Cinderella lives an unhappy life, having lost both parents at a young age and being forced to work as a scullery maid for her cruel stepmother, Lady Tremaine, jealous of Cinderella’s beauty, and stepsisters Drizella and Anastasia, in the dilapidated château they live in. Despite this, Cinderella is a kind and gentle young woman and is friends with mice and birds that live in and around the château. Meanwhile, at the royal palace, the King is frustrated that his son, the Prince, is still unmarried. He and the Grand Duke organize a ball in an effort to find a suitable wife for the Prince, requesting every eligible maiden attend. Upon receiving notice of the ball, Tremaine agrees to let Cinderella go if she finishes her chores and can find a suitable dress to wear.
Cinderella finds a gown that belongs to her mother and decides to refashion it for the ball, but her step family impedes this by giving her extra chores. Cinderella’s animal friends, including Jaq and Gus, refashion it for her, completing the design with a necklace and sash discarded by Drizella and Anastasia, respectively. When Cinderella comes downstairs wearing the dress, the stepsisters are angered when they realize Cinderella is wearing their accessories and angrily tear the dress to shreds before leaving for the ball with their mother. A heartbroken Cinderella runs out into the garden in tears, where her Fairy Godmother appears before her. Insisting that Cinderella go to the ball, the Fairy Godmother magically transforms a pumpkin into a carriage, the mice into horses, Cinderella’s horse, Major, into a coachman, and dog, Bruno, into a footman, before turning Cinderella’s ruined dress into a white ball gown and her shoes into glass slippers. As Cinderella leaves for the ball, the Fairy Godmother warns her the spell will break at the stroke of midnight.