So. I have never seen The Nutcracker – as a movie or ballet performance. I decided it was high time I checked it out, and chose what I thought was an intriguing alternate version – The Nutcracker – The Untold Story, Cinemarket, 2010; partly because I like Nathan Lane and Elle Fanning so much as actors.
They did not disappoint and were charming in their roles. The movie started off magically. I even convinced my husband to give it chance. He left at the third of eight songs.
I stuck it out and wondered why I did (all 1 hour and 50 minutes). This is a tale of a young girl, Mary, whose imagination brings a nutcracker doll (NC) to life who needs her help to overthrow the Rat King who stole NC’s kingdom and wants to “ratify” the world.
I loved the set details and the initial special effects – until everything turned as dark as the prince’s kingdom where the sun was purposefully blocked out by black, billowing smoke that came from the burn factories fueled by all the children’s toys in the realm.
My specific objections include:
- The kingdom under the influence of the Rat King (with the help of his mother who turned the prince into the nutcracker) reminded me of an awful combination of the downtrodden districts in The Hunger Games, Nazis influences, and the darkest part times ten in the Wicked Witch of the West’s castle in The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.
- The meanness on the part of the Rat King is too much. The villain could have been “evil” without being vicious.
- The Bat Rats fall out of the sky when a high pitched alarm is pulled to affect their ears, but they weren’t real bats – they were motorized.
- The movie merely takes place on Christmas Eve and Christmas night; other than that, the connection to Christmas is non-existent.
- When NC is brought back to being a human for the second time, his wooden leg is not attached, yet he is a whole boy when he changes. Why didn’t Mary at least make an effort to reattach his leg?
- It reminded me of a horror movie.
I felt this movie should have been avoided, so I give it point-five (.5) of five non-Christmas rats.
To leave you on a brighter note though, I do intend to see The Nutcracker Ballet next season with my husband, and hope he doesn’t remember any of this movie. The Straight No Chaser group has a fun version of The Nutcracker theme.
I saw The Nutcracker ballet at ISU on a field trip with my oldest son’s fourth grade class…seven years ago now. It was a beautiful performance.
Thank you for your honesty regarding the dreadfulness and darkness of this nutcracker movie. Rats and bats and ewww and ugh. Will gladly steer clear thanks to your honest and direct summary and review.
Sigh. I so hoped what I saw wouldn’t have been the case, but I have to call it as I see it.
Thanks for your feedback. I am looking forward to seeing the real thing one day. 🙂
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