It's June in Baltimore in 1962. Tracy Turnblad is a big girl with big hair and even bigger dreams - all of which seem to get her into a lot of trouble. Tracy and her best friend, Penny, love watching the local teenage dance show The Corny Collins Show. The show is glamourous, colorful and features the handsome Link Larkin. While their mothers do not understand their fascination, Tracy and Penny can't seem to get enough of the show.
One day they announce that auditions for a place in the show will be held soon. Tracy is eager to audition, but her mother, Edna, will not allow it, as she worries that Tracy will be made fun of due to her weight. When Tracy defies Edna and goes to the audition anyway, she bumps into no other than Link Larkin!
Tracy wants to make it on the TV show, while trying to win the heart of Link and bring everyone together - whatever their colour, size and hairdo. But is that even possible, when resistance keeps getting in your face?