With its bejeweled costumes and heaps of magic courtesy of the Sugar Plum Fairy, “The Nutcracker” is the hotly anticipated film of the festive period.

Starring Keira Knightley, Helen Mirren, Morgan Freeman and Jack Whitehall, the new Disney blockbuster tells the story of Clara and her quest to open an enchanted box.

But far less enchanting are the true tales behind earlier versions of the story.

From the Nutcracker Prince who slit his own throat to the 25-year-old dancer who was addicted to cocaine then developed an eating disorder — here, we reveal the dark history of the Christmas fairytale.

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