When Marie is gifted a nutcracker on Christmas Eve, the last thing she expects is for it to come alive. When she wakes to find a very mobile nutcracker engaged in a battle between her dolls, it becomes clear that there is more to this toy than meets the eye. The following day, Marie learns of his story and is plunged into the quest of lifting an evil curse. E.T.A Hoffmann's fantasy novel has not only seized the attention of children worldwide for centuries but also famously inspired the Russian ballet 'The Nutcracker' (1892). E.T.A Hoffmann (1776-1822) was a German writer, painter, and composer. His short stories are famed for their supernatural elements that often reveal things about human nature that perhaps would've been better remaining a secret. Dostoyevsky, Edgar Allen Poe, and Victor Hugo were all openly inspired by his vivid explorations of human character.