The history of the story of "Cinderella" includes stories found in cultures across the globe such as in Germany, China and France. Each culture featured its own variation on the well-known story of the princess, the lost slipper and the fairy godmother. According to the 1893 book "Cinderella; three hundred and forty-five variants of Cinderella, Catskin, and Cap o'Rushes," written by Marian Roalfe Cox, there were approximately 345 variations of the story worldwide.
In 1697, Charles Perrault featured the story of "Cendrillon" in his "Tales of Mother Goose." His French version of the story included the pumpkin, the godmother and the glass slipper. Walt Disney used this version as the inspiration for the animated movie, "Cinderella."
In Germany, the Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm took Perrault's story and adapted it for German oral traditions in 1812, calling the story "Aschenputtel." In this story, the fairy godmother was not a person but a tree that sat on Cinderella's mother's grave. Additionally, the step-sisters attempted to fit into the slipper by cutting off their toes and heels. This version of the story appeared in Stephen Sondheim's stage musical, "Into the Woods."
The Chinese version of the "Cinderella" story, the "Yeh-Shen" folktale, the fairy godmother is not a person but a fish.