The Tin Soldier is what many consider to be the prime definition of a hero. Kind, good-natured, gentlemanly, courageous and dutiful, he takes his job as peacekeeper of the playroom seriously and joins his "brothers", the other tin soldiers, on their patrol every night. Despite the fact that he has only one leg, he does not let that stop him from getting around, pushing through and overcoming obstacles with great inner strength and endurance. When he spies the Ballerina, he is ecstatic and drawn to her, but once she reveals to have two legs instead of one, he feels crushed. However, his goodness draws her to him, proving that his disability is not what defines him. Like a fairy tale knight, he willingly throws himself into battle against the Jack-in-the-Box to protect his beloved, eventually triumphing.
After being brought to a boy's house, he notices a Ballerina nearby and is briefly led to believe that she has one leg like him. However, she lets down her second leg from under her dress, disappointing him. Despite this, she notices him and they quickly fall in love. However, a jealous Jack-in-the-Box eyes the beautiful dancer and wants her for himself. After trapping the ballerina in a goblet, the Jack-In-The-Box casts the Tin Soldier out of the house with a wooden boat. The soldier rolls into the sewers, using the boat to stay afloat. After evading an army of rats, he falls into a lake and is gobbled by a trout. Fishermen reel up the trout soon after and find the soldier in its mouth. They decide to return it to its owner, and the Tin Soldier soon re-engages the evil Jack-in-the-Box. The Jack-in-the-Box assaults the soldier with a sword, but the Tin Soldier dodges the attack and outmaneuvers him into a fireplace. The villain quickly burns to ashes and the Tin Soldier and the Ballerina happily reunite.
The Tin Soldier makes a cameo in the episode "Goofy's Valentine Date" alongside the Ballerina.
The Steadfast Tin Soldier appears in statue form with the Ballerina and Jack-in-the-Box at the Fantasia section of Disney's All-Star Movies Resort.
- Like in the original Hans Christian Andersen story, the Tin Soldier and Ballerina were intended to die together in the fire, but the ending changed when it became apparent that the ending would conflict with the music choice for the segment.
- In the original fairy tale, the Soldier rides down the storm drains on a paper boat. In the Disney version, he gets trapped on a wood boat.