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Nutcracker (1986)

The colorful holiday classic is finally brought to the big screen, designed by famed children's story author and artist Maurice Sendak, and written for the first time to be as close as ... See full summary »

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1 nomination. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Hugh Bigney ...
Herr Drosselmeier / The Pasha
Vanessa Sharp ...
Patricia Barker ...
Dream Clara / Ballerina Doll
Wade Walthall ...
Maia Rosal ...
Carey Homme ...
Mr. Stahlbaum / Moor
Russell Burnett ...
Jacob Rice ...
Martha Boyle ...
Adult at the Party / Snowflake / Waltz of the Flowers
Laura Schwenk ...
Adult at the Party / Snowflake / Moor / Waltz of the Flowers
Benjamin Houk ...
Adult at the Party / Mouse Captain / Dervish
Beatrice Bassett ...
Adult at the Party / Grandparent
Ann Renhard ...
Adult at the Party / Snowflake / Waltz of the Flowers
Dianne Brace ...
Adult at the Party / Snowflake / Moor / Waltz of the Flowers
Christian Cederlund ...
Adult at the Party / Moor

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Storyline

The colorful holiday classic is finally brought to the big screen, designed by famed children's story author and artist Maurice Sendak, and written for the first time to be as close as possible to the original story. A lavish, exciting and heart-warming celebration of dance, of music, and of life. Based upon the Pacific Northwest Ballet's original production. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A magnificent Christmas spectacular

Genres:

Family | Fantasy | Music

Certificate:

G | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

26 November 1986 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Nutcracker: The Motion Picture  »

Box Office

Gross:

$781,727 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

| (35 mm prints)

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.20 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Maurice Sendak includes a homage to his favorite composer, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. During Clara's dream, as the furniture around her seems to grow, we see an enormous bust of Mozart peering down at her. See more »

Quotes

Adult Clara (narrator): Dreams are strangely familiar places. They are not all make-believe, but only the homely inside of yourself, like the inner lining of your favorite coat, or like the sweet kernel of the hardest nut that only the jaws of my Nutcracker Prince could reveal to me.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Wade Walthall is listed in the credits as playing the Nutcracker, when in fact he plays the Nutcracker Prince. The Nutcracker himself is billed in the credits as "Fighting Nutcracker", and is played by Jacob Rice. See more »

Connections

Version of Nutcracker on Ice (1995) See more »

Soundtracks

Duet of Daphnis and Chloe
from the opera "Pique Dame"
Music by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Performed by Robert Noble, Sarah Walker, and Cathryn Pope
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Fun & Beautiful
5 December 2016 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Every year there seems to be on variations on "Christmas Classics" There is always new "twist" done to "It's a Wonderful Life", "A Christmas Carol", "Groundhog Day", "The Gift of the Magi" and even variations on "The Nutcracker"

The Nutcracker has been done as "A CARTOON" " A movie with no dancing" "A Semi-Musical" and even on "On Ice" This film however is not a twist it is just a beautiful filmed version of the famous ballet.

Nutcracker: The Motion Picture, like the Stowell-Sendak stage production on which it is based, is presented as Clara's coming-of- age story. It depicts Clara's inner conflict and confusion, as well as the beginning of her sexual awakening, as she approaches adolescence; similar themes occur in many of Sendak's books.

The film especially emphasizes the darker aspects of Hoffmann's original story and the significance of dreams and the imagination. The cinematography, by making considerable use of closeups and medium shots, attempts to bring viewers closer to the psychology of the main characters.

For the film's soundtrack, Sir Charles Mackerras conducted the London Symphony Orchestra at the Watford Town Hall in London in a new recording of Tchaikovsky's score. The passage for chorus was performed by the Tiffin School Boys' Choir. The soundtrack also includes the "Duet of Daphnis and Chloe" from Tchaikovsky's opera The Queen of Spades, performed by Cathryn Pope and Sarah Walker. Telarc released the complete soundtrack on compact disc, coinciding with the release of the film

This film however was not met with great reviews upon its initial release. They were okay at best. It was a huge box office bomb taking in less than $1 Million during its entire run. However since 1986 the film has developed a following and it is easy to understand why.

The soundtrack / orchestra is perfect. You will never hear the score sound better. The staging and costumes are wonderful. Its was directed with such craftsmanship that even if your NOT a huge ballet lover (Which I am not) you will be swept into the scope of this production. If you stumble across it on TV once you watch 10 seconds your hooked. That is what happened to me.

On home video however the film has never had a great release. The original VHS that was released by Paramount was only out for a short time and went out of print. It was later released by GOODTIMES home video and it was in the dreaded LP speed and lacked the stereo mix that the Paramount release had.

Even today the film has never had a DVD release that was worth buying. When MGM finally released a DVD they used an old master that was most likely from the Paramount Home Video release some 25 years earlier. What worked for a VHS release doesn't work for a DVD. In fact its not even a Pressed DVD it is a MOD DVD which makes the picture even softer! Plus is was in the old 4x3 (Pan and Scan) format. Most film released on DVD are presented in the Widescreen Format if the movie was shot in that format. "The Nutcracker" was shot that way but MGM was to cheap to re-master the film. So we get a DVD that is soft and at times un- focused. The stereo soundtrack however is very good. There is however room for improvement if there is a future blu-ray release.

I doubt a blu-ray release will ever see the light of day. Even if MGM wants to release a blu-ray the film will most likely need to have a restoration. I hope it gets one.

On the bright side HD-NET a cable/satellite channel does have a respectable transfer of the film that they show. It is 16x9 and the sound mix is great and its also in stereo. Now why hasn't MGM used this transfer for a DVD is beyond me.

Now back to the film itself. It is the best presentation that has ever been put on film! The only thing wrong is there is no "Mother Ginger in this production". The colors and costumes are as eye popping. The orchestra is one that will put others to shame.

For years Video Stores (if they had a copy) reported that this was a huge rental during the holidays!

A few years later Warner Brothers decided to make their version of the film! Just like other remakes the film industry thought they could do another film and do it better. So in 1993 they released a "Bigger Budget" production.

That version was not 1/2 as good. The only thing it had that the 1986 version didn't was Macaulay Culkin and Mother Ginger.

Catch this 1986 Version! Its worth seeing.


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