Cinderella – Disney Princesses: Origins

Cinderella artOur next Disney Princess is Cinderella. The Walt Disney version of Cinderella tells a tale about a girl who is living with her step-mother and her step-sisters. As tradition with most Disney princesses, she is also able to communicate with animals in a unique way. It seems that Cinderella’s only friends are these mice that live in her house. But, how did the Cinderella that we know so well develop from her original tale?

Cinderella – Early Tales

The story of Cinderella can be traced back as far as 7 BC, to the Egyptians and their version of the tale titled “Rhodopis.” In this tale, an eagle steals a woman’s shoe and drops it in the lap of a King. Once he finds the owner of the shoe, he marries her.

Cinderella fishIn versions of Cinderella from China, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Vietnam, the fairy godmother is depicted as a fish that gets cooked. In some versions, the fish represents Cinderella’s mother’s spirit. When the fish is cooked, Cinderella seeks out the bones. When the bones are found and buried, a beautiful swing appears in the spot, which serves as Cinderella’s “glass slipper” because she is the only one who can make the swing move with her singing. In the version from Vietnam, Cinderella cooks her step-sister as revenge, and forces her step-mother to eat her. Dinner is served!

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