Tuesday, December 13, 2011

The Nuttiest Nutcracker

I was reluctant to watch this one. I mean, seriously? A take on The Nutcracker featuring talking vegetables and nuts? But my dad bought me the DVD...

It's an early CGI movie, and was released direct to video. As such, you could guess the production quality didn't have much going for it. Things look too shiny (including human skin), many poses just don't look right, and the Mouse King's army is a bunch of clones of each other.

The story opens with a promise from a rotund Sugar Plum Fairy that this Nucracker has a "nutty little twist." A girl named Marie is concerned that her parents haven't come home yet on Christmas Eve, so her Uncle Drosselmeyer decides to cheer her and her brother Fritz up with gifts, Marie's being a Nutcracker "doll." After Fritz breaks it, she puts it away, inexplicably saying she liked him the best of all her gifts ever.

Meanwhile, a group of nuts explain that the Nutcracker was once a prince in love with Princess Pirlipat, who was cursed to look ugly by the Mouse Queen. However, he broke the nut that would break the curse, but the Mouse Queen turned him into a Nutcracker in her anger. ... Okay, sounds promising... Just with ... nuts as characters...

Why couldn't they have... uh... used ... say... toys instead of food? *Sigh.*

And now Reginald the Rat comes out of a hole in the wall. He's the Mouse King, son of the Mouse Queen in the Nutcracker origin. He wants to enslave the nuts to be slaves in his cheese mines (YES, TAKE THEM!) and steal the star from on top of the Christmas Tree to take over Christmas.

... Don't ask me how that works. A prerequisite to this is switching your brain off.

Marie has taken a nap (because, you know... *sigh*) and awakens to see vegetables, nuts, and the Nutcracker, now turned into a miniature prince, fighting Reginald and his army of cloned mice. She kicks Reginald (no shoe-fu for this girl) and when he gets attracted to her (SHADES OF BESTIALITY!), she climbs up the ladder against the Christmas tree and tries to throw the star at him.

Because that's SUCH a great defense plan...

But the star makes her shrink and...

...You know what? ... I just can't take it anymore. This just makes no darn sense at all. I'm just gonna breeze through the rest.

They have to get the star back on the tree (why they have to go to Candyland and not just, uh... CLIMB THE LADDER? is beyond me!), Marie gets kidnapped, gets rescued, they save Reginald from drowning in cheese, so he reforms, there's some really bad looking explosions (and by "bad", I mean BAD... how does cheese explode?) and the fat Sugar Plum Fairy tells Marie to believe and throw the star (not like a Ninja), she wakes up from her seemingly-narcotic inspired dream, and her parents are home, and Uncle Drosselmeyer has invited his nephew, who is you-know-who. And the Sugar Plum Fairy thinks she deserves some gratitude.


To be honest, a couple songs were pretty good, but they couldn't save the movie. I'm of the opinion that if you're going to rework the heck out of a story, it should make some sort of sense, like that Russian animated version. This just leaves too many logic points wide open.

There's some big name stars in this, including Phyllis Diller as the Sugar Plum Fairy. She's only worth noting because she also voiced the Mouse Queen in The Nutcracker Prince. And now that I reminded you of a GOOD version, please write this one off your "must see" list.


Sam A M said...

I saw this one when it came on TV (plus the video cover in David Jones that year) and, believe it or not, I was SURPRISED when the Sugar Plum Fairy who they said to see at the beginning was the same character from the opening.

Marie is voiced by the actress who did Julie in the animated series of "Jumanji".

Anonymous said...

it's so really good to watch