The little mermaid
The little mermaid is the youngest of six sea sisters. She loves a prince and is fascinated with humanity and the eternal souls of humans. She wants to marry the prince, but loses him and instead gains an eternal soul.
Although small and delicate looking, Gerda has the fidelity to overcome daunting odds to save her dearest friend from the Snow Queen. She manages to get help from some of the most unlikely beings on her way. Her purity helps her win the day.
Karen is completely distracted by her own beauty, especially when she wears her red shoes. She must overcome her arrogance to find peace. Karen loves dancing, but her pleasure in dancing leads to immeasurable torment. She must find humility in order to receive forgiveness and redemption.
Thumbelina is a tiny creature attempting to navigate a world of much larger and more powerful beings than herself. At first she relies on various helpers to escape her would-be suitors. Then she helps herself when her kind action in nursing a swallow back to health leads to her final escape and a match with a tiny prince.
Elisa's noble character is severely tested as she endures both mental and physical hardship to save her royal brothers from an evil spell.
The little match girl
The rigors of a cold New Year's Eve night are more than a thinly clad and starving child should have to endure. Even so, the little match girl does her best to keep her visions of holiday cheer and warmth and the love of her dead grandmother.
The emperor of China
The emperor of China is a man of unchallenged arrogance. It takes the threat of death and the incomparable music of the nightingale to change him from a foolish man to one who can appreciate the power of genuine artistry.
John goes to seek his fortune in the world after the death of his father. In his travels he shows the principles of justice and compassion as he keeps two "dreadful men" from disturbing a dead body in a coffin. A strange companion who continues on his journey with him helps John to win the hand of a beautiful princess and turns out to be the spirit of the dead man himself.
The ugly duckling
The transformation of the ugly duckling into a swan involves an arduous and painful journey through childhood and young adulthood. The duckling endures taunts for his appearance and escapes to a solitary cave. In the spring he finds he has developed into a beautiful swan.
The Snow Queen
The Snow Queen is beautiful but cares for no one but herself. She captures Kai and takes him to her empty palace, but is away when Gerda rescues Kay and so her part in the story is not resolved.