The Nutcracker Prince

  • 1990
  • Movie
  • G
  • Animated, Children's

Regrettably, this animated film is an unabashed bore, and that's a shame because the glorious Tchaikovsky ballet has been loved and admired by generations of stage, film, and television viewers of all ages. Why Warner Bros. selected this Canadian-produced independent feature as its Christmas 1990 family attraction is puzzling, given the lackluster quality...read more

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Regrettably, this animated film is an unabashed bore, and that's a shame because the glorious Tchaikovsky ballet has been loved and admired by generations of stage, film, and television viewers of all ages. Why Warner Bros. selected this Canadian-produced independent feature as its

Christmas 1990 family attraction is puzzling, given the lackluster quality of the production. For the record, the film tells the story of Clara (voiced by Megan Follows), a sweet young girl who finds an enchanted nutcracker in the shape of a prince under her Christmas tree. The Prince (Kiefer

Sutherland) is under a spell that has transformed him into a toy. Clara helps break the spell, is taken on a tour of Toyland, and returns to find a charming young man named Hans (Sutherland again), who has a startling resemblance to the Nutcracker Prince. Uncle Drosselmeier (Peter Boretski) is on

hand to tell Clara the story of the Mouseking (Michael MacDonald). The main trouble here is that the story doesn't go anywhere. In Tchaikovsky's original ballet, most of the enchantment (aside from the immortal score) lies in the bright and beautiful Christmas set decorations, costumes, and

energetic dancing. Though animation offers limitless possibilities, here it simply cannot capture the glory of a staging of "The Nutcracker" featuring live performers. Still, the film might have worked had the animators provided the audience with the same awesomely mounted artwork seen in Walt

Disney classics. Instead, the picture spotlights thoroughly amateurish animation, not even equal to that seen on Saturday morning television shows. The backgrounds are flat and colorless, while the readings supplied by the actors are every bit as washed out as the animation. The film's only asset

is its score, performed by the London Symphony Orchestra and featuring some clever arrangements by Victor Davies. That's not nearly enough to save the picture, however, and the film deservedly disappeared from theatres shortly after its release.

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  • Released: 1990
  • Rating: G
  • Review: Regrettably, this animated film is an unabashed bore, and that's a shame because the glorious Tchaikovsky ballet has been loved and admired by generations of stage, film, and television viewers of all ages. Why Warner Bros. selected this Canadian-produced… (more)

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