Who Are the Voices Behind Disney’s ‘Cinderella’?
In a world that’s still dominated by Disney princesses despite the company’s pivot away from traditional animation, Cinderella remains on the trope’s Mt. Rushmore. Cinderella is a crowning achievement not only for its groundbreaking animation but for bringing another classic under the Disney umbrella more than 70 years after its release.
Cinderella changed the game, certified Disney’s place as the Queen of children’s entertainment, and helped make the glass slippers, evil stepfamily, and fairy godmother a staple of entertainment still in use today. While the company may not have written the source material, it’s probably the reason fans know what a Cinderella story is without looking it up. Despite this, the voice actors behind the magic remain largely unknown 71 years after its release.
Who voiced Cinderella?
Despite the movie’s legacy, Cinderella didn’t cast a big name in the titular role. While dancer Helene Stanley provided the visual inspiration for the role, Ilene Woods was just a young adult when Walt Disney called her to voice the character. According to the late actor, who died in 2010, Disney’s namesake was involved with every aspect of the assignment, which the fans wanted to hear most.
“First thing most people ask is, ‘Did I work directly with Walt Disney?’ Because everyone is interested in Walt Disney. And I did. He came in every single day we recorded. He came in at the end of the day to check everything out. He really made changes that were, once in a while, major, beautiful changes, and he always had such an imagination going on. He was the only true visionary I think I ever worked with,” she told DVD Talk.
According to IMDb, while Woods didn’t have much screentime outside of the voice-acting role. She briefly appears in The Godfather as Elena. She led a mostly quiet life aside from a Disney-related appearance, yet through the magic of her voice, her legacy will always be on full display for young children who watch Walt Disney’s masterpiece.
Who voiced the Fairy Godmother?
According to IMDb, Verna Felton provided Cinderella with the matronly advice that only a Fairy Godmother could give. An actor whose first credit came in 1917, Felton struggled to make her name until Walt Disney called about a film called Dumbo in 1941. This kicked off a voice-acting career that continued until she died in 1966. While Felton appeared in Sleeping Beauty, The Flintstones, and other animated classics, her work as the Fairy Godmother still defines her to this day.
Felton didn’t stay behind the microphone. She also appeared in live-action films and television after getting the Disney boost. From I Love Lucy to a slew of other roles, Felton worked until the very end. Her final role, an elephant in The Jungle Book, marked the end of an era for an actor who helped make Disney’s greatest dreams shine through her voice.
Who voiced Prince Charming?
Prince Charming was made possible by two actors. According to its page on IMDb, the Prince’s speaking lines went to William Phipps, while future talk show giant Mike Douglas gave the prince his signature singing voice. When the voice actor could sing, they pulled double duty. When they couldn’t, they relied on two separate voices. This became a signature practice for Disney that continued through most of its musicals.
Who voiced the rest?
Eleanor Audley was likely the most famous of the movie’s voice actors. After all, she didn’t just voice Lady Tremaine in Cinderella, but Maleficent in Sleeping Beauty. However, both famous and forgotten, the entire cast had their lives forever changed by what is still one of Disney’s biggest movies. Lucille Bliss may not have been a household name, but she continued voice acting for the rest of her life, as did countless other stars.
Cinderella can’t be made without talent from top to bottom. As such, it’s a good idea to occasionally look back and appreciate those who used their skills to give us such a memorable piece of our childhoods.