The Story of The Nutcracker
It is Christmas Eve at the Stahlbaum home. Guests should be arriving at moment for their annual Christmas Eve Party. Chaos ensues as they try to get the children and the home ready. Clara, the eldest Stahlbaum, glides around in a day dream, anticipating the arrival of her two best friends. Franny, the youngest, refuses to put on her party dress; much to dismay of her mother and nanny. All while Clara's cat enjoys playing with beautifully wrapped gifts and their ribbons. Just in time the Stahlbaum family is ready to receive their first guest!
Christmas merriment is in full swing when suddenly an unexpected and cloaked figure enters the great room! Everyone wonders who this mysterious guest could when he reveals himself in a swirl of magic as the Stahlbaum's excentric and magical friend Heir Drosselmyer! The children rush to him, wondering where his gifts could be hiding. He always brings something unforgettable! He shoos them away and greets the parents. After showing off a little bit of his magic he gathers the children to dance.
Not one to only bring his slight of hand tricks to a party, Drosselmeyer calls in his assistant. He brings with him a large box. He beckons the children and begins showering them with gifts. To reaching hands he gives, swords, dolls, trumpets and even a hobby horse. Franny receives a stuffed bunny that she falls in love with immediately. All the children laugh and play with their new toys, all but Clara that is. But, Drosselmeyer has one more special gift. He pulls out a beautiful nutcracker. All the children rush to seize the doll. Drosselmeyer teases and makes the children chase him. Franny forgets all about her stuffed bunny and only has eyes for the nutcracker, but to her great disappointment Drosselmeyer gives the special gift to Clara.
Clara's eyes glow with joy as she receives the doll. She proudly shows of the nutcracker to her friends. The other children follow her jealously around as Franny sulks and taunts the cat with her stuffed bunny. With a twinkle in his eye Drosselmeyer calls for help to bring in more magical gifts. Out comes two life size dolls, a beautiful ballerina doll and strong and powerful soldier doll. With a bit of magic the dolls come to life. The party guests are amazed! But the magic is not over, a harlequin doll springs to life in the hallway and comes cartwheeling into the party to dazzle with her tricks. The children rush to the dolls and inspect them, wondering how Drosselmeyer made them come to life.
Still admiring her beautiful Nutcracker Clara shows him off to the party with a beautiful dance. Franny, however, is not impressed. Every chance she gets she reaches for the doll. Desperate for the nutcracker she lunges and grabs it from Clara. In her triumph she spins the doll around and it falls to the floor. Franny shrugs and runs away but Clara is in tears. Drosselmeyer comes to her rescue and with his special kind of magic he fixes the nutcracker with his handkerchief. Clara and her friends are delighted and invite all the girls to dance with them and their dolls. Not happy with the quiet scene Franny leads the boys around to torment and tease their sisters.
After one more dance the party is over. Much to the children's dismay it is time for the guests to return to their homes. Once all the guests have gone, and the lights are turned out, the Stahlbaums head to bed for a peaceful nights sleep. Unable to sleep Clara sneaks downstairs to check on her nutcracker.
In the quiet and stillness, the great room seems strange and different to Clara. As she looks around something strange begins to happen. The tree begins to grow! Drosselmeyer must have left some of his magic! Then to Clara's surprise mice begin creeping into the great room. Clara looks around for her nutcracker only to find that he too has grown and is leading soldiers to fight the mice! Just when it looks like the soldiers will win, a giant rat bursts into the room. The Nutcracker and the soldiers fight bravely and even Clara's cat and Franny's stuffed bunny join the scuffle! As The Nutcracker battles the Rat King, Clara calls the soldiers to her and they come up with a plan to help. They tie her shoes together and throw them at the Rat King. He lunges for Clara and she jumps to hide behind the couch. The Nutcracker takes this opportunity, he reaches for his sword and stabs the Rat King.
The room becomes quiet again and Clara peaks out from her hiding place. The great room is empty. She worriedly searches for the soldiers and the Nutcracker but she is all alone. She rushes out to the hallway thinking she might find him there. But there is not a soul in sight. A moment later someone taps her on the shoulder. She turns around to see that her nutcracker has turned into a prince! He gives are the Rat Kings crown and leads her out of the hallway.
Suddenly they are transported to a beautiful land of snow! They run through the snowfall and dance together as the snowflakes, led by their queen, begin to fall and flurry around them. Once through the land of snow they are greeted by angels who guide them through to the princes magical land, The Kingdom of the Sweets. The prince and Clara are met by the Sugar Plum Fairy. She asks the prince to tell them of his adventures and who he has brought with him. The prince tells of his battle with the Rat King and Clara's clever plan to help defeat him. As a gift for both their bravery the Sugar Plum Fairy gathers all of her subjects to dance for the pair.
Clara and the prince are enchanted by Spanish Chocolate, Arabian Coffee, Chinese Tea, A Russian Candy Cane, Danish Marzipan Shepherdess's, Mother Ginger and her Polichinelles and the Rose Queen and her garden of flowers. Once all of her subjects have danced the Sugar Plum herself dances with her cavalier. She gathers everyone to dance and celebrate Clara and the prince. Clara is in awe of the beauty but realizes she must get home. The prince leads her out of the kingdom as everyone bids them farewell.
Clara is suddenly back in the great room, cuddled on the couch with her nutcracker. She falls back to sleep hoping to dream of magical kingdoms and sugar plums again. In the quiet of the great room the Sugar Plum Fairy, The Snow Queen and the Rose Queen gather round Clara lulling her to sleep and wishing her sweet dreams.