The Nutcracker Prince is from 1990 and is based on the ballet “The Nutcracker,” I know crazy right?
Looking at the cover, I was hesitant about this one, but it was enjoyable. Was it amazing? Not super really but it didn’t make me want to bang my head against my desk repeatedly and that saying something considering the movies I have had to endure.
The movie takes place in 1850, Germany. Clara is a young-ish girl maybe 10 or 12 year old. She is at cusp of adulthood but still favors childhood as she mocks her sister’s romantic notions for young men. Clara is given a Nutcracker by a toy making friend, Drosselmeier.
Drosselmeiertells her the story of how he and his nephew, Hans, worked at a castle. After eating the King’s cake, The Mouse queen curses the Princess into being ugly. Drosselmeier learns that only way to cure the Princess’ ugliness is with the Krakatooth nut and some steps backwards. The King declares that one who can cure her will win her hand in marriage. Many try but Hans cracks the nut with his teeth but as he is completing the spell the Mouse Queen changes him in to the Nutcracker doll. As Hans falls, he cause a statue to fall which kills the Mouse Queen as well a ruining Mouse Prince’s tail. The new Mouse King vows revenge for his tail.
That night as everyone else sleeps, Clara goes to Nutcracker and her toys come alive. Now, that the Nutcracker is alive the Mouse King attacks. This part takes up much of the movie and there is question as to did it really happen or is all Clara’s musing. In the end Clara, along with the dolls, Marie, Trudy and Platoon help The Nutcracker, who is considered to be the Princes of Dolls, to defeat the Mouse King.
Then they all go to Land of Dolls, which a very pretty place. The Nutcracker Prince asks Clara to stay with him as his Princess but she declines as she still wants to grow up. At her rejection, the dolls lose their life-like spark and revert to mere dolls. Clara awakes in her bed and rushes over to Drosselmeier and asks if the whole this was real or not. Drosselmeier introduces her to his nephew, Hans, who greets her familiarly and she greets him as “Nutcracker.”
One thing I really enjoyed about this movie, aside from the background music, is the lesson. A lot movies try to say that childhood is awesome and others say that you should grown up but this movie takes a elegant middle ground.
Clara at the starts the movie by rejecting grown-up convention, like romance but by the end of the movie by embracing childhood, in this case playing with dolls, she can accepts adulthood.
This is evident but her using her sister’s wording in complimenting the Nutcracker and also with her more grow-up gown. It was just a nice little sentiment in a film that you rarely see and it’s done well.
I also like how the film blurs the lines if this was all in Clara’s head or if it was real but since this is a children movie and not a psychological drama, I’m going to say it was real. Especially because of the ending scene with Hans addressing her so familiarly.
As for the characters, they only one with anything to them is Clara. The other characters are nice but aside from Drosselmeier, who has a great mysterious vibe, they are all just there and nice. Then again, this movie is more of a mood piece, so I forgive it a bit.
Clara is an active girl who has dreams and ambitions, she wants to join a ballet but she she doesn’t want to grow-up too quick. She enjoys childhood but at the same time she seems a bit bored with fairy stories. She just seem like a real person which is a good thing. She does a good job leading us through the craziness of the dolls versus the mice all while being likable.
The Nutcracker Prince is a nice little Christmas movie that casts a nice happy light on the gray period between childhood and adulthood. The animation isn’t super great but music is wonderful through I didn’t care for the credit song, that 1990’s electronic piano sound is just jarring after hearing the Nutcracker suite for 70 minutes.
Also I would have liked to see or hear the Arabian dance but I’m nitpicking at this point. It wasn’t a bad movie at all. The kitten was also super cute!Follow thehunchblog