1920s Vienna. Nine-year-old Mary lives in a home filled with lovely things and loneliness. Bothered by bratty brother Max and neglected by well intentioned, but distracted, parents, she yearns for companionship and adventure. On Christmas Eve, Mary's beloved Uncle Albert arrives with the gift of a wooden nutcracker doll. Later that night, Mary's imagination brings the doll to life. Introducing himself as "NC," he takes her on a wondrous journey through a stunning dimension where toys assume human form and everything appears ten times larger. But danger lurks. An army of toothy rat creatures, led by the flamboyant Rat King and his devious mother, has unleashed a plot to overthrow humanity. When NC is captured and placed under a paralytic spell, Mary, Max and a spirited band of toy sidekicks must rescue him from the Rat King's clutches and thwart his wicked plans to 'ratify' the world. Written by
When the Rat Queen bites the Rat King's ear as a punishment for being whiny, he stumbles away from her, pressing a hand to his ear and crying "You bit me!", looking very pained. However, when the Rat Queen stops yelling at him, you can still see him standing in the same position and with the same pained expression, but in the next shot (a second later), he's standing in a quite normal position, looking angry rather than pained. See more »
Disappointing in most respects. Inconsistent plot, poor lyrics, poor music adaptation, unconvincing acting for most of the movie. Like most reviewers will probably acknowledge, the visual effects are OK, but have no cause to serve. The film is a waste of nice animation, exactly what I wouldn't have expected from Koncealovski. And now, for a few upsetting details...
It is very difficult to become attached to any of the characters, because they are so superficially introduced. I don't get the real feeling of a backstory, which actually damages the whole universe of the film. Mary is the only character which seems alive, for better or worse. Otherwise, they are all pale and unconvincing.
The techno-fairy tale / political satire mix doesn't help either. I'm thinking of loads of splices you'd be able to make, starting from an original fairy tale, and I can't understand why you'd combine a Disney style dramatization with an oppressed-toys(and humans)-against-evil-nazi-rats uprising. It's not fun enough for adults, it's not simple and clear enough for children. And it doesn't have so much to do with the original...
And talking about the original, the use of Tchaikovsky's music is uninspired, to say the least. The adaptation sounds simplistic, and voices may not have been a good idea. First of all, because it used to be a ballet and, call me a rigid type, but I'd have loved to see it developed on this line. Second, because the lyrics are dull, and the actors' voices sound really bad at times (ok, try to make it sound natural but do follow the notes!). Third, because the modern orchestration further reduces the charm of the original, turning it into a sort of kindergarten party song. As far as the musical part goes, I'm taking Sweeney Todd as a reference. And, compared to this, Nutcracker is way below.
Bottom line? Don't see it, even if the other guy is paying. It's plain loss of time and a poor reference about the classics, if you have any children.
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