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The chief attraction of this 1977 adaptation is the pairing of Baryshnikov and Kirkland. In consequence, the storyline has been altered to keep Clara and the Nutcracker prince as the focus of the tale. At a Christmas party, Clara is presented with the elegant Nutcracker prince by her doting godfather, Herr Drosselmeyer. A drunken male guest breaks it, and Clara is devastated. That night, Clara dreams about the Nutcracker prince: he comes to life, fights off the Rat King and his minions, and takes her to his kingdom. There she is royally entertained, and they dance together. Shy and diffident Clara longs to remain in the dream world--safe on the brink of adulthood--but her love for her godfather and her family draw her back into the waking world, where adulthood and real romance await her.