As done with other Disney films, Walt Disney hired an actress to perform live-action as a reference for the animation process. Actress Helene Stanley performed the live-action reference for Cinderella.
The tale is called "Aschenputtel" ("Ashputtel" in English translations) and the help comes not from a fairy-godmother but the wishing tree that grows on her mother's grave. In this version, the stepsisters try to trick the prince by cutting off parts of their feet in order to get the slipper to fit. The prince is alerted by two pigeons who peck out the stepsisters' eyes, thus sealing their fate as blind beggars for the rest of their lives. In this story, the prince is tricked twice but is spared by the birds. This lowers the Prince's status and he seems less heroic, which can raise Cinderella's status as a strong willpowered individual
One of the most popular versions of Cinderella was written by Charles Perrault in 1697. The popularity of his tale was due to his additions to the story including the pumpkin, the fairy-godmother and the introduction of glass slippers. It was widely believed that in Perrault's version, Cinderella wore fur boots ("pantoufle en vair"), and that when the story was translated into English, vair was mistaken for verre (glass), resulting in glass slippers and that the story has remained this way ever since.