‘Cinderella’: The Top Ten Movie Versions Ranked

in Movies & TV

Cinderella title

The classic story of Cinderella has been made and remade more times than we can count. Pumpkins, mice, glass slippers, and balls. And don’t forget the stroke of midnight.

Cinderella
Credit: Disney

One of the original versions of Cinderella came from The Brothers Grimm. That account of the tale is far different than most adaptations we have seen throughout the years.

First, there’s actually no fairy godmother. Instead, there are two doves. Also, each evil stepsister either cuts off her toe or heel in an attempt to make the glass slipper fit onto their foot; and they both end up getting their eyes pecked out by the two doves.

Credit: National Geographic

Talk about a fairytale ending.

Our top ten list of Cinderella movies has a much more ‘happily ever after’ feel. Starting with number ten and heading down to one, here is our list of the best Cinderella movies.

10). The Glass Slipper (1955)

Cinderella dancing with baker
Credit: Metro-Golgwyn-Mayer

This adaptation stars Leslie Caron as ‘Cinder’ Ella, and Michael Wilding as Prince Charles. Considered to be a comedic musical, this tomboyish outcast falls in love with a royal.

Charles Walter directed this Hollywood musical. Caron was able to showcase her beautiful ballet skills (having previously doing so alongside Gene Kelly in An American in Paris.)

9). A Cinderella Christmas (2016)

A Cinderella Christmas cover photo
Credit: MarVista Entertainment

What’s a Cinderella movie without throwing in a little Hallmark Christmas magic? In this take of the classic, Angie (played by Emma Catherine Rigby) runs her uncles event business.

A Christmas Cinderella masked ball
Credit: MarVista Entertainment

After taking a night off to have fun at a ‘Christmasquerade Ball’, she catches the eye of a wealthy local bachelor, Nikolaus (played by Peter Porte). But Angie has to leave before revealing her identity which has Nikolaus searching for his mystery woman in this modern take of our classic fairytale.

8). Disney’s Cinderella (2015)

Cinderella
Credit: Disney

Starring Lily James as Cinderella and Richard Madden as the Prince, this version is more along the lines of the traditional fairytale. Complete with a fairy godmother, an evil stepmother and, of course, magic. But who wouldn’t want Helena Bonham Carter to be their Fairy Godmother?!

Cinderella Fairy Godmother
Credit: Disney

When her father unexpectedly dies, young Ella finds herself at the mercy of her new family. Her fortunes begin to change after meeting a dashing stranger.

7). Cinderella (1957)

Cinderella holding crown
Credit: Rodgers and Hammerstein

Julie Andrews is no stranger to playing royalty. After all, she is our favorite Queen of Genovia. However, she needed to be a princess before becoming a queen. This also isn’t the only Rodgers and Hammerstein to make to our list.

Cinderella behind the scenes
Credit: Rodgers and Hammerstein

Andrews plays the lead role of Cinderella and actor Jon Cypher played her Prince Christopher. This is one of the only adaptations that was broadcast live and yet still came off seamlessly. Why wouldn’t it when you have someone playing the lead who is “practically perfect in every way.”

6). Another Cinderella Story (2008)

Cinderella masked ball
Credit: Warner Premiere

In this version of the classic tale, we have Selena Gomez playing Mary Santiago (Cinderella), and Drew Seely playing Joey Parker (the prince). This movie is more about dancing and there’s also no glass slipper. Instead, there is a ‘Zune’ (an outdated version of an iPod).

Mary lives with her evil stepmother and equally evil stepsisters. After attending a high school Masquerade ball, and dancing the night away her “prince”, Mary races home to beat curfew, but loses her Zune in the process.

Cinderella dancing
Credit: Warner Premiere

Telling people that this could quite possibly be the girl of his dreams, Joey only has her Zune to try and figure out who this masked beauty is.

5). A Cinderella Story (2004)

Cinderella dancing
Credit: Warner Bros.

A Cinderella Story stars Hilary Duff as Samantha Montgomery (Cinderella) and Chad Michael Murray as Austin Ames (the prince).

Sam lost her father in an earthquake and got stuck becoming ‘the help’ to her evil stepmother and her two daughters. Luckily Sam has a best friend, Carter and an email crush on Nomad. One day, Nomad asks to meet Sam at the school’s masquerade dance.

Cinderella kissing
Credit: Warner Bros.

She agrees and they spend the night dancing away. However, Sam leaves in a rush to make it back to the family diner before curfew, leaving her cell phone behind. Austin finds it and has to figure out who his mystery Cinderella is.

4). Disney’s Cinderella (1950)

Cinderella
Credit: Disney

Disney’s Cinderella is the most classic version that we are used to. Most other adaptations are based off this.

Cinderella’s evil stepmother, Lady Tremaine, refuses to let her attend the King’s royal ball with her stepsisters, Anastasia and Drizella. So, Cinderella enlists the help of her mice friends Jaq and Gus Gus. They also get to meet the Fairy Godmother who helps them get Cinderella ready- complete with pumpkin coach, glass slippers, and a beautiful gown.

Anastasia (left) and Drizella (right) laughing
Credit: Disney

She goes to the ball and dances the night away with her Prince Charming. However, when the clock strikes midnight, Cinderella flees, leaving behind one glass slipper.

The prince then spends the rest of the movie searching for the girl that fits into the slipper.

gus and jaq
Credit: Disney

Ilene Woods is the voice of Cinderella in this animated classic and William Phipps is the voice of Prince Charming with Mike Douglas doing the singing for the prince.

And finally, our Top Three Choices for the best Cinderella adaptations!

3). Ella Enchanted (2005)

Ella Enchanted Cinderella cover
Credit: Miramax

Coming in at number three is Ella Enchanted.

This movie is based off of Gail Carson Levine’s award-winning novel of the same name. Ella was given the gift of obedience by a fairy named Lucinda (Vivica A. Fox). From infancy Ella has always had to obey anything anyone tells her do.

Ella in fighting stance
Credit: Miramax

Ella of Frell is played Anne Hathaway and Char is played Hugh Dancy.

In this modern-day tale, there is no glass slipper. Instead, there are ogres and elves and fairies. This movie follows Ella as she attempts to get rid of the ‘gift’ that was bestowed on her from a flighty fairy.

Ella holding book
Credit: Miramax

Unlike other Cinderella’s, in this version, Ella has to depend on herself and her intelligence to face her problems and break her own curse.

2). Rodgers and Hammerstein Cinderella (1997)

Disney+ Cinderella adaptation
Credit: Disney

The number two spot holds our other Rodgers and Hammerstein classic.

This movie was based off of our number seven choice- the 1957 televised musical starring Julie Andrews.

This film stars Brandy Norwood as Cinderella and features an all-star cast including Whitney Houston, Bernadette Peters, Whoopi Goldberg, and Jason Alexander.

roger and hemmerstein cinderella
Credit: Disney

This version is beloved for its diverse casting, strong vocals, and exquisite costume design.  And, according to audiences, the comedic stylings of these famed actors and musical powerhouses make this one such a hit — and many can’t believe that this was a made-for-TV movie that did not debut in theaters.

Cast of Cinderella
Credit: Disney

The endearing chemistry between Brandy and her on-screen fairy godmother Whitney Houston was lauded, as was the comedic tone and joyful spirit of the TV version. Houston also acted as an executive producer for the picture, hand-selecting Brandy as Cinderella.

This was the first time the story was adapted for a racially diverse cast and Brandy the first person of color to portray the beloved character on screen. Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella remains a fan favorite among audiences and is considered a groundbreaking installment of the classic tale.

1). Ever After (1998)

Cinderella with wings
Credit: 20th Century Fox

The synopsis for this movie gives the perfect example as to why it made number one on our list. Not that it needs a reason.

Andy Tennant directed this Cinderella variant.

The Brothers Grimm arrive at the home of a wealthy Grande Dame (Jeanne Moreau) who speaks of the many legends surrounding the fable of the cinder girl before telling the “true” story of her ancestor.

In flashback, the story then focuses on eight-year-old Danielle, daughter of a wealthy widower, a 16th-century landowner. After returning to France with his new wife Rodmilla (Anjelica Huston) and her two daughters, he dies of a heart attack.

evil step mother
Credit: 20th Century Fox

Ten years later, Danielle (Drew Barrymore) is now treated as a servant by the trio. Fortunately, she has an encounter with Prince Henry (Dougray Scott), who is fleeing an arranged marriage.

Later, when Danielle poses as a Lady, the Prince takes an interest in her. Inventor-artist Leonardo Da Vinci (Patrick Godfrey), accepting the French court’s patronage, offers advice to Prince Henry on matters of the heart.

Cinderella and her prince
Credit: 20th Century Fox

This romantic drama forgoes these folktales usual premise and magical elements. Instead, it favors a historical fiction approach, taking place in a Renaissance Era France.

The intriguing interpretation features the appearance of the Brothers Grimm and offers a more realistic depiction of the kind-hearted heroine.

Ever After truly thrives on the heart-warming romance between Danielle and the charming Prince Henry, making it one of the most memorable and adored adaptations; it is heavily regarded as a modern, post-feminist interpretation of the tale.

Were we able to get your favorite adaptation of Cinderella into our top ten list? Let us know in the comments which one is your favorite.

View Comments (4)