Cinderella “A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes” (1950)


Cinderella “A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes” (1950)

A lot has happened since Walt Disney released Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs to worldwide acclaim. World War II has come and gone, along with a string of several flops at the box office. Heavily in debt, Disney agreed to produce another animated feature film, this time using the classic fairy tale Cendrillon by Charles Perrault as the inspiration. Begun in 1948 and released in 1950, Cinderella was hailed as the greatest animated film since Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs and is widely considered to be one of the greatest animated films ever made. The future princess was voiced by singer Ilene Woods. She had become friends with songwriters Mack David and Jerry Livingston, and one day they called her over to record demo tracks for three songs: “Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boo,” “A Dream is A Wish Your Heart Makes,” and “So This Is Love.” When Disney heard the recordings, he hired Woods immediately to voice Cinderella, choosing her over 300 other girls who had auditioned.

Like Snow White before her, Cinderella is living life under the whim of her brutal stepmother Lady Tremaine and her mean stepsisters, Anastasia and Drizella. They also have a devious black cat named Lucifer, who is always trying to catch the mice and birds that are Cinderella’s friends and helpers. While her stepfamily enjoys a luxurious life, Cinderella is forced to do all the chores in her own home. It’s during this time that she rescues a new mouse from Lucifer and names him Gus.

Cinderella sings at the start of another day about how important dreams are, that “dreams are wishes your heart makes.” This is how Cinderella goes through life. Compare the opening of this song to any song that Snow White sings and you’ll see the difference. Whereas Snow White was a high soprano (Adriana Caselotti was an opera singer later in life), Cinderella’s vocal range is closer to that of a contralto (lower than a soprano, but still with a fairly wide range of notes). Keep in mind that over a decade has passed since Snow White was released, and musical styles have changed greatly since then.

A dream is a wish your heart makes
When you’re fast asleep
In dreams you will lose your heartaches
Whatever you wish for, you keep
Have faith in your dreams and someday
Your rainbow will come smiling through
No matter how your heart is grieving
If you keep on believing
The dream that you wish will come true

Oh, that clock!
Old killjoy.
I hear you! “Come on, get up,” you say!
“Time to start another day!”
Even he orders me around.
Well, there’s one thing.
They can’t order me to stop dreaming.
And perhaps someday…

The dreams that I wish
Will come true


No matter how your heart is grieving
If you keep on believing
The Dream that you wish
Will come true

This song does a good job in establishing what Cinderella is like, she’s the eternal optimist (she has to be, given the circumstances). Let me know what you think about “A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes” in the comments below and have a great day!

See also:

Cinderella “Sing Sweet Nightingale” (1950)

Cinderella “The Work Song/Cinderelly, Cinderelly” (1950)

Cinderella “Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boo” (1950)

Cinderella “So This is Love” (1950)

Disney/Dreamworks/Pixar/etc. Soundtracks A-Z

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4 thoughts on “Cinderella “A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes” (1950)

  1. Pingback: Cinderella “Sing Sweet Nightingale” (1950) | Film Music Central

  2. Pingback: Cinderella “The Work Song/Cinderelly, Cinderelly” (1950) | Film Music Central

  3. Pingback: Cinderella “Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boo” (1950) | Film Music Central

  4. Pingback: Cinderella “So This is Love” (1950) | Film Music Central

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