The Nutcracker is one of the most beloved Christmas stories of all time. It has been adapted into a ballet, as well as many television and movie adaptations.
Hans is Uncle Drosselmeier's nephew who works with him in the workshop. It begins there were a King and a Queen who had a beautiful, but vain and normal daughter named Pirlipat. To celebrate the King's birthday, the Queen made a special cake out of blue cheese, the King's favorite. However, the scent of the cheese drew out all the mice, who ate and destroyed the cake. The King was enraged and commanded his inventor, Elias Christian Drosselmeier, to capture all the mice. Drosselmeier and his nephew, Hans, were successful in capturing all the mice, except the Mouse Queen and her only son.
In revenge, the Mouse Queen casts a spell on Pirlipat, causing her to become unusually ugly and weird. Drosselmeier was once again given the task of figuring out how to cure her. He eventually learned that the fabled Krakatooth Nut can cure her, on the condition that it is cracked open in the teeth of a young man who has never worn boots. The King commanded all the princes and noblemen to apply, with the promise of marrying Pirlipat once she is cured.
However, the Krakatooth is so hard that all the men's teeth shatter upon trying to crack it. Drosselmeier is about to be beheaded for being unable to cure Pirlipat when Hans steps in. He manages to crack the nut open between his teeth and gives it to Pirlipat, breaking the spell. Then the angered Mouse Queen casts a spell on Hans, turning him into the Prince of the Dolls (in other words, a Nutcracker). During the ruckus, she is killed by a falling statue, and her son's tail is caught and bent. He survives and declares himself the Mouse King.
Drosselmeier is exiled from the kingdom for trying to pass a "Nutcracker as a son-in-law", while the King and Queen celebrate with their now-cured daughter. As Drosselmeier holds the Nutcracker that Hans has become, the Mouse King vows revenge upon Hans for ruining his tail ("And if you think your beloved nephew Hans is ugly now, ha! Wait 'till I turn him into a pile of splinters!").
In the 1993 musical film, his name it's only the Drosselmeier's Nephew.
Characters dressed as The Nutcracker