December 6, 1922 – The Laugh-O-Gram Film Cinderella is Released
“Cinderella, whose only friend was a cat.”
On December 6, 1922, the Laugh-O-Gram Film Cinderella was released. This was a silent film from Walt Disney’s early Laugh-O-Gram Studio, founded in May 1922. Cinderella was one of the six fairy tale cartoons produced during the studio’s contract with Pictorial Clubs, Inc. The short is a modern-day (of the time) take on the classic fairy tale.
The opening of the short introduces Cinderella and her only friend, the cat; her two stepsisters; and the prince, who chases a bear with a shotgun. A group of bears is seen dancing, playing music, and being merry, until they see the prince, who chases them all into their cave. The prince victoriously captures all the bears and drags them out in a row, their feet tied to a single rope. The prince then sends out invitations to a ball, and his trusty servant dog takes them to every home in the kingdom.
The night of the ball arrives, and the stepsisters head to the ball, leaving Cinderella alone with the cat. As they both lament that they wish they could go to the ball, the Fairy Godmother appears in a cloud of smoke, letting Cinderella and the cat know that she has come to grant their wish. Instantly, Cinderella is turned into a flapper, and a motorcar appears in their living room, ready to drive Cinderella and the cat to the ball.
At the ball, the prince is dancing with one of the stepsisters when he spies Cinderella, and it is love at first sight between the two. Everyone wonders who the girl is. Meanwhile, Cinderella’s cat is busy dancing with the prince’s dog. As the guests start to rush for the food, Cinderella and the prince spend time together alone in the garden. Cinderella suddenly notices that it’s five minutes to midnight, and dashes out of the ball, losing her shoe in the process. As she runs home, her clothes soon change to rags.
The next day, the prince sets out to find her, following a set of footprints that unfortunately lead to a duck. He finally finds Cinderella’s house and has the stepsisters try on the shoe, but of course it doesn’t fit. Then he sees Cinderella, and realizes that she is the mystery girl from the ball. The prince and Cinderella, as well as the cat and the dog, live happily ever after.