Ilene Woods beat exactly 309 girls for the part of Cinderella, after some demo recordings of her singing a few of the film's songs were presented to Walt Disney. However, she had no idea she was auditioning for the part until Disney contacted her; she initially made the recordings for a few friends who sent them to Disney without telling her.
Lucifer was modeled after animator Ward Kimball's cat. Animators were having trouble coming up with a good design for that cat, but once Walt Disney saw Kimball's furry calico, he declared, "There's your Lucifer."
The first fully-developed, feature-length film the studio released after wartime cutbacks forced them to release several "package films" (Melody Time, Fun & Fancy Free, et al). The success of the animation department depended greatly on its success.
The royal proclamation on the castle gate wall reads: "All loyal subjects of his Imperial Majesty are hereby notified by royal proclamation that in regard to a certain glass slipper, it is upon this day decreed that a quest be instituted throughout the length and breadth of our domain. The sole and express purpose of said quest is as follows to wit: that every single maiden in our beloved Kingdom shall try upon her foot this aforementioned slipper of glass, and should one be found whose foot shall properly fit said slipper, such maiden will be acclaimed the subject of this search and the one and only true love of his Royal Highness, our noble Prince. And said Royal Highness will humbly request the hand of said maiden in marriage to rule with him over all the land as Royal Princess and future Queen."
According to Ilene Woods, who did the voice for Cinderella, it was Walt Disney who suggested the layered harmonies in the "Sing, Sweet Nightingale" sequence. She thinks that it might have been the first time that it was attempted (Mitch Miller claimed to have invented the technique during his tenure as A&R man at Columbia Records a few years before 'Cinderella' started production).
According to Marc Davis, one of the directing animators of Cinderella, at least 90% of the movie was done in live action model before animation. Dancer Ward Ellis was the live action model for Prince Charming. Cinderella's carriage is actually a live-action model painted white with black lines; this was the first time this technique had actually been used.
Was the first Disney film to have its songs published and copyrighted by the newly created Walt Disney Music Company. Before movie soundtracks became merchandisable, movie songs had little residual value to the film studio that owned them and were often sold off to established music companies for sheet music publication.
Walt Disney had not had a huge hit since Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. The production of this film was regarded as a major gamble on his 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 Disney studio. The film was a big hit. The profits from its release, with the additional profits from record sales, music publishing, publications and other merchandise gave Disney the cash flow to finance a slate of productions (animated and live action), establish his own distribution company, enter television production and begin building Disneyland during the decade.
Disney restored and re-mastered the movie for its 4 October 2005 DVD release as the sixth installment of Disney's Platinum Edition series. According to the Studio Briefing, Disney sold 3.2 million copies in its first week and earned over $64 million in sales.
The story takes place roughly in June. In the movie, the sun rises slightly before 6:00 AM (in France), as it would within a few weeks of the summer solstice. Also by this time, a pumpkin would have grown to 20-40 pounds.
Dinah Shore and Deanna Durbin were considered for the voice of Cinderella, but after Walt Disney heard demo recordings of the film's score by big band singer Ilene Woods, the relatively unknown Woods (who only had one film credit before 'Cinderella') was cast in the title role.
When Walt Disney had the resources to return to full-length animation in the late 1940s after the war, he was indecisive over whether they should release Cinderella or Alice in Wonderland first and finally decided to have two animation crews working on each film compete with each other to see not only which would finish first but also which did the best job. As it turned out, "Cinderella" came first, being released in 1950, while "Alice" was not released until the following year.
Cinderella actually loses a shoe 3 times in the film: first, when she delivers the breakfast trays (causing Lucifer to look under the wrong cup), second, when she is running from the ball, and third, walking down the steps with her new husband.
Excluding the initial prologue explaining how the stepmother came into Cinderella's life and the closing wedding scene, the main story of the film takes place over approximately a 24-hour period. Cinderella starts her day with her chores, the prince's ball is that evening and she successfully tries on the lost slipper the following morning.
When auditioning for the role of Prince Charming, Mike Douglas was asked where he was from. When he replied, in his Illinois accent, that he was from Chicago he was told that he wasn't going to do the speaking role and so William Phipps was cast as Prince Charming while Douglas sang for the role.