Robin Redbreast

Robin Redbreast
Birds can represent the fluttering, darting thoughts of intuition. This is why little birds helped Cinderella help herself.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Cinderella #335 Cinderella and her Animal Friends: A Book About Kindness (Disney, 1987)


A princess, by Maile.
Age 7

Cinderella #335 Cinderella and her Animal Friends: A Book About Kindness (Disney, 1987)
Once upon a time, there was a man named Walt Disney. His love of fairy tales and the land of the imagination led him to create his fantasy for children and families, Disneyland. He formed a publishing company which has sent millions of books out into the the world of children's literature. The interesting thing about the Disney version of Cinderella is that there are so many different Disney versions, each unique. My favorite is the 1974 edition, with two page spread depicting the royal ball. Both pages are bathed in lavenders and plum purples, so delicious to see. Alas, the 2009 version is smaller, uglier, and more visually cramped. Here is a Cinderella spin-off story by Disney, from 1987. Once upon a time, there was "a pretty girl named Cinderella". She had a lot of work to do every day, but fortunately, she "had her animal friends to keep her company".  They helped her with the chores, and, in return, she rescued them from mousetraps and cats. Even though she was not fond of the cat, she was kind to it. She even tried to get old Bruno, the dog, to stop chasing that wicked cat named Lucifer. She spoke to him gently, saying, "If you're angry, you can always try to walk away."One day, an invitation came from the palace. There was to be a ball. But Cinderella knew she could only go after she got all of her work done, and there was so much it seemed she could never finish in time. That's when her animal friends got busy. While she was working, they decorated a lovely gown for her. When it was ready they called, "Look, Cinderelly!" in their tiny voices. Then she turned around and saw the surprise. At once, she put it on. "Now Cinderella was ready to go to the ball and dance with the handsome prince."
Notes: Cover notes identify this as "an important lesson about the value of kindness". It is fascinating to have a Cinderella story with only one human character: absent are the mother, stepmother, father, and stepsisters. We briefly see a royal messenger, but never a glimpse of the prince. Equally interesting is the modern day presence of the archetypal animal helpers: birds, as darting thoughts and consciousness; mice, as soul animals, and the horse as a symbol of Cinderella's libido. 
From: Walt Disney's Cinderella and Her Animal Friends: A Book About Kindness. (1987) New York: Golden Books

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