PlotCinderella's Fairy Godmother (Whitney Houston) explains that nothing is impossible in this magical, mystical realm. In the village, Cinderella (Brandy) struggles under the weight of the numerous gaudy purchases of her imperious Stepmother (Bernadette Peters) and her spiteful and envious Stepsisters Minerva (Natalie Desselle-Reid) and Calliope (Veanne Cox). Cinderella's imagination wanders ("The Sweetest Sounds"). Disguised as a peasant, the Prince (Paolo Montalban) strolls through the marketplace. Cinderella is nearly crushed by the royal carriage, searching for missing royalty, but she is saved by the Prince's heroic intervention and is immediately charmed by his sincere, direct nature, just as he is drawn to her naive honesty and purity. When they begin talking to each, the Prince expresses his wanting to get to know Cinderella better, with her seeming not so keen, until both realise their mutual dislike of their sheltered lives. Her Stepmother scolds Cinderella for talking to a stranger, and the Prince reluctantly returns to the palace, but expresses that he hopes to see her again.
Upbraided by his frantic loyal valet Lionel (Jason Alexander) for his clandestine venture into the village, the Prince tries to explain his sense of isolation and sadness. His parents Queen Constantina (Whoopi Goldberg) and King Maximilian (Victor Garber) are making preparations for a ball where he is to select a suitable bride from all the eligible maidens in the kingdom. The Prince wishes to fall in love the old-fashioned way, but his parents dismiss this, and Lionel is dispatched to proclaim that "The Prince is Giving a Ball." Meanwhile, the Stepmother, determined to see one of her graceless, obnoxious and self-indulgent daughters chosen as the Prince's bride at the ball, plans their big night. Cinderella wonders if she, too, might go to the Prince's ball. Finding the idea humorous, Stepmother reminds Cinderella of her lowly station and warns against dreams of joy, success and splendor. Disappointed, Cinderella dreams of a world away from her cold and loveless life ("In My Own Little Corner").
Using his diplomatic skills, Lionel offers a compromise between the Prince and his parents: if a fitting bride is not selected at the ball, then the Prince may seek his true love in his own way. At the same time, thinking about her own lost opportunities, Stepmother drills itchy Minerva and snorting Calliope on royal etiquette and tricks to impress the Prince, vowing that one of them will snare him. As Cinderella questions the meaning of love and romance, Stepmother reminds the girls that going to the ball has nothing to do with finding love, but everything to do with getting a husband by any means necessary ("Falling in Love With Love"). Stepmother, Minerva and Calliope depart for the palace in their garish gowns.
Responding to Cinderella's tears, the beautiful Fairy Godmother appears and encourages Cinderella to start living her dreams ("Impossible"). She transforms a pumpkin into a gilded carriage, rats into a coachman and footmen, mice into regal horses and adorns Cinderella in a gorgeous gown, a bejeweled tiara and glass slippers. The Fairy Godmother cautions Cinderella that magic spells have time limits, and so Cinderella must leave the palace before the stroke of midnight. Cinderella finally begins to believe "It's Possible". At the ball, Lionel dutifully delivers eligible maidens to the Prince on the dance floor, and Stepmother fiendishly schemes behind the scenes on behalf of her daughters. The Prince is unimpressed by Minerva, who breaks out in an itchy rash, and Calliope, who snorts uncontrollably at everything the Prince says.
Cinderella appears at the top of the staircase, and the Prince has eyes only for her. Soon they are waltzing together ("Ten Minutes Ago"), as the "Stepsisters Lament" over their bad luck. The King and Queen are intrigued by this mysterious princess. Embarrassed by questions about her background, Cinderella escapes to the garden in tears, where Fairy Godmother magically appears for moral support. Reunited again, Cinderella and the Prince wonder, "Do I Love You Because You're Beautiful?" Just as they share their first kiss, the tower clock begins to strike midnight. Cinderella flees, leaving behind a single clue on the steps to the palace, a sparkling glass slipper.
Stepmother and the Stepsisters return home telling exaggerated stories about their glorious adventures with the Prince. They speak in envious tones of a mysterious "Princess Something-or-other" who, they concede, also captured the Prince's attention. Cinderella "imagines" that her evening at the ball was "A Lovely Night." Stepmother coldly reminds Cinderella that she is common and should stop dreaming about a life she will never have. In the face of such cruelty, Cinderella decides to leave and goes to her room to pack her meager belongings. Her Fairy Godmother advises her to share her feelings with the Prince.
Meanwhile, Lionel and the heartbroken Prince seek the maiden who lost the glass slipper, but none of the endless supply of eligible female feet in the kingdom measure up. The Prince and Lionel finally arrive at the Stepmother's cottage. The daughters and even Stepmother try to fit their feet into the delicate slipper, but to no avail. As the dispirited Prince prepares to leave, Cinderella looks into the eyes of her Prince standing beside her. He recognizes her and, knowing that he has finally found his true love, places the slipper on her foot: it fits.
Cinderella and the Prince marry under the approving eye of King Maximilian and Queen Constantina. Fairy Godmother blesses the couple with the message that "There's Music in You" as they are cheered by their joyful royal subjects. The gates of the palace slam shut on the Stepmother and Stepsisters, left outside as the Prince and his new Princess start their lives of "happily ever after".
- Brandy – Cinderella
- Whitney Houston – Fairy Godmother
- Paolo Montalban – Prince Christopher
- Bernadette Peters – Cinderella's stepmother
- Natalie Desselle-Reid – Minerva, Cinderella's stepsister
- Veanne Cox – Calliope, Cinderella's stepsister
- Whoopi Goldberg – Queen Constantina, the Prince's mother
- Victor Garber – King Maximillian, the Prince's father
- Jason Alexander – Lionel, the Prince's butler and valet