Based on The Nutcracker
, it stars Barbie
as Clara who, along with a living nutcracker, begins a journey to find the Sugarplum Princess.
, it was the first in what would later become a series of Barbie movies: a series which now spans 14 years.
- An Aesop: Believe in yourself.
- And You Were There: Barbie appears in the story as Clara and the Sugarplum Princess, while her sister, Kelly, plays a candy girl and a fairy, Ken plays the Nutcracker and Prince Eric, and Ken's brother Tommy pays a candy boy.
- Dance of Romance: Clara and the Nutcracker at the end.
- Dangerously Genre Savvy: After creating a rock golem, the Mouse King sends Pim to advise it. He later builds a fake princess castle to capture the heroes.
- Empathy Doll Shot: Clara finds a doll in the ruins of the Gingerbread Village.
- Everything's Better with Princesses
- Evil Is Hammy: The Mouse King, voiced by Tim Curry.
- Framing Device: Barbie tells the story to Kelly, who feels too nervous to dance in a ballet.
- Gender Flip: Uncle Drosselmeyer became an Aunt.
- Genre Savvy: Clara figures out the Nutcracker is Prince Eric very quickly.
- I Choose to Stay: Clara decides she doesn't want to go home, but then the Mouse King, having been thought to be defeated, returns and activates the device she'd been given to send her home. She then vanishes and wakes up in the real world.
- Incredible Shrinking Man: The Mouse King shrinks Clara to the size of a doll.
- It Was with You All Along: Clara is really the Sugarplum Princess, as revealed after her kiss turns the Nutcracker human. This was also foreshadowed when Clara's footprints caused snow to melt and flowers to grow.
- Magic Wand: What the Rat King uses to shrink people, or turn them into stone.
- Motion Capture: Dances were rotoscoped.
- Pajama Clad Heroine: Clara spends the majority of her adventure in her nightgown.
- The Power of Love
- Or Was It a Dream?: Clara wakes up to find her nutcracker disappeared. While she asks everyone else if they knew where it went, Aunt Drosselmeyer enters, and asks Clara to meet her friend, who looks exactly like the Nutcracker's human form.
- Public Domain Soundtrack: The movie makes liberal use of Tchaikovsky's music.
- Teleporters and Transporters: Clara's locket, which teleports her back to the real world when opened.
- Those Two Guys: Major Mint and Captain Candy.
- Toyless Toyline Character: Major Mint and Captain Candy didn't get full-size dolls, fans had to settle for Tommy and an Ambiguously Brown friend dressed as them. The Rat King received no toys at all.
- True Love's Kiss
- Twice Told Tale: Of the Nutcracker.
- Your Princess Is in Another Castle: At one point, the men enter a pink castle, hoping to find the princess inside. Instead, they get trapped in a cage, and captured by the Mouse King.