On Christmas Eve, a little girl named Marie (Cohen) falls asleep after a party at her home and dreams herself (or does she?) into a fantastic world where toys become larger than life. Her ... See full summary »
On Christmas Eve, a little girl named Marie (Cohen) falls asleep after a party at her home and dreams herself (or does she?) into a fantastic world where toys become larger than life. Her beloved Nutcracker (Culkin) comes to life and defends her from the Mouse King, then is turned into a Prince after Marie saves his life. Written by
Narration recorded by Kevin Kline was a last-minute addition that was heavily protested by Macaulay Culkin's father, Kit Culkin, who vowed that his son would do no publicity for the movie until the narration was dropped. Reluctantly, producer Arnon Milchan dropped the narration to appease the Culkins. Kit Culkin then returned with a list of other demands which so incensed Milchan that he reinstated Kline's narration, losing the use of the Culkins' publicity. See more »
In the opening credits, Macaulay Culkin is listed as playing Drosselmayer's nephew, but he is not listed as playing either The Nutcracker or The Prince. See more »
As far as I can recall, Balanchine's alterations to Tchaikovsky's score are as follows:
1) The final section of the Grossvatertanz (a traditional tune played at the end of a party) is repeated several times to give the children a last dance before their scene is over.
2) A violin solo, written for but eliminated from Tchaikovsky's score for The Sleeping Beauty, is interpolated between the end of the party scene and the beginning of the transformation scene. Balanchine chose this music because of its melodic relationship to the music for the growing Christmas tree that occurs shortly thereafter.
3) The solo for the Sugar Plum Fairy's cavalier is eliminated.
It seems to me the accusation that Balanchine has somehow desecrated Tchaikovsky's great score is misplaced.
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