December 17 - The Movie The Nutcracker

The Nutcracker Movie a Ballet?

I treated my staff to an afternoon at the Cineplex to watch the movie The Nutcracker.  As a director of the Nutcracker Ballet I was very interested to see the movie and compare it to the ballet.  With anticipation of characters such as the Sugar Plum Fairy we headed to the theatre.  And what did we see?  Not a ballet?

The movie, I felt was great, once I realized that only a few elements actually made me feel like I was watching the Nutcracker.  Therefore it becomes very difficult to actually compare the two.  The similarities between the two is that you had Clara, a Toy Soldier and army, mice, Sugar Plum Fairy, Snow Queen, and Mother Ginger and her children.  I felt that even though you had these characters, they did not react the same way as the Ballet Story of the Nutcracker, which is kinda cool too.

I did not appreciate the use of very few actual ballet numbers with the Snow Queen as I thought I was watching a ballet.  It felt like it was just thrown in there because the writers felt like they needed to have it if they were telling the story of the Nutcracker.  We were really experiencing a story about Clara who was seeking a golden key and had help from a Soldier named Philip.  I did not see much similarity and therefore dismissed I was watching The Nutcracker.

What I did love was that it was an adventure story with beautiful adaptations of elements from the Nutcracker.  I loved the gorgeous scenes done through the snow.  It made me wish I was a cross country skier skiing through the back country in the mountains.  I loved all the elements at the party.  The little train going around observing all the guests on Christmas Eve.  I loved how the Sugar Plum Fairy looked, but I didn't love that she was evil.  The cinematography was very well done and the specifics were well through out.

In the end, if I could only go to one, I would pick the Nutcracker Ballet over the Movie hands down.  You cannot mess with a classic that has been around for almost 200 years.  People love the story.  I think it was a missed opportunity from the film makers.  I would have thought it would be appropriate to give us the back story to the Nutcracker.  Tell his story and how he comes across and affects a young girl named Clara.  Did he want to turn into the Prince, or was that the result of something going very wrong?  Or maybe he, like the Beast in Beauty and the Beast, was cursed to live a life as something they weren't, like a wooden soldier.  Maybe that could be their next Nutcracker Story.

How did you like the Movie?


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