This short have a good plot which I believe is not so common in cartoons
from this age. Of course there is a lot of 'cycles' used but it doesn't
matter so much. And doesn't the prince resemble Walt a lot?
Here is a short summary:
The first scene is showing Cinderella washing the dishes with 'her only
friend the cat'.
Next there is a view of her lazy stepsisters, one tall and thin and one
short and fat. But none is very ugly.
And then a switch to the prince, who is chasing a bear. He riding on
a horse or a donkey, perhaps a horse with long ears? (The chase goes on
for a rather long time, considering that the prince doesn't normally get
so much attention.) The prince stumbles on a group of a bears and follows
them into a cave and after a while comes out pulling them all tied together
on a string!
Next comes the invitation to the ball, The ball will be held on Friday
the 13th! The prince and his dog packs all the invitation letters. The dog
delivers all the letters 'paperboy style' riding a bicycle.
On the ball night, Cinderella's sisters inform her they will go but she
can not come. When Cinderella sits down to sulk, the fairy godmother pops
out. She dresses her up in a typical 1920's clothes and provides a car for
her. (Still indoors!)
Next scene the prince is dancing with the fat sister, he's really not
enjoying it! When he finds Cinderella he proclaim love at first sight! The
dancing continues and even the cat and the dog is dancing.
The prince and Cinderella is enjoying themselves, when she discovers
the time is almost midnight. She rushes away and drops one shoe. The shoe
knocks down the prince.
Next morning the prince is following the some tracks, but they turn out
to be made by a duck!
Later on, the sisters are discussing the ball, and saying that the mysterious
girl had a wonderful dress. Then comes the prince, and he wants the sisters
to try out the shoe he found. Not so surprisingly it fits Cinderella and
they live happily ever after!
We open on a title card telling us about a girl who lives on her
own with her friend the cat. Yes, my friends, the cat has returned again.
The same little black cat from all of the Laugh O Gram films so far
is back again for Cinderella. I know, there was no cat in the original
story, but you can probably get the sense already that Disney has a
thing for animals.
Cinderella is the same girl from
in Boots that was the object of the young boy’s affections. The
roles are reversed this time. We open with Cinderella and the cat doing
dishes – Cindy scrubs, the cat dries – while her stepsisters lounge
in the backyard. The stepsisters are an interesting design – one fat,
one thin. This is an interesting contrast to the later animated film,
that we can discuss when we get there in about 30 years of Disney time.
The scene cuts over to the prince, who is played by the boy from
Puss in Boots. He is
chasing a bear while riding a horse and shooting, which takes quite
a bit of talent. Riding a horse alone would be a feat for me, but
this guy is shooting a gun and hitting a bear in the rear end while
riding the horse. No wonder the card that introduced him as the
prince called him “a wonderful fellow.” The dog from
Puss in Boots
is running along behind him as they chase the bear.
Ahead of them, several bears are having a little dance party, with
one in particular dancing around in the middle while the others play
music. That sequence involves some fun animation, with the main bear
removing his tail to play as well. But when the bears see the prince
coming, they flee into a nearby cavern to escape. It doesn’t work. The
prince follows them into the cave, horse and all, and ends up dragging
all the bears out with a rope.
In celebration, the prince has an invitation made for a ball, to
be held “Tuesday, Friday the 13th.” I really don’t know what that gag
means, but I’ll admit that it made me laugh. The prince loads the dog
up with his invitations and sends the dog out to disperse them. This
leads to my favorite sequence in the short, where the dog hops on a
bike to deliver the invitations like a paper boy. He hits a rock and
tumbles down a hill, emerging from a cloud of dust with a bandaged head
and a crutch. A bystander comes by and says via word balloon “Are you
hurt?” The dog simply looks at him, then bashes the man over the head
with his crutch. I laughed out loud. It’s just the sort of thing that
you don’t expect from a Disney cartoon, but it’s totally what would
From there, you probably can guess the story. The stepsisters go
to the ball, Cinderella wishes that she could, her fairy godmother shows
up and bestows a flapper dress and a Model T on her, then she heads
to the ball. Cinderella is the bell of the ball, which is a very contemporary
(for the 20s) affair, with flapper dancing all over the place. The prince
and she get together, but, as expected, at midnight she flees and her
clothes turn to rags, but she leaves behind a shoe. The prince follows
the shoe tracks the next morning, down on all fours sniffing the ground,
only to find that the other shoe had fallen off as well and was now
on a duck. However, he soon finds Cinderella, fits her foot to the shoe,
and they live happily ever after.
This short was good, but compared to
in Boots or The Four Musicians
of Bremen, it’s not nearly as inventive. This short is fairly straightforward
in its storytelling, not offering new or different perspectives or innovative
sequences like you see in the earlier shorts. It’s very interesting
to me that this story is the only one from the Laugh O Grams that Walt
chose to come back to later. Did he feel this was not done properly?
Or did he just want to do a big grandiose fairy tale and didn’t care
what the specific tale was?
Being the last of the Laugh O Grams seems to have hurt this
short, because the cool little inside gags like the
Cinderella poster in
Puss in Boots are not
here, nor are the extended sequences like the house being barraged
with fire in the Musicians short. It is definitely entertaining, and
the dog hitting the guy with his crutch is laugh out loud funny, but
overall, this is the weakest of the shorts besides
Red Riding Hood.
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