Cinderella’s stepmother, father and stepsisters are busy planning for the palace ball that evening. Cinderella enters and their conversation suddenly stops. They turn on Cinderella and the stepmother orders her to clean the room. Cinderella picks up the broom, commences to sweep, then takes a portrait of her dear mother from its hiding place and gazes at it longingly. Her father returns and is overcome with remorse when he sees the resemblance between Cinderella and his first wife. His daughter lovingly tries to reassure him, but they are dragged apart by the stepsisters, who also snatch away the picture.
Suddenly, the door opens and an old beggar-woman enters. The stepmother gives her the picture of Cinderella’s mother to get rid of it, but the beggar sees the resemblance to Cinderella and hands it back to her. Cinderella offers the old woman some bread, which she accepts and then departs.
A dress maker and wigmaker arrive to dress the stepsisters for the ball. Then a master who attempts the impossible task of teaching the stepsisters the rudiments of dancing. The family departs for the ball, with the exception of Cinderella who must remain behind. She tries to console her loneliness by pretending that the kitchen broom is her partner at the ball, but the pretense is too much for her and she bursts into tears. At this moment, the beggar-woman returns and changes into a fairy godmother. She transforms the kitchen into a forest, complete with dragonflies swooping amongst the trees.
The fairy godmother gives Cinderella a pair of glass slippers. The fairies of spring, summer, autumn and winter perform for her, changing the seasons as they dance. Cinderella’s rags become a beautiful gown. The fairy godmother warns her that at midnight the magic gown will change back into her rags. She then magically transforms a pumpkin and four lizards into a coach and horses, and Cinderella is driven to the ball like a princess.
At the palace, a jester welcomes the arriving guests. The prince enters and greets the assembly of guests, then gallantly invites each of the stepsisters in turn to dance with him. At this moment, the ball is interrupted by the arrival of Cinderella in her coach, and the prince immediately falls in love with her. The guests are offered oranges, the rarest fruit in the land, and when one of the stepsisters is left without one, Cinderella gives up her own while concealing her identity. The prince and Cinderella are dancing together, when the clock strikes midnight. Cinderella’s clothes turn to rags and she rushes from the ballroom. The prince cannot restrain her, but finds one of the glass slippers, which she lost in her haste.
Back in the kitchen, Cinderella remembers the ball as a beautiful dream and finds the remaining glass slipper in one of her pockets. She quickly hides it as the stepsisters return, proudly displaying the oranges that the prince gave them. The stepmother announces the arrival of the prince with his jester and courtiers in search of the owner of the glass slipper. Each of the stepsisters in turn vainly tries to squeeze their oversized foot into the tiny slipper. When the prince notices Cinderella sitting shyly by the fire, he asks her father if she may try it on. As she moves to do so, the second slippers falls from her pocket. The prince is overjoyed and asks her to marry him. Cinderella forgives her stepmother and stepsisters for their previous cruelty to her.
As the prince returns the glass slipper to the fairy godmother, the kitchen is transformed into a magical field where Cinderella and her prince dance a romantic pas de deux. The guests return to acclaim the new princess at her betrothal.