5.5/10
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4 user 3 critic

The Nutcracker Sweet (2015)

Not Rated | | Animation | Video 3 June 2015
It is Christmas Eve and the Silberhaus children are excited for the festivities to begin. Marie and Fritz are playing in the children's room when their godfather Drosselmayer arrives and ... See full summary »

Director:

Eduardo Schuldt

Writers:

Eileen Cabiling (english script adaptation), Shea Fontana | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Credited cast:
Alicia Silverstone ... Marie (voice)
Edward Asner ... Owl (voice)
Drake Bell ... Nutcracker (voice)
Karen Strassman ... Fritz (voice)
Rick Zieff Rick Zieff ... Mouse King / Screech / Soldiers (voice)
Grant George ... Father / Limburger / Squeak (voice)
Wendee Lee ... Mother / Princess Marmalade / Mice (voice)
Kirk Thornton ... Drosselmeyer / Commander / Mice (voice)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Román Abreo Román Abreo ... Lugarteniente (voice)
Iván Casillas Iván Casillas ... (voice)
Enzo Fortuny Enzo Fortuny ... Cascanueces (voice)
Teresa Ibarrola Teresa Ibarrola ... Papá / Rey ratón (voice)
Wendy Malvárez Wendy Malvárez ... Squick (voice)
Héctor Mena Héctor Mena ... (voice)
Fernando Moctezuma Fernando Moctezuma ... (voice)
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Storyline

It is Christmas Eve and the Silberhaus children are excited for the festivities to begin. Marie and Fritz are playing in the children's room when their godfather Drosselmayer arrives and presents them with an early Christmas gift, a Nutcracker. Marie witnesses a great battle between a vast army of toy soldiers led by the Nutcracker against a terrible platoon of mice commanded by the Mouse King. Follow Marie and Fritz's journey in the Kingdom of Dolls, through the Christmas Forest, past the Almond Milk Sea, and the Palace of the Marzipans.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Animation

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Peru

Language:

Spanish | English

Release Date:

3 June 2015 (Japan) See more »

Also Known As:

El Cascanueces See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Color:

Color
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Connections

Referenced in The Cinema Snob: The Illusionauts (2018) See more »

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User Reviews

 
'The Nutcracker' has never been this un-enchanting
10 October 2017 | by TheLittleSongbirdSee all my reviews

Love animation to bits, always have, always will. So, despite my recent negative reviews on animations seen recently, one cannot accuse me of being an animation detractor or not knowing who animation is aimed at target audience-wise (the whole family, not just children contrary to what is constantly ignorantly spouted, particularly for panned family films). Some of my favourite films are animated, Disney and non-Disney.

Saw 'The Nutcracker Sweet' as a fan of the timeless Christmas story and of Tchaikovsky's every bit as timeless ballet. Also as someone familiar with Eduardo Schuldt's films, none of them good (the best 'Dragons: Destiny of Fire' is only mediocre) but not all are so awful with no redeeming qualities, the only one to reach that level is 'The Dolphin: Story of a Dreamer', and wanted to see how it stacked up against his other efforts. Having seen it, it's probably his second best after 'Dragons: Destiny of Fire' but was still not very good and was a waste of good potential.

It gets plus points for Tchaikovsky's outstanding music (though it should have appeared more and been orchestrated far more faithfully, the orchestration here cheapens it), some very interesting and inventive animation in the opening sequence and in some details in the latter parts and the charming brother-sister relationship between Marie and Fritz. This relationship is more developed than usual, which was a real joy as it is not focused on enough usually, and the film does raise some thought-provoking ideas in the complexity of sibling relationships. Also there are a couple of amusing (if more mildly so) comic moments, like the boy and the snowball and the mouse and a pine-cone.

Otherwise, there is not much else that's good. The rest of the animation fails to live up that in the opening sequence and in some nice attention to detail in the latter parts of the film. The low budget does come through loud and clear and it was like a lot of time and money went into the opening and then they ran out of budget and realised the clock was ticking from that point on, because the animation and overall film quality declines drastically after the first five minutes. Cheap video games from the 90s look better and more refined, most of the colouring is flat and dull, the characters are plastic and look stiff and unnatural within their surroundings, the backgrounds are static and sparse in detail and the attention to detail is at best sloppy.

Much more could have been done with Tchaikovsky's music and the orchestration should have been more luscious. There are a few song interludes which were completely irrelevant, especially when in the Christmas Tree Forest which actually would have fared much better with something like the finale of Act 1 from the ballet rather than something that wouldn't pass muster for another one of some of the generic pop songs heard today in the charts.

'The Nutcracker Sweet' fares badly in the writing. It constantly sounds awkward and lifeless, and a lot of it is so sweet that the viewer feels like they've overdosed on sugar. The conflict doesn't work, this was a story where the conflict would have worked when executed in a dark way (the Mouserink and Mouse King stuff in the story is actually quite dark so this approach was necessary), but the conflict is too bland and not dark enough. Mainly because the story does lack momentum and urgency and also the mice just aren't sinister enough, the Mouse King is much more threatening when he is talked about but when in action he is weak.

While the effort and intentions were very noble, Hoffmann's story is a very complex one when one thinks about it and it did feel like that with the budget and time constraints that the writers were challenged by what to do with it and how to adapt it in a way that would suit. There is very little magic or enchantment in spirit, and the story tends to drag on forever in particularly the second half where there are some aimless scenes. It also tries to cram in far too much and even adults are likely to be confused by what's going on once the conflict is introduced, not even the owl's narration made things much clearer.

Didn't care for the characters on the whole, Marie was more annoying than charming (more her voice acting than anything else) and the Nutcracker lacked a lot of personality. Not even a few too far and between scary images could make the Mouse King more interesting or more of a threat. The voice acting is poorly directed with a mix of over-eager (Alicia Silverstone's Marie) or not sounding interested (the Nutcracker). Kirk Thornton as Drosselmeyer is the liveliest but is barely in it to register very much. Edward Asner is particularly badly directed, his lines and how he delivers them just sounds so stagnated sometimes.

Overall, has its moments like the opening sequence and Marie and Fritz's relationship but is just too cheap, confusing and dull, as well as overly sugary sweet and with anaemic conflict. 3/10 Bethany Cox


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