It is New Year’s Eve, and Marie is in for a very unpleasant surprise: her mother is forced to marry against her will to the revolting money lender Mr. Ratter. As a token of proposition, he gives Marie a doll named Nutcracker. A miracle occurs and Marie becomes the same size as her childhood toys, who all come to life. Nutcracker turns out to be Prince George, who has been put under a spell. Marie, George and toy friends travel to the Land of Flowers with a mission to save the world from falling under the control of the rat people.
Maria is a young and beautiful girl who is facing eviction from her home after the death of her debt-ridden father. Her only salvation might be to marry the man who owns the debt - but neither she nor her mother are very keen on that idea. After delivering his ultimatum, he leaves her with his toy soldier/nutcracker and in despair, she wishes she were reduced to the size of the doll. Magic now takes a hand, and not only does she get her wish, but she discovers her other toys are now alive too. The spell will only last for 24 hours so long as they all stay in the same room, but the dashing young soldier "Philip" quite literally smells a rat - and that leads them all to some escapades in his homeland where his kingly father is being drugged by his evil stepmother and her son - who have their own grisly secret to keep. Can he and Maria thwart their cunning plan, save the kingdom and find true love? It is quite a fun animation this, with just enough Tchaikovsky from the "Nutcracker" and the "Magic Flute" to keep the adventure entertaining. The story is a bit of a mess, but that doesn't really matter - this is just a colourful piece of family cinema with decent animation and some fun animal characterisations that ends very much as you'd expect. Not great, no - but I did rather enjoy it on a big screen at Christmas.