Life has taken a downward turn for Cinderella. While she still grieves for her beloved mother, her father has remarried. Her stepmother, who has two children of her own, is a bully. She hates the fact her stepdaughter, nicknamed Cinderella, is kinder and more beautiful than her own brood.
To make matters worse, Cinderella’s father is struggling to cope with life under the thumb of his dominant new wife. To fund a more extravagant lifestyle for her own girls, she sells many of the family’s belongings, including Cinderella’s most prized possession, a portrait of her mother.
Since news that the Prince is planning to throw a lavish ball has spread, excitement levels have risen in the household. It promises to be the social event of the year—and they are all invited! Dress designers, shoemakers and a dance master are summoned to the house to ensure Cinderella’s stepsisters look as good as possible at the Royal Ball. But the lavish treatment is not extended to poor Cinderella, who has made her own dress from the clothes her mother left to her. Her hopes of going to the ball however are soon dashed when her stepmother rips up Cinderella’s invitation during a fit of rage. Her stepsisters leave for the ball, leaving Cinderella alone and sad.
Cinderella seeks solace at the foot of the tree where her mother is buried. Her Fairy Godmother magically appears and asks Cinderella what she would wish for. The answer is simple—to go to the Royal Ball. As the roses come to life and dance around her, Cinderella’s dream looks set to come true. Her Fairy Godmother however, warns her that the spell will be reversed at midnight.