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The Nutcracker

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The Nutcracker is an animated short originally featured in episode #13 of Mickey Mouse Works. It was later featured in Mickey's Magical Christmas: Snowed in at the House of Mouse and the House of Mouse episode "Pete's Christmas Caper". As the title suggests, it is an adaptation of "The Nutcracker", but it also finds its roots in the stage show Mickey's Nutcracker, which was performed at Disneyland's Videopolis theater in 1991.

Synopsis

It is Christmas Eve, and a girl named Maria (Minnie Mouse) is admiring her Christmas presents as an offscreen narrator (voiced by John Cleese) rhetorically asks "Who could describe them all?" At that point, Maria's guardian, Godpapa Drosselmeyer (Ludwig Von Drake) answers that by attempting to describe the toys before the narrator interrupts him, telling him that he wasn't really supposed to answer his question, and orders him to "pretend I'm not even here." Drosselmeyer proceeds to present Maria with his special gift for her - a beautiful nutcracker doll in the likeness of Mickey Mouse, which took him all year to build. During this, he again argues with the narrator when he keeps describing the doll before Drosselmeyer himself can finish the description. Maria loves her nutcracker and is even more enchanted when she pulls the wind-up key on its back and it starts dancing. Drosselmeyer, however, points out that it's not supposed to dance, and unscrews its head off in an attempt to find out why. But Maria takes offense at him "breaking" the nutcracker, and the narrator promptly kicks him out of the story.

Maria ties the Nutcracker's head back on and expresses her desire for him to be real, so that she could dance with him. The Nutcracker suddenly flashes a smile at her, which startles her and makes her wonder if she's seeing things. She suddenly shrinks to the size of the Nutcracker and finds herself panicking at the sight of her now-gigantic, evil-looking toys. In the course of this, she trips on some giant skates and gets herself tied up in the tree trimming. Fortunately, the now-living Nutcracker shows up to cut her loose, saying he wants to thank her for her kindness. The two engage in a romantic dance, but their interlude is cut short by the appearance of the villainous Mouse King, played by a reluctant Donald Duck. Donald objects that he does not want to play the part and immediately storms off, but the narrator convinces him to stay by telling him that "the Mouse King wins in the end." With that, Donald resumes the part as normal and, as the Mouse King, arrives to kidnap Maria so he can make her his queen. The Nutcracker tries to stop him, but the Mouse King promptly kicks him out of the way and whisks off with the captive Maria, sealing the entrance to his "kingdom" (one of the gift boxes) behind him.

As the Nutcracker ponders a way to get in, Goofy suddenly shows up behind him. Mickey steps out of character for a moment to ask Goofy what it is he's doing here. Goofy responds that he has come to help, to which Mickey responds by asking what role he's supposed to be playing. ("Uh, Hamlet?") After Mickey clarifies his question, Goofy answers that he'll be the Magical Snow Fairy who will transport the Nutcracker to the Mouse King's kingdom, and then promptly opens the doorway with a snap of his fingers. The two make their way to the Mouse King's castle, where the Mouse King is attempting to crown Maria his queen, to no avail (she keeps dodging her head). The Nutcracker demands the "mousey monarch" to let Maria go, and then gets into a duel with the Mouse King. During this, the Snow Fairy tries to untie Maria, but without success. In the course of the fight, the Mouse King accidentally leaps off of the platform and falls downward. The Nutcracker then frees Maria from her ropes, and they try to escape, but the Snow Fairy gets zapped by the Mouse King and is trapped in his scepter.

Upon making it back into Maria's home, she and the Nutcracker try to seal the doorway to the Mouse King's world, but he makes it back out anyway thanks to his train. They manage to destroy it by splitting the tracks in half. The Mouse King then chases the pair up Maria's Christmas tree. Upon reaching the top, the Nutcracker slices the star off the top so that it knocks out the Mouse King, causing him to drop all the way to the floor and end up getting zapped by and trapped in his own scepter. (Upon hearing Donald's complaint about him not winning as promised, the narrator remarks, "Sorry, I made a mistake.") With the Mouse King now stuck having to play card games with the Snow Fairy inside the scepter, Maria and the Nutcracker resume their dance.

Just as Maria's dream is ending, Godpapa Drosselmeyer suddenly reappears, explaining to the narrator he needed to come back in order to reclaim his scepter. Drosselmeyer explains that he is actually the King of the Sugar Plum Fairies, who was usurped by the Mouse King; now that he has his scepter back, he can resume his royal duties, and then flies off with his fellow Sugar Plum Fairies. The narrator ends the story by saying he had no idea what this last part had to do with anything, and promptly leaves.

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