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Decent animated film, the script is not always consistent but the music, sound, story, voices and most of the animation are good

7/10
Author: TheLittleSongbird from United Kingdom
21 July 2013

When it comes to animated versions of the timeless story of The Nutcracker, The Nutcracker and the Mouse King is not as good as The Nutcracker Prince(just lovely all round) and Jetlag's(very good, one of their better animations too) version, but is much better than The Nuttiest Nutcracker(sometimes fun but often weird, not very easy to rate). The script is not always consistent, the dialogue while appealingly light-hearted is often too contemporary and anachronistic and there are too many in-jokes and pop culture references. But there are also some nice amusing touches like "real mature", "ramming speed" and "maybe they'll write a book about our adventure, or maybe even a ballet", the last one was especially clever and anybody who gets it will love it. The animation quality is mostly quite nice, the colours are vibrant and beautiful, especially loved the Land of Dreams and Drosselmeier's house, and the backgrounds are crisply drawn and detailed. Though there are some oddities in the character designs, too stiff and not fluid enough(especially Klara), and sometimes the animation doesn't quite match the dialogue, maybe because there are moments where animation was added which was not apparent in the superior Russian version of the film. The music is just great this said, the placing of what there is of Tchaikovsky's music is perfect and the songs are cute, catchy and touching, also not interfering with the narrative. One True Heart was the standout. The story is loose in detail to the original story, but there is a sweetness, whimsy and warmth that makes it true in spirit, although there is a lot more humour than the original story and the darkness of the original story not so much. The sound is of good quality, and the voice acting is dynamic and sounds as though they were having fun. Particularly noteworthy were Leslie Nielson- he sounded as though he was having a ball as the Mouse King- and Eric Idle's Drosselmeier, Florence Joy is also lovely as Klara and the Mouse King's assistants are funny. The Nutcracker is suitably heroic, a character who starts off selfish, suffers as a consequence and one who changes through the course of the film(Barbie in the Nutcracker also explored this). All in all, decent. 7/10 Bethany Cox

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A delightful movie

7/10
Author: qljsystems from England
11 March 2007

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Primarily a children's movie, this cartoon is unusually set in St. Petersburg, Russia, and bears the hallmark of less westernised tastes, something which is evident the quality of the animation in the final scenes - everything's hand-drawn, little evidence of computerised animation.

The fairytale story revolves around a young prince who - along with his entourage - is turned into a nutcracker through his own ungrateful and selfish behaviour, and awaits a kindly soul who'll release him from the spell. The mouse-king seeks the magic that made this happen so that he can become all-powerful. The prince (now a nutcracker) finds hope in the form of a girl who risks everything to help him become real again, while the mouse-king and his armies do everything they can to steal the magic for themselves.

This is a delightful story with an excellent song soundtrack and some clever animation, especially more so when you see that it's all hand-rendered. The storyline is distinctly more eastern in flavour than your normal Hollywood fare, but that makes for a refreshing change rather than a disadvantage.

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0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

A single nice movie where the two main characters are everything less than nice...

7/10
Author: Ricardo Jorge Gomes (rjcsgomes@iol.pt) from Setúbal, Portugal
18 July 2008

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I bought this movie thinking about my little girl, believing that at least she would like it. It was a surprise for me that a movie rated 4.1 (at the time I'm writing it) and being a direct to video has so much quality as this one. In fact it's a very nice picture with colourful places and characters, fine sound, lovely songs and a great experience for all the family because of the social content.

The story is passed in S. Petersburg, north of European Russia and old capital of the nation, in the Christmas eve, when is supposed to exists a gold nut for a few minutes, that is the heart of harmony in a land o dreams. The one that has it could ask for a wish, both of the main characters want it desperately… The nutcracker wants it to become a prince again; the mouse king wants it to become the absolute king, the king of all species.

Sophie B Hawkins (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sophie_B._Hawkins), what a voice, turned famous in the 90s by "Damn I Wish I Was Your Lover" and "Right Beside You" was responsible for one of the songs, perfectly in the contest by the lyrics, and a beautiful song at all. She also appears during the credits list, in the video of the song she made for, that has plenty of movie unforgettable scenes.

The message of the movie is that there is no point in being ungrateful and that the behaviour of anybody can change by the heart and true love, so there aren't lost souls… Everybody deserves a chance and an opportunity to be called to reason… That's what the little girl has done, with obvious results; don't you believe?! Watch the movie and check it out!

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