After the death of her mother, Ella’s father remarries, and Ella welcomes her stepmother and her daughters, Anastasia and Drisella, into the family home. But when Ella’s father unexpectedly passes away, she finds herself at the mercy of a jealous and cruel new family. Despite being relegated to serving the family, Ella is determined to honor her mother’s dying words to "have courage and be kind." She will not give in to despair nor despise those who mistreat her. And then there is the dashing stranger, Kit, she meets in the woods, who is not an apprentice at the Palace as she believes, but a prince. It appears her fortunes may be about to change when the Palace sends out an invitation for all maidens to attend a ball, raising Ella’s hopes of seeing the charming Kit again. Alas, her stepmother forbids her to attend and rips apart her dress. But then a kindly beggar woman steps forward and – armed with a pumpkin and a few mice – changes Cinderella’s life forever.
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