The young brother and sister are the children of a poor woodcutter whose wicked second wife plots to abandon them in the forest. Overhearing the plan, Hansel and Gretel make preparations and, on the day of their abandonment, Hansel surreptitiously lays a trail of white pebbles to mark the way they have come. Thanks to this, they are able to make their way home again, much to the annoyance of their stepmother.
On her second attempt, Hansel lays a trail of crumbs but these are eaten by birds, leaving the children lost and starving. They stumble across a clearing in which they find a house made of gingerbread and decorated with sweets. It is the home of an evil witch who traps the children with the intention of eating them. She feeds Hansel to fatten him up and uses Gretel as a slave. But Gretel manages to trip the witch into the fire and burns her alive. She frees her brother and they return home, with the witch’s treasure, to find their stepmother dead. They live with their father happily ever after.