Before it was animated, the 1950 feature Cinderella
was performed and recorded in full by costumed actors and models.
That may sound extravagant, but it was actually a cost-saving measure. Walt Disney Productions was about $3 million in the hole when they began storyboarding, and Disney couldn't afford to be as fun and fancy free as he was with 1947's Fun and Fancy Free
. Giving animators frame-by-frame reference images actually streamlined the process and cut production costs substantially.
Some of this filmed performance has survived. Compare these live-action production stills to the final animated scene: