Cinderella is one of the most popular fairy tales of all time. What girl, young or young at heart, has not dreamed of putting on that glass slipper and finding her prince at an opulent royal ball? Among the best known adaptations of this story are those by the Brothers Grimm and Charles Perrault, whose 1697 version was the source material for Walt Disney’s classic animated film. Though Perrault may not be as familiar a name as Disney, he is the one to credit for Cinderella’s fairy godmother and enchanted pumpkin carriage in the Original Cinderella Story.
The tale has many versions, but nearly everyone knows the basic plot: After she is orphaned, Cinderella is mistreated by her wicked stepmother and stepsisters. Though she lives in a castle, she is subjected to a hard life of servitude until she meets a fairy godmother. Her godmother uses her magical powers to transform the poor scullery maid into a glamorous young woman and sends her to a ball at the royal palace. There, she meets the prince, who is enchanted by her beauty, but whom she must leave before midnight when the spell ends. In her haste, Cinderella leaves behind one of her glass slippers—the only clue to her real identity. Determined to find this amazing, mysterious young woman, the prince searches the entire kingdom to find the owner of the slipper, his true love. Just like a fairy godmother, the story enchants us with a world of fantasy and imagination, where animals can talk and pumpkins can become coaches. Moreover, it shows us that true beauty isn’t about what you wear, but what you keep in your heart. It also has a lesson to teach about perseverance in the face of hardship and that happy endings are possible.
Did You Know?
The original Cinderella story is Greek. That’s right, though Cinderella is seen most in castles or speaking with a British accent, the original tale can trace its beginnings to the first century where Rhodopis (Cinderella’s original name) is captured by Egyptian pirates and sold into slavery. A story that never grows old, Cinderella is just one of the many stories waiting to cast a spell on you and your child in the PlayKids library!