Well, I've done it. I've finished off Nutcracker and Mouseking, the story that the Nutcracker was based on. It was interesting in a few ways. For one, the mouse king was this terrifying 7-headed rodent creature that was obviously inspired by the German folk legend of the rat king. If you've never heard of it before I am terribly sorry to introduce it to you, but it gives you a certain understanding of the story we are working with, here. The little girl (named Marie, not Clara) sort of vaguely helps the nutcracker (Drosselmeyer's bewitched nephew) defeat the mouse king (VERY vaguely) and then she marries him, despite the fact that she is 8 years old. There you go. There is a brief trip through the land of sweets, but they don't stop to talk to anyone on account of the residents all being terribly grumpy (because they all have sore teeth, naturally). Why did we make this story in to a beloved ballet classic, again?
Random write-up in mental_floss magazine this month:
not particularly informative or anything, it just caught my eye.