- Lily James - Cinderella
- Helena Bonham Carter - Fairy Godmother
- Sophie McShera - Drisella
- Hayley Atwell - Cinderella's Mother
- Eloise Webb - Young Cinderella
- Richard Madden - Kit
- Cate Blanchett - Lady Tremaine
- Holliday Grainger - Anastasia
- Stellan Skarsgård - The Grand Duke
- Derek Jacobi - The King
- Ben Chaplin - Cinderella's Father
Ella is born to loving parents living on a beautiful estate in a peaceful kingdom. Since childhood, she is taught by her mother to believe in magic, allowing her to befriend the animals on the estate, especially the mice. Everything is perfect until Ella's mother falls ill. On her deathbed, she asks Ella to always have courage and be kind. Ella's father eventually remarries Lady Tremaine, the widow of Lord Sir Francis Tremaine, an old friend, who has two daughters of her own: Drisella and Anastasia. Ella welcomes her new step-family, despite the stepsisters' unpleasant attitudes.
When Ella's father goes abroad for business, Lady Tremaine reveals her cruel and jealous nature, as she pushes Ella to give up her room to the stepsisters for the attic. Sadly, Ella's father dies during the trip, causing Lady Tremaine to dismiss all servants to save money and place all the chores on Ella. On one cold evening, Ella sleeps by the fireplace for warmth, but wakes up next morning covered in "cinders". Her step-family consequently mock Ella as "Cinderella", and forbid her from eating with the family.
Crushed by their cruelty, Ella rides off into the woods, where she meets Kit, an apprentice from the palace, who is part of a hunting party chasing a stag. Not knowing Kit is actually the prince of the kingdom, Ella admonishes him for hunting the stag, and pleads for the stag's freedom, which Kit agrees. Touched by his kindness, Ella takes a liking of Kit. Kit is likewise enchanted by Ella's charm, kindness, and unique outlook on life. The two part without Kit learning of Ella's name, but not before both express the wish to see each other again. The king, upon learning he has little time left, insists Kit takes a bride, who should be a princess for the advantage of the kingdom, at the upcoming royal ball. Kit persuades his father to invite every eligible maiden in the land to the ball, in hope of seeing Ella.
When the ball is announced, the Tremaine family is ecstatic at the prospect of marrying into royalty. Ella is also excited to attend the ball for the chance to see Kit. She fixes up her mother's old pink dress when Lady Tremaine refuses to buy her a new one. On the night of the ball, Ella tries to join her step-family on the way out, but Lady Tremaine, together with her daughters, ridicule and tear up Ella's dress, then leave without her. Losing courage, Ella runs into the garden in tears and meets an old beggar woman, who reveals herself to be Ella's fairy godmother. The fairy godmother proceeds to magically transform a pumpkin into a magnificent carriage, four mice into white horses, two lizards into footmen, a goose into a coachman, and finally Ella's ripped dress into a gorgeous blue gown, complete with a pair of magical glass slippers. Before sending Ella on her way to the ball, the fairy godmother warns the magic will be broken at the last stroke of midnight.
At the ball, the entire court is entranced by Ella, especially Kit. Nervous but happy to see each other, Ella and Kit have a perfect first dance, as if the two have been partners their entire lives. This irritates the Grand Duke, as he has promised Kit to Princess Chelina of Zaragoza, a fact that Lady Tremaine overhears.
While surprised by Kit's true identity, Ella nonetheless has a marvelous time with Kit, touring the palace grounds and Kit's secret garden. But before Ella can tell Kit her name, the clock begins striking as midnight approaches, forcing Ella to flee and accidentally drop one of her glass slippers on the palace steps. She manages to get away at the final stroke of midnight, but the spell wears off and causes the animals and Ella's dress to revert. Ella hides the one glass slipper she has under the floorboards of her room as a keepsake, reasonably content that her one night will become a beautiful memory.
The king dies soon after, but not before giving his son permission to marry Ella if he wishes. Not knowing Ella's identity and whereabouts, Kit, once become king, declares his love and intend to marry the "mystery princess who wears glass slippers to the ball", if she is willing. Excited at the news, Ella hurries to retrieve the glass slipper in her possession, only to find her stepmother holding it. Having deduced that Ella is the mystery princess, Lady Tremaine demands to be made the head of the royal household in exchange for allowing Ella to come forth and marry Kit, and once queen, Ella is to ensure that Drisella and Anastasia be married off to wealthy husbands. Ella refuses, Lady Tremaine smashes the slipper and locks Ella in the attic. Lady Tremaine then takes the shattered slipper and identity of the mystery princess to the Grand Duke in exchange for the title of countess and advantageous marriages for her daughters. The Grand Duke tries to convince Kit to forget the mystery princess with the shattered slipper, but this only makes Kit even more determined to find her.
The Grand Duke and the Captain of the Guards lead the mission to find the mystery princess by trying the remaining slipper on all of the maidens in the land, but the magical slipper refuses to fit. When they arrive at Ella's estate, the shoe fits neither of the stepsisters. As they turn to leave, Ella's singing of "Lavender's Blue" is heard through a window that the mice have opened. The Grand Duke tries to ignore this, but Kit reveals himself to be one of the guards. Kit asks the Captain to investigate the source of the singing. Once Ella is found, Lady Tremaine attempts to forbid her from trying on the shoe on the grounds that she is Ella's mother, but she is overruled by the Captain, as Ella curtly tells Lady Tremaine that she has never been, and never will be, her mother.
Ella and Kit are thereby reunited, and Kit recognizes Ella even without the shoe, which fits her perfectly. Promising to take each other as they are, Ella and Kit leave the house as Ella offers forgiveness to her stepmother. Afterward, Ella's step-family, along with the Grand Duke, leave the kingdom never to return.
At last, Ella and Kit are married. The Fairy Godmother narrates that they become the land's most beloved monarchs, ruling with the courage and kindness that Ella has promised her mother, and that they live happily ever after.
- "Lavender's Blue" - Young Cinderella and Cinderella's Mother
- "Oh, Sing Sweet Nightingale" - Cinderella
- "It Was A Lover And His Lass" - Drisella
- "A Dream Is A Wish Your Heart Makes" - Cinderella
- "Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boo (The Magic Song)" - The Fairy Godmother
- "Lavender's Blue" (reprise) - Cinderella