In a remote country house, the king’s young daughter, Princess Irene, is being guarded by her faithful servant Lootie and captain of the guard Sir Walter. This faithful adaptation by Sandra Fenichel Asher from the 19th century fantasy by George MacDonald, opens with young Irene frustrated by the extreme caution of her nurse. Restless and curious, Irene explores the huge old house one day and discovers a staircase she never climbed before. It takes her up to the attic where she meets her mysterious great-great-grandmother, who gives Irene a magical gift which only she can see. Meanwhile, a brave young man named Curdie, a miner and son of a miner, works underground and spies on the goblins. He has learned the secret of how to fight against these hard-headed creatures who have large toeless feet: they hate singing!
When Irene and Lootie become lost one evening after straying too far from the house onto the mountainside, Curdie happens along and protects them. But soon, just as Curdie has learned of the goblins’ plot to kidnap the princess, he himself becomes their prisoner! How will he escape? Who will warn the princess and her friends?
The humor and suspense culminate in a full-stage battle pitting Curdie and the members of Irene’s household against the goblin royal family, minions and creatures. This story of heroism and courage also looks at what it means to have faith in what is unseen.