Nutcracker: The Motion Picture 1986 G CC

Amazon Instant Video

Available in HD
(130) IMDb 6.9/10
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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 possible to the original story. A lavish, exciting and heart-warming celebration of dance, of music, and of life. Based upon the Pacific Northwest Ballet's original production.

Starring:
Hugh Bigney, Vanessa Sharp
Runtime:
1 hour, 26 minutes

Available to watch on supported devices.

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Product Details

Genres Fantasy, Music, Kids & Family
Director Carroll Ballard
Starring Hugh Bigney, Vanessa Sharp
Supporting actors Patricia Barker, Wade Walthall, Maia Rosal, Carey Homme, Russell Burnett, Jacob Rice, Martha Boyle, Laura Schwenk, Benjamin Houk, Beatrice Bassett, Ann Renhard, Dianne Brace, Christian Cederlund, Sterling Kekoa, Gregory Draper, Lisa Stolzy, Elizabeth McCarthy, Gerard Ebitz
Studio MGM
MPAA rating G (General Audience)
Captions and subtitles English Details
Rental rights 24 hour viewing period. Details
Purchase rights Stream instantly and download to 2 locations Details
Format Amazon Instant Video (streaming online video and digital download)

Other Formats

Customer Reviews

Too bad, the actual performance is a jewel!
Natasha Redding
In fact, because it's only been available on VHS for years, we have kept ONE television w/a built-in VCR player so we can watch it at Christmas time.
SuzyQ
The quality of this DVD-R is as good as any commercially produced DVD I've ever purchased.
Richard Rawls

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

93 of 97 people found the following review helpful By Mark on December 29, 2011
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
At long last, "Nutcracker, the Motion Picture", Carroll Ballard's film of the Pacific Northwest Ballet's Maurice Sendak designed production is available on an official Region One DVD from MGM, the film's current owner. However, the disc is part of Fox/MGM's manufacture-on-demand "Studio Classics" series. What this means is that you will receive a DVD-R of the film that has been burned just for you based on your order. That's OK, as we shall see, but some may be taken aback by the paucity of extras on the disc. Also, be warned that the disc may not play in anything other than a stand-alone DVD player. Playback on a computer, for instance, is not guaranteed, and since a DVD-R disc remains photosensitive even after it has been burned, keep it out of strong light.

The first thing you see on the disc after selecting the feature is a warning card that states that the film was mastered from the "best materials available". Fortunately, what they did have on hand is serviceable. The 16:9 widescreen presentation seems to be taken from a high quality print, it is clean and exhibits good color, but is very slightly soft throughout and has varying contrast with considerable grain seen in the shadows. It is possibly the same copy that has been used for the various cable TV entities and streaming services that show the film, although compared against the download available from Amazon, the DVD's color seems more accurate. There is little in the way of digital artifacts present. The audio is clear and well balanced two channel stereo. So technically speaking, this is far from the best transfer possible, but it's still solid enough to make it worth obtaining if all you have been watching over the years is the 24 year old Paramount VHS cassette.
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32 of 33 people found the following review helpful By Stella Macy on November 23, 2007
Format: VHS Tape
This Nutcracker, with Maurice Sendak visuals, is a hard act to follow. This Drosselmeyer is the one TRUE version - in my opinion. But then again: everyone is perfect in this version. If you want the ballet to come alive for as it never has before..............or if you have a child in your life whose interest in movement, music and classical style you'd like to ignite ( WITHOUT turning to some awful animation or off- the-mark hipster version of a classic) then, this is your film. It's hard to convey its excellence. But I highly recommend this as a gift for any one of any age as a holiday tradition. You'll be carried into another world - and you'll never regret it.
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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Richard Rawls VINE VOICE on January 22, 2012
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
There cannot be too many Pro reviews for this ballet DVD, it is that good. The public has been clamoring for this ballet, "Nutcracker: The Motion Picture" to be released on DVD for years, and at last, their wish has been granted. It's probably never going to be available from your local Wally Store, but I got mine....From Amazon. Easy. Ordered it on Thursday, recieved it on the following Saturday. Excellent service, to be sure. It's being called a DVD, but in reality it is a DVD-R, burned for you (they say) after you place your order. I have a hunch there are a few already burned and waiting for your order. I don't see how they can get it to you in two days any other way.

The quality of this DVD-R is as good as any commercially produced DVD I've ever purchased. The image (widescreen, absolutely no distortion)) is very sharp, color is very vibrant, stereo sound is excellent, and the running time is the original 85 minutes. Although they always use the disclaimer, "this recording is made from the best material available", it is certainly not burned from a VHS recording, but some sort of good quality film/video stock. You won't be disappointed in the image quality. I've never seen a ballet performed by the Pacific Northwest Ballet that I didn't like. If you do not have their "A Midsummernight's Dream" you owe it to yourself to get it. You will see Patricia Barker at her mature loveliest....A Midsummer Night's Dream.....This too, is a children's ballet, They will love it. Need more suggestions for ballets for children? Look for "Snow White"...........No, it isn't Disney.Aragón: Snow White.....Want more? Leave a comment.
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By L's Mom on February 8, 2011
Format: Amazon Instant Video Verified Purchase
I saw this on tv in 1989 and recorded it, trying to cut commercials as I went. It was narrated by Tony Randall at the beginning of each act, explaining the story and providing details that made it wonderful to watch. It was the first ballet that I loved, bcs it was the first one that I understood. I've been looking for this for many years, and was delighted to find it today on Amazon's video on demand. The artwork by Maurice Sendak makes this beautiful, eery, and fanciful. Everything about it is wonderful. I can't recommend it highly enough. I love the "peacock" symbolism, and this movie has the best Drosselmeier I've had the pleasure to watch. Enjoy!
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By shadowmadow on November 19, 2012
Format: Amazon Instant Video Verified Purchase
Growing up in Seattle, I have seen Pacific Northwest Ballet's version of the Nutcracker 27 times. I was there the first year PNB started doing this Nutcracker in 1983 when I was 3 years old and have been in love with it ever since. I have always been disappointed that I could not get the PNB version on DVD to watch whenever I wanted, so I was very pleased to see it finally available digitally.

Instead of following the original ballet version, PNB went back to the original story by E.T.A. Hoffman. As a result the story has a darker side, most notably the creepy Herr Drosselmeyer. The return to the original story was the reason Maurice Sendak aggreed to design the sets and costumes. Sendak's involvment and the return to the original story make this production a ballet that will entrance even young children.

For those who are serious about dance, there is wonderful choreography by Kent Stowell and it would be difficult not to be thrilled with the exquiste dancing of Patricia Barker who plays both the adult Clara and the ballerina doll at the Christmas party. The peacock, the snowflakes, and the flowers are my personal favorites.

My only objection to this movie is the changes they made to the production to make it more cinematic. I could take or leave the narration and I wish there were less shots of the dancers' facial reactions since you miss out on the actual dancing occuring at the time. You also miss out on most of the incredible transformation that occurs onstage when Clara comes down after the party in Act I. This really is a shame since I have been to preformances where this transformation has actually inspired applause from the audience. Otherwise, this is a faithful adaptation of one of the most wonderful versions of the Nutcraker ever staged.
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