Based on the fairy tale by Charles Perrault, a girl oppressed by her stepmother and stepsisters gets help from her animal friends and fairy godmother to meet a prince.
Cinderella wakes and sings “A Dream Is a Wish Your Heart Makes.” The mouse Jaques asks Cinderella to help the mouse Gus get out of a trap. Cinderella feeds the cat and takes the dog Bruno outside. Jaques distracts the cat Lucifer so that the other mice can get out. Cinderella takes breakfast to her stepsisters Drizella and Anastasia. Her stepmother, Lady Tremaine, orders Cinderella to do the laundry and clean the house.
In the castle the King wants grandchildren and tells the Grand Duke to invite every eligible maiden to a ball that night. Cinderella sings “Sing, Sweet Nightingale.” Lady Tremaine reads the invitation and says that Cinderella can go if she gets her work done and has something to wear. The mice sing and fix up Cinderella’s dress with help from bluebirds.
At 8 a carriage arrives, but Cinderella says she is not going. Then she sees her improved dress and gets ready. However, Drizella takes her beads, and Anastasia grabs her sash, leaving her dress in tatters. Cinderella cries. Her Fairy Godmother appears and makes a pumpkin into a coach and mice into horses, a horse into a coachman and Bruno into a footman. The Fairy Godmother gives Cinderella a beautiful dress and says she must return by midnight.
At the ball the Prince is bored until he sees Cinderella. He waltzes with her, and the King is happy. Cinderella and the Prince sing “So This Is Love.” At 12 Cinderella runs off and leaves a slipper behind. On the road the coach turns into a pumpkin. The Grand Duke tells the King that the girl got away but left a slipper behind. The Prince wants to marry that girl, and they decide to search for the girl that the slipper will fit.
Lady Tremaine tells her two daughters they have a chance. Cinderella hears of the glass slipper and is happy, but her stepmother locks her in a room. The Grand Duke arrives and reads the proclamation while the mice steal the key from Lady Tremaine’s pocket. The shoe does not fit on Anastasia or on Drizella despite their obnoxious efforts. Birds get Bruno to chase away Lucifer so that the mice can open Cinderella’s door. She asks to try on the shoe; but Lady Tremaine trips the servant, and the glass slipper is shattered. Cinderella says she has the other slipper. In the final scene Cinderella weds the Prince.
This animated musical is a long cartoon in which the animals steal most of the show. The romantic fantasy appeals to the universal desire to find the perfect mate despite the obstacles placed in the way by selfish people.