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 ...
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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 »
It is Christmas Eve, and the Stahlbaum family is happily unwrapping their Christmas gifts. After all the merriment, seven-year-old Marie receives a very special gift--a mysterious ... See full summary »
A cowardly boy who buries himself in accident statistics enters a library to escape a storm only to be transformed into an animated illustration by the Pagemaster. He has to work through obstacles from classic books to return to real life.
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
This version of the ballet, an adaptation of the famous George Balanchine staging presented annually in New York City, is the only well-known American production of "The Nutcracker" to use children in the roles of Marie (known as Clara in most versions) and the Nutcracker/Prince, so the roles are not choreographed to be as technically demanding as in other productions of the ballet. The original 1892 Russian production also used children. Several other productions, including the recent Helgi Tomasson one for the San Francisco Ballet, have taken their cue from Balanchine and cast a little girl in the role of Clara, but in the Tomasson version, Clara is magically transformed into an adult in Act II so that she can dance the pas de deux with the Prince (danced in the Tomasson production by an adult). Many other productions (especially Russian ones) now cast adults as the Nutcracker/Prince and the girl, usually known as Clara rather than Marie, so that there is an adult love interest between the couple. 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 »
I'm not a ballet expert, but I love this production. It's interesting to dissect because there are two camps for this very famous 110 year-old ballet: those who like it as a children's story and those who like it as an adult's. It's been staged both ways in the past as others have already mentioned. This version allows the kids to be front and center, but it has some stellar, sophisticated moments in it as well: the Act 1 finale dance of the snowflakes is a stellar moment of beauty and style, with its ice-blue lighting and costuming and multi-racial Corps De ballet. In Act 2, there's no contest: amongst the innocent dances of the sweets, 'Arabian Coffee' soloist Wendy Whelan sexily attacks the stage in cat-like fashion. The pink-and-purple lighting and floating cinematography and the dancer's serpent-like movements do not resemble any other moment in this already polished film, and one can't help but think that director Emile Ardolino deliberately planned it that way. (It's like watching Ann Reinking or Carol Haney on the Broadway stage.) As far as the smirking Macaulay Culkin is concerned, his presence didn't bother me since he was the right age at the time of filming (and did have some ballet background) and frankly, he smirks in most films he's in. What're you gonna do?
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