I am a huge fan of animation, and I was fairly interested in seeing The Nuttiest Nutcracker. And I have to say it certainly lives up to the tag-line, it is indeed a nutty twist on the classic tale.
That said, I am not entirely sure whether that is a good thing or not. The Nuttiest Nutcracker is not a terrible film, I have seen far worse, but I don't think it is a particularly good one either.
Starting with the good aspects, I do think the voice cast are great, especially James Belushi who seems to be having a ball as Reginald. The writing is very funny, with again the best coming from Reginald. On the most part the music is serviceable, with some snippets of the timeless Tchaikovsky ballet, some decent additional music and tolerable enough songs with the best being Reginald's, though the funky vocals in the gospel-like song were cool.
Conversely, I would be lying if I said the animation was great. It isn't, in fact to me it was quite bad, with some robotic character animation in the confrontation between the mice and the soldiers/nuts/veggies at the start, flat colouring and some backgrounds that aren't bad as such but nothing special either. Another big problem is the story, which has a wonderful idea but constantly jumps around and is not very succinct at all. I also felt that Marie was a rather dull character, not much is done to make her interesting or to make us connect with her.
All in all, not bad, not good. After watching, I immediately sat down to watch The Nutcracker Prince, which is another (more faithful) take on the story and is infinitely better in telling its story. 5/10 Bethany Cox
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