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The Nutcracker: The Untold Story 2010 PG CC

3.3 out of 5 stars (91) IMDb 4.5/10

Join Mary on a magical adventure when her toy nutcracker comes to life and whisks her away to a magical kingdom filled with fantastical toys, sugar plums and dancing fairies.

Starring:
Elle Fanning, Nathan Lane
Runtime:
1 hour, 48 minutes

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Product Details

Genres Fantasy, Musical, Action, Kids & Family
Director Andrey Konchalovskiy
Starring Elle Fanning, Nathan Lane
Supporting actors John Turturro, Frances de la Tour, Aaron Michael Drozin, Richard E. Grant, Yuliya Vysotskaya, Shirley Henderson, Charlie Rowe, Peter Elliott, Daniel Peacock, Alan Cox, Hugh Sachs, Africa Nile, Jonny Coyne, Stuart Hopps, Ferenc Elek, Attila Kalmár, György Honti, Greg Brummel
Studio Freestyle Digital Media
MPAA rating PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Captions and subtitles English Details
Purchase rights Stream instantly and download to 2 locations Details
Format Amazon Video (streaming online video and digital download)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A. S. Templeton on February 5, 2015
Format: DVD
Despite its heavy promotion as a kid's movie, children under, say, 25 should be kept well away from this ill-begotten spectacle. It's about 5% ETA Hoffmann (the 1816 author of the original Nutcracker and Mouse-King story), 5% Tchaikovsky ballet, but the remaining 90% is a mess of distracting subplots, horrific makeup and CGI effects, creaky dialog, and film-student cinematography.

To her credit, Miss Fanning bravely obliges the scriptwriter, songwriter and director, but the compassion we feel in watching her is out of embarassment over her being made to say, sing, and act the stuff she did. Nathan Lane glibly phones it in as "Uncle Albert", an Einsteinian character inexplicably replacing Godfather Drosselmeyer of the original story. And while I usually enjoy John Torturro's roles, he seems uneasy and maybe regretful over the script and verse of his Mouse-King, er, Rat-Führer, er, whatever...

Animal Cruelty: vivid but pointless electrocution-killing of a captive shark.
Cheap Allegory: making over Hoffmann's mouse-army into Nazi rat-stormtroopers.
Cheap frights: CGI-enabled overdone transformation of faces into hideous shrieking rat-faces. Jump scares aplenty.
Musical assault and battery: characters break into stage-musical or campy song for no compelling reason. Tchaikovsky brutally rescored, or rearranged into braying parodies of the original classical themes.
Child-Abuse pervo stuff: an 11-year old girl being dragged and pushed around, being compelled to wear torn and disarrayed clothing shot at sleazy camera angles, having to repeatedly mouth lines like "I'm not afraid" when the audience knows she has good reason to be very afraid indeed, as when being threatened with mutilation.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Having just caught the talented Elle Fanning in the movie Super 8, and knowing how good of an actor John Turturro can be (Johnny Depp movie, Monk's brother), I thought I'd buy The Nutcracker: The Untold Story from Amazon without first seeing it.

Boy, what a big mistake!

This DVD starts out well, with lovely atmosphere, unique musical numbers (written by Oscar-winner Tim Rice), great special effects and solid acting (despite Nathan Lane's perpetually quizzical visage as Albert Einstein and a wooden Frances de le Tour).

My whole family and I were transfixed, especially as the wooden nutcracker (in awesome CGI) and Mary ride an enchanted elevator sleigh up through a humongous towering Christmas tree. We had no idea what would happen next, because this "re-telling" of The Nutcracker had been unpredictable from the beginning (e.g. Einstein replacing Uncle Drosselmeier, Mary's mother being an opera singer about to make her debut in front of important politicians, etc.).

However, once they got into the realm of the Rat King, things start getting dicey--violent and creepy, even.

The Rat King (Turturro) and his minions all have rat faces, resembling Hitler's SS in uniform and demeanor (I can handle that--it makes sense). However, things soon turn violent (beyond capturing citizens of the magical kingdom).

For example, a large shark swims in a gigantic aquarium. He doesn't appear menacing beyond being a shark. The Rat King, as he's threatening the captured citizens with a bizarre musical routine, deliberately drops electrical lights in the aquarium. The poor shark thrashes about, as he's being electrocuted--not for a few seconds, but MANY seconds. It was distressful and disturbing to watch.

My family and I were in shock.
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Format: DVD
If only this movie would have stayed as magical and beautiful as it was in the beginning. It turned dark and creepy and stayed that way for a long time. The rat king electrocutes a shark, bares his teeth in a horror movie like fashion, and his mother wears lewd clothing and bites him on the neck long and hard. It's just weird and twisted. Even my family was disgusted and kept asking me what on earth I was watching. I got tired of waiting for the dark parts to be over with so I fast forwarded to the end. I didn't even give it to charity lest it horrify someone else. I threw it away.
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As a Cold War Veteran and experienced Military Officer I give this movie a superior rating with a challenge to other reviewers to re-examine their criticisms of this movie. This Movie was produced when relationships thawed between the West and Russia. The Producer/Director Andrei Khonchalovsky and his staff hail from the United Kingdom, Hungary and the Russian Ballet of Russia. In College classes in the USA and travel in Europe, I developed an appreciation for literature like Grimm's Fairy Tales and classic music like the Russian Composer Tchaikovsky to create his music for this iconic ballet based on the story, the Nutcracker. The young actors, Elli Fanning as Mary and Charlie Rowe as the human Prince/Nutcracker are superb to complete this production. An uninformed viewer may miss-understand contents of this Nutcracker because it has themes from an Eastern European point of view. In a Grimm Fairy Tale, there is a main character that is very scary but is conquered by a good hero or heroine. Rats have a double meaning for the East: Many plagues and death were caused by rats; so Rats are a symbol of Nazism, Fascism or any form of Tyranny. The Rat King in this movie is a narcissistic, wannabe demagogue - and his teeth show it! I read about complaints how the animation scared youngsters: What about some of the video games they use?! What is the difference? The difference is in
the metaphor - In the Nutcracker: The Untold Story, the metaphor is about hope - and a better world for the young! I am pleased to have this DVD and applaud the Russians, Eastern Europeans, and the West for a joint effort to give the young everywhere hope for a better world. The Nutcracker: The Untold Story is a superb effort in that direction. Well done! Author! Author! The cultural associations between the East and West are superb!
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