A boy receives a set of toy soldiers and arrays them on a table top. One Tin Soldier stands on a single leg, having been the last one cast from an old tin spoon.
At nightfall, the clock from a nearby toy dancing rink strikes to midnight, and all the toys in the room come to life. The first one to come to life is the Ballerina standing atop the dancing rink. The second being the Jack-in-the-box, yawning as he rises from sleep. He sets his sights on the Ballerina, and tried to kiss her hand, but she pulls away, and dances once more.
Then the Toy Soldiers come to life and begin to patrol the room, as the Jack-in-the-box sees them patrolling, and hides from them in his box. The last Tin Soldier stands on a single leg, having been the last one cast from an old tin spoon. As a result, he tips over almost knocked down, and knocks down every toy soldier in front of him.
Nearby, he notices the Ballerina and for a moment, thinks she has one leg like he does. He goes to her and gives her a plastic rose from a part of the dancing rink. However, as she smiles at the gesture, she then lets down her second leg from under her dress, disappointing him. Despite this letdown, she accepts and the soldier's gift and takes it, smelling the plastic rose. This act surprises him, and they quickly fall in love. However, the Jack-in-the-box grows jealous, as he wants the beautiful dancer all for himself. The Ballerina and the Tin Soldier playfully tease each other, the Ballerina dancing for him, and the Tin Soldier tapping on her shoulders while she isn't looking. She gets in front of the Tin Soldier, and they smile at each other. As they are about to grab hands, the Jack-in-the-box springs out from his box, and grabs the toy soldier. The Ballerina saves him, by throwing a small ball at the Jack-in-the-box. After trapping the Ballerina in a water goblet, the Jack-in-the-box casts the Tin Soldier out of the house using a barrage of blocks and a wooden boat. Using the boat to stay above the water, the soldier rolls into the sewers, and, after evading an army of rats, is gobbled by a trout. Fishermen reel up the trout soon after and find the soldier in its mouth. They return it to its owner, and the Tin Soldier soon re-engages the evil Jack-in-the-Box.
The Jack-in-the-Box utilizes a sword and attacks the soldier. However, the Tin Soldier dodges the attack and outmaneuvers him into a fireplace. The antagonist burns to ashes after falling into the pit and the Tin Soldier and the Ballerina happily reunite.