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athena's Review of Barbie in the Nutcracker

rated it: posted: Oct 07, 2003
Reviews: 218 | KF Animation Editor
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Over the years I have seen many different movie renditions of the Nutcracker story and those tales tend to fall into two categories--either ballet people doing the ballet with lots of dancing and little plot or movie people doing a plot-driven movie and completely ignoring the fact that the material originally came from a ballet.

"Barbie in the Nutcracker" somehow manages to pull off both.

Where many animated movies might throw in musical numbers as the eye-catching parts of the story, here we have wonderfully charming ballet sequences... and by that I mean computer generated characters performing realistic ballet--making excellent use of motion capture technology on real ballerinas (the New York ballet company, I believe). There are segments of the film that feel almost like Fantasia, where you are being pulled into the movie through pure classical music and almost lyrical visuals on the screen.

The story itself is also surprisingly good and takes the time to bring warmth and life to its characters--particularly Clara (Barbie) and the Nutcracker. Tim Curry also does a very nice job of creating a witty evil Mouse King--I particularly liked the scenes where he's throwing his weight around and interacting with his sidekick, Pimm. Barbie fans and non-fans alike will probably notice the appearance of numerous characters from the Barbie universe (Kelly, Tommy, et al.) but the toy aspect of the film never intrudes upon the story.

A holiday classic for all the little girls--and not so little girls--in the family.

holiday animation Barbie in the Nutcracker © Mainframe Entertainment
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Barbie in the Nutcracker
3.25 stars / 2 ratings
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