all evening. When Cinderella leaves the ball, the prince follows her again. Noticing that she is being followed, Cinderella hides in a pear tree when she gets to her house. Unseen by the prince, she slides down the other side of the tree, changes her clothes and goes inside the house. Again, the prince waits until Cinderella's father comes home. He tells the man that there is a beautiful woman in the pear tree. The prince and Cinderella's father cut the tree down but do not find anybody in it. Again, they see Cinderella sleeping in front of the fireplace when they go inside the house.

Postage stamp issued in West Berlin in 1965 which depicts Cinderella leaving behind her golden slipper.

On the third evening, Cinderella again goes to the hazel tree and repeats the verse. The bird brings Cinderella a beautiful dress and golden slippers. At the ball, the prince dances with Cinderella all evening and will not let anyone else dance with her. While leaving the ball in a hurry, Cinderella leaves one of her golden slippers behind.

The prince declares that he will marry whoever's foot fits the golden slipper. It is tried on by one of Cinderella's stepsisters. The slipper almost fits her but her big toe is too large to get inside it. Following her mother's advice, she cuts off her big toe and manages to get her foot into the slipper. She and the prince begin to ride away on a horse. When they pass the hazel tree over Cinderella's mother's grave, the birds in the tree begin to sing a song in which they say that there is blood in the slipper and that the prince's true bride is till inside the house.

Postage stamp issued in West Berlin in 1965 which depicts Cinderella and the prince riding away on a horse.

Cinderella's other stepsister tries on the slipper. She is just able to squeeze her foot into the slipper, although she makes her heel bleed in the process. Again, the prince starts to ride away on a horse with the woman he thinks will be his bride. when they pass the hazel tree, the birds in it begin to sing that there is still blood in the slipper and that the prince has not yet found his true bride.

Although her stepmother does not want to allow it and even though her father does not think that she could possibly have been the young woman with whom the prince danced at the ball, Cinderella is permitted to try on the slipper too. The slipper fits her and the prince recognizes her as the woman with whom he danced. They ride away together on a horse. When they pass the hazel tree, the birds in it sing that there is now no blood in the slipper and that the prince has found his true bride.

Cinderella's stepsisters are punished for their cruelty. When they go to Cinderella's wedding, birds come down and peck out their eyes, leaving them blinded.[5]


The earliest known written story which resembles that of "Cinderella" is the tale of Rhodopis. It is included in the book Geographica, written by the Greek geographer Strabo in the 1st century BCE. In Strabo's account, Rhodopis is a Greek slave woman who lives in the Egyptian city of Naucratis. While Rhodopis is bathing one day, an eagle snatches one of her sandals and flies away with it. The eagle flies to Memphis and drops the sandal there. It lands in the lap of the pharaoh, who is holding court outside. As well as being struck by the strangeness of the occurrence, the pharaoh is also impressed by the shape of the sandal. He orders that a search be made for the sandal's owner. When Rhodopis is found, she is brought to Memphis and becomes the pharaoh's wife.

Another story with a long history that has some similarities to the European fairy tale "Cinderella" is the Chinese folktale about Ye Xian (Simplified Chinese: 叶限; Traditional Chinese: 葉限). The earliest known version of the story was written by Duan Chengshi (Chinese: 段成式) in the 9th century CE and is included in the book Miscellaneous Morsels from Youyang (Simplified Chinese: 酉阳杂俎; Traditional Chinese: 酉陽雜俎).

1908 illustration of a goldfish.

In the story, the chief of a group of people who live in caves has two wives. Ye Xian is one of the two daughters that he has, having one with each wife. Ye Xian's mother and father die. Ye Xian's stepmother dislikes the girl because she thinks that the highly talented Ye Xian makes her own daughter look bad. For that reason, Ye Xian is treated badly and given all the worst housework to do. The only pleasure that Ye Xian gets in life is seeing a beautiful fish. Each day, the fish comes to the water's edge to be fed by Ye Xian. When Ye Xian's stepmother finds out about this, she kills the fish and eats it. Ye Xian is very upset by the death of the fish. A fairy then appears to her. The fairy tells Ye Xian that the bones of the fish have the limited power to grant wishes and that Ye Xian should use that gift wisely. Ye Xian takes the fishbones out of the trash heap and keeps them in a safe place.

A party is to be held to celebrate the New Year and to give young men and young women the opportunity to find partners. Ye Xian's stepmother does not want her to attend it. After her stepmother and stepsister leave, Ye Xian asks the fishbones for clothes to wear to the party, She suddenly finds herself wearing a beautiful blue dress, a cloak of kingfisher feathers and golden slippers. Ye Xian goes to the party but leaves hurriedly when her stepmother and stepsister appear to be on the point of recognizing her. She leaves one of her golden slippers behind. Before Ye Xian arrives home, most of her clothes are transformed back into rags. The other golden slipper, however, remains on her foot. She hides it in her bed of straw.

A merchant sells the golden slipper to another merchant who sells it to the king. The king wants to find the owner of the slipper. Some women try it on but it does not fit any of them. The slipper is then put on display by the side of a road with a notice saying that it should be returned to its rightful owner. Some of the king's guards watch out of sight while women try on the slipper. One dark night, Ye Xian goes to take back the slipper. She is immediately arrested and brought before the king.

The king does not believe that a woman in rags could be the owner of the golden slipper, although he finds Ye Xian beautiful He accompanies Ye Xian back to her home, where she produces the other golden slipper. When Ye Xian puts on the two golden slippers, her ragged clothes are changed back into the beautiful blue dress and the cloak of peacock feathers.

The king marries Ye Xian. her stepmother and stepsister are not permitted to visit her. They remain in their cave home until they are eventually killed by a shower of falling rocks.

Other Asian folktales that are very similar to the Chinese tale of Ye Xian are the Malaysian and Indonesian story "Bawang Merah Bawang Putih", the Vietnamese story "Tam and Cam" and the Korean story "Kangjwi and Patjwi".

19th century painting of Goneril, Regan and Cordelia by the British artist Gustav Pope.

The story of Cordelia, as written in Geoffrey of Monmouth's 12th century work History of the Kings of Britain, has some similarities to the tale of "Cinderella". In Geoffrey's account, King Leir of Britain has three daughters whose names are Goneril, Regan and Cordelia. Of the three, Cordelia, Leir's youngest and most virtuous daughter, is Leir's favorite. The elderly Leir decides to abdicate and divide his kingdom between Goneril and Regan and their husbands and Cordelia. Leir asks his daughters how much they love him. Goneril and Regan make great protestations of how much they love their father. Cordelia's virtue, however, does not allow her to flatter her father by making false claims about how much she loves him. As a result, the offended Leir leaves Cordelia with no property in Britain. She is banished from the kingdom and given no dowry. Nevertheless, the King of the Franks agrees to marry Cordelia and she goes to live with him in Gaul.

Leir is mistreated by his cruel daughters Goneril and Regan and their husbands. He flees to Gaul and seeks help from Cordelia and her husband. Cordelia raises an army and invades Britain. Leir is restored to the throne. After his death, Cordelia rules the island as Queen of Britain.

The story was later adapted by William Shakespeare as the play King Lear. Shakespeare's version of the tale, however, ends tragically. Cordelia's invasion of Britain fails and she is killed.

Stories from The Thousand and One Nights which resemble that of "Cinderella" include "Abdallah ibn Fadil and his Brothers", "Judar and his Brethren" (which has a tragic ending), "The Eldest Lady's Tale" and "The Second Sheikh's Tale".


1899 poster for a performance in Paris of Jean Massenet's opera based on "Cinderella".

Operas based on "Cinderella" were written by the composers Jean-Louis Laruette and Louis Anseaume (1759), Nicoas Isouard (1810), Stefano Pavesi (1814), Gioachino Rossini (1817), Jules Massenet (1894), Ermanno Wolf-Ferrari (1900), Gustav Holst (1901), Pauline Viardot-Garcia (1904), Leo Blech (1905), Jorge Peña Hen (1965), Peter Manwell Davies (1979), Paul Reade (1980) and Alma Deutscher (2016). Music for ballets based on "Cinderella" was composed by Ferdinand Langer (1878), Baron Boris Fitinhof-Schell (1893), Johann Straus II (1901), Frank Martin (1941) and Sergei Profokiev (1945).

The earliest known British pantomime[6] based on "Cinderella" was first performed at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane in London in 1804. Pantomimes based on "Cinderella" continue to be regularly performed by both amateur and professional companies at theaters across the United Kingdom each year at Christmastime and the start of the New Year. In pantomime versions of the story, Cinderella's father is usually depicted as a man who is experiencing financial difficulties. For that reason, he is usually given the name Baron Hardup and Cinderella's family home is often called Hardup Hall. In pantomimes, Cinderella's stepsisters are almost always referred to as the Ugly Sisters.[7] They are also almost always played by men in drag. Pantomimes based on "Cinderella" usually include a character known as Buttons, a young male servant who wears a bellboy's uniform. Cinderella sees Buttons as her only friend. Buttons, however, is in love with Cinderella. This allows for a brief moment of pathos towards the end of the performance when Buttons, a character popular with the audience, realizes that his sweetheart is going to marry somebody else. Another character who often appears in pantomime versions of the story is the prince's servant Dandini, a character who originated in Gioachino Rossini's 1817 opera based on "Cinderella". There is often a scene early in the pantomime in which the prince swaps clothes with Dandini before he meets Cinderella for the first time. Consequently, Cinderella falls in love with the prince while believing him to be Dandini. Traditionally, both Dandini and the prince are played by young women.

Stuart Damon as the prince and Lesley Ann Warren as Cinderella in a publicity photo for the 1969 CBS production of the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical Cinderella.

Mr. Cinders, a musical about a male Cinderella with music by Vivian Ellis and Richard Myers and book by Clifford Grey and Greatrex Newman, was first performed at the Adelphi Theatre. London on February 11, 1929. The musical Cindy, with music and lyrics by Johnny Brandon and book by Joe Sauter and Mike Sawyer opened Off-Broadway at the Gate Orpheum Theater in 1964.

The musical Cinderella, with music by Richard Rodgers and lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein, was originally written for television. Its first performance was shown live on the CBS network in the United States on March 31, 1957. Other American television productions of the musical were first shown on CBS on February 22, 1965 and on ABC on November 2, 1997. The musical was first performed on stage at the London Coliseum on December 18, 1958. It was first performed on stage in the United States in 1961. A production of it was staged by the New York City Opera in 1993. It was not until March 3, 2013, however, that the musical was first performed on Broadway when it opened at the Broadway Theater, 53rd Street.

Cinderella, along with Rapunzel and Little Red Riding Hood, is one of several fairy tale characters that appear in Into the Woods, a musical with music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim and book by James Lapine. The musical was first performed at the Old Globe Theater in San Diego, California on December 4, 1986. Its first Broadway performance was at the Martin Beck Theater on November 5, 1987. A film based on the musical produced by Walt Disney Pictures, in which Cinderella is played by Anna Kendrick, was released in 2014.

Betty Boop as Cinderella in a screenshot from the 1934 cartoon Poor Cinderella.

The first screen adaptation of "Cinderella", a French silent movie directed by Georges Méliès and starring Mademoiselle Barral as Cinderella, was released on December 25, 1899. Hundreds of movie versions of "Cinderella", widely considered to be the most filmed story in the history of cinema, have been produced since then. The 1950 animated feature film Cinderella from Walt Disney Pictures, in which the title character is voiced by Ilene Woods, remains one of the best known and most popular adaptations of the story around the world. Poor Cinderella (USA 1934) is the only one of Max and Dave Fleischer's Betty Boop cartoons to have been made in color. Cinderella Meets Fella (USA 1938) is a Warner Bros Merrie Melodie cartoon in which the prince is Egghead, a character who later evolved into Elmer Fudd. Ancient Fistory (USA 1953) is a Famous Studios cartoon in which Popeye the Sailor is a male Cinderella who courts Princess Olive Oyl. Cinderfella (USA 1960) is a comedy in which Jerry Lewis plays a male Cinderella. Tři oříšky pro Popelku (Czechoslovakia/East Germany 1973), known in English as Three Gifts for Cinderella, Three Nuts for Cinderella and Three Wishes for Cinderella, stars Libuše Šafránková. The film has a sizable cult following in several European countries. It is shown on television in the Czech Republic, Germany, Norway, Slovakia, Switzerland and the Ukraine every year around Christmastime. The Slipper and the Rose (UK 1976) is a musical version of the "Cinderella" story with songs by the American songwriters Robert B. Sherman and Richard M. Sherman. It stars Gemma Craven as Cinderella and Richard Chamberlain as the prince.

Recent film versions of "Cinderella" include Ever After: A Cinderella Story (USA 1998) starring Drew Barrymore, A Cinderella Story (USA 2004) starring Hilary Duff, Another Cinderella Story (USA 2008) starring Selena Gomez, Aschenputtel (Germany 2010) starring Emilia Schüle, Elle: A Modern Cinderella Tale (USA 2010) starring Ashlee Hewitt and Cinderella (USA 2015), a live-action remake of the 1950 Disnay animated film, starring Lily James.

Performers play the parts of the prince and Cinderella in the Netherlands in 2009.

Hey, Cinderella! is a TV special featuring Jim Henson's Muppets and starring Belinda Montgomery as Cinderella. It first aired on CBC in Canada on March 16, 1969 and on ABC in the United States on April 10, 1970. The "Cinderella" story was adapted as an episode of the American TV series Faerie Tale Theatre. The episode, which stars Jennifer Beals as Cinderella, first aired on the Showtime channel on August 14, 1985. The Japanese anime series Grimm's Fairy Tale Classics (Japanese: グリム名作劇場; Gurimu Meisaku Gekijō) includes a two-part adaptation of "Cinderella". The two episodes were first shown on TV Asahi on March 23 and March 30, 1988. The 26-episode Japanese anime series The Story of Cinderella (Japaneseシンデレラ物語; Shinderera Monogatari) originally aired on NHK between April 4 and October 3, 1996. The British TV movie Cinderella was first shown on Channel 4 in the United Kingdom on January 1, 2000. It stars Marcella Plunkett as Cinderella and Kathleen Turner as her stepmother. The TV movie references Giambattista Basile's "La Gatta Cenerentola" in that Cinderella's original name is given as Zozella. It also references the story of Cordelia and King Leir (or King Lear) in that Cinderella's stepsisters are named Goneril and Regan.

The award-winning 1997 fantasy novel Ella Enchanted by the American author Gail Carson Levine explains that Cinderella allows her stepmother and stepsisters to abuse her because a misguided fairy has given her the "gift" of obedience. As a result, she follows every command that she is ever given by anybody. A British-Irish-American film loosely based on the novel, starring Anne Hathaway as the title character, was released in 2004.

The "Cinderella" story is retold from the point of view of one of Cinderella's stepsisters in the 2002 novel Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister by the American author Gregory Maguire. The novel was adapted as a TV movie, starring Azura Skye and Stockard Channing, that first aired on ABC in the United States on March 10, 2002.

"Cinderella" is one of several fairy tales that are spoofed in the British writer Roald Dahl's 1982 children's poetry anthology Revolting Rhymes. The anthology was adapted as a two-part British-German computer animated TV mini-series. The two episodes first aired on BBC One in the United Kingdom on December 26 and December 27, 2016.

See also




  1. The name comes form the Italian word cenere which means "ash' or "cinders". It implies that Zezolla is dirty from her work and possibly that she has to sleep near the stove to keep warm in the cold kitchen.
  2. In many recent English-language adaptations of the story, the young woman's original name, before she became known as Cinderella, was Ella. In Charles Perrault's version of the story, her original name is not given.
  3. Aschen is German for "ashes". Puttel is an old and somewhat derogatory German word for "girl". In the 1912 English translation of the Brothers Grimm's Household and Children's Tales by Edgar Taylor and Marian Edwardes, the story and the character are named "Ashputtel" instead of "Cinderella". As in Charles Perrault's version of the story, the girl's original name before she becomes known as Cinderella is not revealed in the Brothers Grimm's version of the tale.
  4. Although it is not explicitly stated in the story, the hazel tree that grows over Cinderella's mother's grave and the birds that live in the tree could be reincarnations of the dead woman's spirit.
  5. The ending in which birds peck out the eyes of Cinderella's stepsisters is not included in the 1812 first edition of Children's and Household Tales. It was added for the 1819 second edition and included in all subsequent editions.
  6. A British pantomime is a kind of musical comedy stage performance intended for a family audience that is traditionally performed at Christmastime and the start of the New Year. Pantomimes usually involve songs, dance, slapstick comedy, topical humor and a lot of audience participation. Most pantomimes are loose adaptations of well-known stories that are familiar to children, such as the fairy tales of Charles Perrault, the Brothers Grimm or Hans Christian Andersen, tales from The Thousand and One Nights, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, Peter Pan or Robinson Crusoe.
  7. There is no reference to Cinderella's stepsisters being ugly in either the Giambattista Basile or Charles Perrault versions of the tale. In the Brothers Grimm version, it is explicitly stated that Cinderella's stepsister are beautiful. It has, however, become common to present them as being ugly in adaptations of the story.

External links

Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.