The ugly sisters are characters in the fairy tale and pantomime, Cinderella. They are the daughters of Cinderella's cruel stepmother, who treat her poorly. The "ugly sisters" have been in variations of the story from as early as researchers have been able to determine.
In Charles Perrault's original fairytale, the sisters were Cinderella's stepsisters, and are described as "proud and haughty" rather than ugly, though Cinderella is described as being "far handsomer than her sisters, though they were always dressed fashionably." The unnamed younger stepsister is described as being not as rude or spiteful as the elder, who is named Charlotte. In Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm's version the stepsisters are described as having, "beautiful faces and fair skin, but hearts that were foul and black." In Perrault's version of the tale, the stepsisters are forgiven for their cruelty and Cinderella invites them to the palace to live with her, and she marries each of them to a wealthy lord. In the Grimms' considerably much darker version of the tale, the stepsisters invite themselves to Cinderella's wedding, where Cinderella summons the pigeons and doves to attack the stepsisters' faces, mutilating their beauty and tearing their eyes out, sentencing them to a lifetime of blindness as punishment for their diabolical onslaught. In the opera La Cenerentola (1817) by Gioachino Rossini and Jacopo Ferretti, the sisters are named Clorinda and Tisbe.
Traditionally, the two stepsisters are extremely jealous of Cinderella, as she is very beautiful and they are very ugly. In order to ensure no man will want to marry her, they reduce her to their maidservant and force her into waiting on them non-stop and doing all the dirtiest kitchen jobs. Sometimes Cinderella has an alternate name, such as "Isabella", "Ella", Arabella", or more recently, "Heidi", and the jealous stepsisters rename her "Cinderella" due to the fact she mostly sweeps and cleans the firesides and is constantly covered in ashes and cinders. When Buttons, the Baron's footman delivers the news of the Royal Ball, the stepsisters plot to claim the prince as their own. When they realise Cinderella has also been invited, they force her, or trick her, into tearing up her ticket. They then strut off to the Ball and are amazed and horrified when Cinderella appears with the help of her fairy godmother. The Ball is often used as a comical scene in which the sisters humiliate themselves in an attempt to charm the prince, who is too enchanted with Cinderella to notice them. Then Cinderella flees at midnight, leaving one of her glass or crystal or silver slippers behind.
The next day, the Prince arrives with the news he will marry whomsoever the slipper fits. The two sisters fight and quarrel over who the shoe will fit. It is traditional to have one sister concealing a false leg beneath her skirt in an attempt to fool the prince. Another tradition is that one sister has yards and yards of multicoloured stockings beneath her skirt, which must be comically removed before trying the shoe on. When the shoe does not fit, the Prince allows Cinderella (who has either been tricked into leaving the house or locked in the cellar) to try it on. When the shoe fits, the stepsisters are horrified. Their fates are dependable upon which version is being told. Sometimes they are forgiven for their cruelty, other times they are demoted to servants in the prince's castle, or sometimes the Baron Hardup at last puts his foot down and stands up to them.
Recently, the role of the wicked stepmother has been omitted from the story. Sometimes she has absconded with the family fortune and left Cinderella to cope with her two ugly daughters. Other times she has died. Or else the Baron is engaged to be married and the stepmother has sent her two unbearable daughters in advance (whom the baron was ignorant of) to see if it is a suitable place for them all to live. Upon arriving, they instantly assault Cinderella, tearing her dress and reducing her to rags. More often than not, they have been installed for quite a while.
Unlike the Grimms' version of the fairy tale "where the sisters were themselves 'beautiful and fair in appearance,'" Disney's depiction presents Anastasia and Drizella as ugly sisters. Southwest Texas State University's Department of English identifies various distinguishing characteristics of Drizella and Anastasia, such as exaggerated and naked feet emphasizing physical nature and a big bustle emphasizing clumsiness, of these characters versus their more positively presented counterpart, Cinderella. Disney describes them as simply "spoiled, awkward, and ungainly."
Doris and Mabel are ugly sisters in the films Shrek 2 and Shrek the Third. Doris seems to have a much more major role than Mabel as she is an ally of Princess Fiona. They are derived from the fairy tale of Cinderella (named Anastasia and Drizella in the Disney adaptation) but their names and personalities have changed dramatically. Both are voiced by men and covered in lavish and poor applications of makeup, not unlike their usual portrayals in pantomine. Additionally, it should be noted that when both sisters meet their stepsister, Cinderella, they did not fight like as depicted in other adaptions of them.
|Other Family||Mabel (sister)
Prince Charming (crush)
|Voiced by||Larry King (outside of UK)
Jonathan Ross (in the UK)
Doris makes her first appearance in Shrek 2 and she returns for Shrek The Third. Unlike other ugly sisters, she is an ally and best friend to Fiona. She's seen as an unusually masculine female bartender at the Poison Apple. She is depicted as a tall independent woman with purple-themed clothes and wears too much makeup.
Doris is first seen in Shrek 2 when King Harold secretly enters The Poison Apple club in which she is working as a bartender. She recommended the king to Puss In Boots for the task of assassinating Shrek. Later, when Shrek, in his human form, has some drinks with Puss and Donkey after thinking that he must let Princess Fiona go. Again near the climax of the film, Doris points King Harold to a door guarded by the Fairy Godmother's bodyguards in which Prince Charming and the Fairy Godmother are secretly meeting. At first, she had a crush on Prince Charming and forces him to kiss her at the end of the film. She is accused of being ugly in Far Far Away Idol by Simon Cowell, where she sings Cyndi Lauper's "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun."
In Shrek the Third, Doris becomes one of Shrek's best friends prior to the events of the film. In the beginning of the film, Doris is briefly mentioned by Mabel when Prince Charming visits The Poison Apple. Mabel says that Doris does not belong here and this indicates that Doris is residing with Princess Fiona in the castle. She is also seen during Fiona's baby shower but she escapes by a hidden trapdoor in the room when Charming has started to enter the castle. Later, she gets imprisoned by Charming after he invaded Far Far Away. The princesses, Doris, Donkey and Puss manage to escape and they infiltrate the castle to confront Charming. They did and in the end Doris and Mabel finally meet in Charming's play.
Doris is confirmed to return for the fourth film, set to be released theatrically in 2010. Larry King will reprise her voicings (anywhere outside the UK) but it is not confirmed that Jonathan Ross will reprise her voicings for the UK version.
|Other Family||Doris (sister)
Prince Charming (crush)
|Voiced by||Regis Philbin|
Mabel first appears in Shrek the Third where she assists Prince Charming in his plan to take over Far Far Away. She is Doris's sister. She is depicted to be chubby with green-themed clothes but, like Doris, she is actually a kind-hearted person.
Mabel is first seen when Prince Charming asks her where Doris is at the Poison Apple Bar, she says "She isn't welcome here anymore!" (presumably because Doris now resides in the castle with Shrek and Princess Fiona). It is shown that she has a crush on Prince Charming. She takes Doris' place as the bartender in the Poison Apple. Later, she is seen in the film's climax in which she meets Doris on stage after Prince Charming is 'dead'.