Of all the gifts under the tree on Christmas Eve, only one captures Marie Stahlbaums heart: a humble nutcracker. Hes a curious little man with kind eyes, sweet red cheeks, and a friendly appearance. And as midnight nears, he comes to life, revealing a fairy-tale world of magic and wonder, wicked princesses and fierce battles . . . and an ancient curse that can only be broken with the help of a true friend. With the evil Mouse King looming and her dream world threatened, Marie will have to find the strength to stand up for her nutcracker - no matter what it takes.