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The Nutcracker Prince

The movie poster.
Directed by Paul Schibli
Produced by Kevin Gillis
Sheldon S. Wiseman
Written by Patricia Watson (screenplay)
E.T.A. Hoffmann (story)
Starring Kiefer Sutherland
Megan Follows
Music by Tchaikovsky
Editing by Sue Robertson
Distributed by Warner Bros. Family Entertainment (theatrical)
Boulevard Entertainment
GoodTimes Home Entertainment (DVD)
Release date(s) November 21, 1990
Running time 75 min. (approx.)
Country Canada
Language English

The Nutcracker Prince is a 1990 animated film made by Lacewood Productions and released by Warner Bros. Family Entertainment. The film was directed by Paul Schibli and based on the story The Nutcracker and the Mouse King by E.T.A. Hoffmann and influenced by its ballet adaptation The Nutcracker. The film features the voice talents of Kiefer Sutherland as Hans/ The Nutcracker, Megan Follows as Clara, and Peter Boretski as Uncle Drosselmeier. Music from Tchaikovsky's ballet rendition is used at intervals throughout the film as the main instrumental soundtrack.

Contents

Plot

Clara's family are celebrating the night before Christmas Eve. Clara is jealous because her sister, Louise, has a boyfriend, leaving Clara feeling blue until the eccentric Uncle Drosselmeier arrives at their home with special gifts: a fully-automated toy castle for everyone, and a Nutcracker for Clara. Upon giving her the Nutcracker, Drosselmeier tells her a story about how the Nutcracker came to become the Prince of the Dolls.

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The Story of the Nutcracker

In a faraway kingdom, there was a King and Queen who had a beautiful daughter named Princess Perlipat. To celebrate the King's birthday, the Queen ordered a special cake made out of blue cheese, the King's favorite. However, the scent of the blue cheese drew out all the mice, who eat and destroy cake. The King was enraged and commanded his inventor, whose name also happened to be Drosselmeier, to capture all the mice. Drosselmeier and his nephew Hans were successful in capturing all the mice except the Mouse Queen and her only son.

In revenge, the Mouse Queen cast a spell on Perlipat, causing her to become hideously ugly. Drosselmeier was once again given the task of figuring out how to cure her. He eventually learned that the fabled Krakatooth Nut can cure her, on the condition that it is cracked open in the teeth of a young man who is not wearing boots. The King commands all the princes and noblemen to apply, on promise of the reward of being able to marry Perlipat once she is cured. However, the Krakatooth is so hard that all the men's teeth shatter upon trying to crack it.

Drosselmeier is about to be punished for being unable to cure Perlipat when Hans steps in. He manages to crack the nut open between his teeth and gives it to Perlipat. The Mouse Queen, who is angered by this, casts a spell on Hans, turning him into the Prince of the Dolls. Hans collapses and transforms into a Nutcracker. During the ruckus, the Mouse Queen's son's tail is caught from the fallen statue and his tail becomes bent. Also the Mouse Queen is crushed by a statue, leaving her son to become the Mouse King. Drosselmeier is exiled from the kingdom for trying to pass a "Nutcracker as a son-in-law", while the King and Queen celebrate with their cured daughter.

Revenge of the Mouse King

Clara is upset by the story for its unhappy ending, but is consoled when Drosselmeier tells her that the spell can be broken. That night, when everyone has gone to sleep, Clara ventures into the sitting room to dance with her Nutcracker. Suddenly the Mouse King arrives, intent on getting his revenge on the Nutcracker for his injured tail. The Nutcracker and all dolls in the room come to life to battle the Mouse King's army. The first battle is briefly stopped when Clara throws her slipper at the Mouse King before he can hurt the Nutcracker, though she is injured herself, losing consciousness for the rest of the night while the toys (off-screen) revert back to the way they were. The next morning, she tries to tell her mother about the battle, only to be told to rest and not hear any more fairy stories right away.

The next night, the Mouse King returns, angry about what Clara has done. Before he can go after the Nutcracker once more, Clara tricks him, briefly trapping him for the moment. However, when she retrieves the unawakened toy, the Mouse King himself confronts her, threatening to rid of her kitten, Pavlova, if she doesn't hand the Nutcracker over. Suddenly, the toys once more awaken. The Nutcracker and Mouse King then battle one another one on one. The Mouse King is supposedly defeated when he is stabbed in the chest and falls from the Christmas tree while the leaderless army of mice run away. When the toys see that Pantaloon, one of the Nutcracker's generals, has been injured in the fight, they have to return to the Land of the Dolls to revive him. Clara is then shrunken down to doll size thanks to Drosselmeier's magic.

Land of the Dolls

Clara follows to the toys to the Land of Dolls, which is in Drosselmeier's toy castle. Once they are there, Clara dances with the Nutcracker, who asks her to stay with him. Clara sadly refuses, saying that she has to return home and grow up. As the dolls start to turn back into inanimate toys, a dying Mouse King arrives for one last chance at revenge. Clara manages to keep him at bay, and he eventually falls off the Toy Castle to the river below.

Home again

Clara wakes up to find herself back home, and there is no sign of the events that she has experienced except her brother's statement that the family discovered a dead mouse near the castle. She rushes to Uncle Drosselmeier's workshop and begs him to tell her whether the fairytale he'd told her is true. Clara is suddenly silenced when a young boy enters the room, carrying a clock. Drosselmeier introduces the boy as Hans, whom Clara recognizes as being her Nutcracker in human form.

Voice Cast

  • Kiefer Sutherland as Hans/ The Nutcracker Prince
  • Megan Follows as Clara
  • Mike MacDonald as The Mouseking
  • Peter O'Toole as Pantaloon
  • Phyllis Diller as The Mousequeen
  • Peter Boretski as Uncle Drosselmeier
  • Lynne Gorman as Trudy
  • George Merner as Dr. Stahlbaum
  • Stephanie Morgenstern as Louise
  • Christopher Owens as Erik
  • Diane Stapley as Mrs. Ingrid Stahlbaum (voice)
  • Mona Waserman as Princess Perlipat
  • Noam Zylberman as Fritz
  • Len Carlson in multiple roles: King, Mouse, Court Attendant, Band Member #2, Spectator, Soldier
  • Marvin Goldhar in multiple roles: Mr. Schaeffer, Mouse, Guest #3, First Guard, Soldier, Band Member #1, Contestant, Spectator
  • Keith Hampshire in multiple roles: Mouse, Guest, Second Guard, Contestant, Spectator, Soldier
  • Elizabeth Hanna in multiple roles: Marie, Mrs. Schaeffer, Doll, Guest #4, Spectator
  • Susan Roman in multiple roles: Mouse, Mrs. Miller, Guest #1, Doll, Spectator
  • Theresa Sears in multiple roles: Queen, Mouse, Guest #2, Doll, Spectator

Goofs & Trivia

  • A rather common feature of foreign versions of The Nutcracker and the Mouse King story is that the name of the main protagonist is switched with her doll's. In the original story, Clara is actually named Marie, while the doll's name is Clara (or rather its diminutive form "Klärchen").
  • During the battle scene, when the Mouse King is about to attack The Nutcracker Prince with a candle, Clara throws one of her slippers at him, causing the candle to set fire to his cape and tail. Later, when she accidentally trips backwards into the clock, she is seen wearing both slippers.
  • The animation is mostly done in a realistic style. However, during the story portion of the movie, the animation is done more in the storybook style.

DVD release

The film has been released on DVD several times. It was initially released by Hollywood DVD on October 14, 2001.[1] A Region 1 DVD was released by Good Times Video on November 9, 2004.[2] On April 2, 2007, it was released in on DVD the United Kingdom by Boulevard Entertainment.[3] Both releases have no extras besides animated menus and a theatrical trailer.

See also

External links

References

  1. ^ The Nutcracker Prince at amazon.co.uk, Hollywood DVD.
  2. ^ The Nutcracker Prince at amazon.co.uk, Good Times Video.
  3. ^ The Nutcracker Prince at amazon.co.uk, Boulevard Entertainment.

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