Be careful what you wish for
Colette Irving | 11/26/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I'm somewhat impressed at the new spin on the Nutcracker story. The Prince (or rather, Tsarevich, as it takes place Russia, 1900) is a spoiled royal brat, and at a Christmas party, he is given a special gift by a magician, his Uncle Drosselmeyer: a magic nut that can grant any wish in the world. The Prince dismisses his uncle's gift, and thinks how fun it would be if everyone were toys. Needless to say, everyone, from the servants to the Prince himself as well as his horse, turns into toys.
With the turn of events, Drosselmeyer sets out to find someone with a pure heart who can break the curse, in the magic guise of a traveling toy store. Two children, Clara and her younger brother Nicholas, happen to chance upon it while traveling with their parents. Nicholas thinks the story about the Nutcracker Prince is lame, but Clara wonders if there is a way to save the Prince. She takes the Nutcracker Prince home with her, and from there, the two set out on their journey to find a second magic nut to restore the Prince to his human form. All while this is going on, the Mouse King is also seeking the magic nut, to fulfill his wish to take over the Prince's kingdom for himself.
While the story is pretty good, whoever behind the script (or translating it from its native language, German), had too much fun putting in in-jokes and allusions to pop culture. Some of it is humorous ("maybe they'll write a book about our adventure, or maybe even a ballet"), but I felt most of them were very off-putting. Another thing that I couldn't help put notice was the dialogue spoken in the film. It is very anachronistic, one of the royal servants sounds like a hybrid between a slacker/valley girl. I can't help but wonder if this was done for forced appeal on both the children and the adults' parts.
The animation didn't impress me too much. Where the visuals disappointed, it's made up by a pretty-good story and sound. Don't be fooled by the description, the movie is NOT fullscreen, it's actually widescreen, which should please the widescreen aficionados. The English voice acting is very good, and the placement of Tchaikovsky's "Nutcracker" music in the film is excellent. The movie also has some songs, but while they're not terrible, it seems like they came from the obligatory "insert random pop music for an animated film" category.
There are NO extras on the DVD, save for Chapter Selection and Play. There are no audio options, no subtitles for the hearing impaired.
This is a pretty good holiday film, marred only by the animation and the anachronistic dialogue. It's a rather enjoyable film, but kids might not understand some of the in-jokes, especially if they're very young or not into pop culture. I wouldn't call this one a must-buy, but if you ever find it for cheap, it's not a bad purchase."
Delightful kids film
Ross Helford | Los Angeles, CA United States | 10/17/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I was one of the writers on the English-language version of this film, and seeing as there are absolutely no other reviews of this, I'll post my own. It was a very interesting writing process, with plenty of anachronistic movie references, and it features the voices of some of my comedy heroes, including Fred Willard, Leslie Nielsen and Eric Idle. Kids and parents used to Pixar-esque complexities might be disappointed, but for the little ones, it's colorful, funny and the songs are fun."
I LIKE IT.
DRAGON FREAK | TN | 08/11/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"WHAT PEOPLE SAID ABOUT THERE BEING TOO MANY JOKES, WELL THERE ARE A LOT OF JOKES BUT THERE WASN'T TOO MANY FOR ME. AND THEY'ER RIGHT ABOUT YOU KNOWING WHEN THE ANIMATION HAS BEEN CUT SHORT, FOR THOSE WHO DON'T LIKE THAT WATCH THE GERMAN VERSION AND HOPE IT HAS A LANUAGE (SORRY CAN'T SPELL THE WORD RIGHT) CHANGE LIKE SOME OF THE DVDS HERE HAVE.
EXAMPE: MY LITTLE BROTHER ONCE CHANGED THE SPEACH (I'M GONNA USE THIS WORD) OF "THE PIRATES OF THE CARIBIAN: DEAD MAN'S CHEST" FROM ENGLISH TO SPANISH.
I HOWEVER ENJOYED THE MOVIE VERY MUCH, THOUGH I DID WISH FOR SOME SPECIAL FEATURES, LIKE THE SCENES THEY HAD TO CUT OUT."
It was okay
Kelly | CO | 01/12/2008
(2 out of 5 stars)
"I was so excited about getting the movie when I first saw previews of a movie I didn't even know existed of another version of the nutcracker, but after seeing this, I still love the nutcracker, and its not a bad story, but there are alot of things in it that, if you are an movie critic or an animation critic, it would set you off.
first off, I watched both the Russian/German and the english one, and noticed that, there were alot of things added and cut out the movie that takes away the full effect of the drama of the story. In the english movie, you could definantly tell that there were animations added in the film, which in my perspective, set the story off a bit. Where in the Russian/German one, the Animation throughout the movie fit perfectily and was more dramatic. plus like some people say, the english version, had way to many jokes in it to actually grasp the feeling and drama I was hoping for.
All and all, its not a bad movie, but I wouldn't recommend it to anyone who would find the mistakes I did."