The Nutcracker and the Mouseking (2004)

“Based on E.T.A. Hoffman’s classic story, “The Nutcracker and the Mouseking” is the tale of a spoiled prince who lives in a magnificent palace with his magician uncle, Drosselmeier.”

-Anonymous, IMDB

The Nutcracker and the Mouseking is a German animated direct-to-video film loosely based on E.T.A Hoffman’s original story. The film was redubbed into English for North America, and features the voice talents of Leslie Nielsen, Fred Willard, and Eric Idle.

Some thoughts from me (Potential spoilers below)…
I believe this one was another Youtube find back in the day. I was attempting to find enough Bad Princess Movies relating to Christmas so I could do a special Holiday edition of my Bad Princess Movie Nights. As you might imagine, in the venn diagram of “Christmas movies” vs “Movie where someone is/becomes a Princess”, the intersection is filled primarily with movies based on The Nutcracker. That said, just to make a note of it here, I am still sorta cheating with some of these Nutcracker films. While they often feature a main character who enters into a romantic relationship with a Prince, not all of them show the main character officially becoming a Princess. I kinda consider it implied, mostly for the sake of including it on this blog.

Anyways, The Nutcracker and the Mouseking almost reads as more of a Beauty and the Beast story than it does a Nutcracker film, as the titular Nutcracker is a spoiled brat of a Prince who has to learn a lesson of true love. This sets the movie apart from a few other versions of the Nutcracker I’ve encountered. Generally, the Nutcracker is somewhat of a flat character, so it’s nice to see the movie try something different.

As with a lot of dubbed films, this one seems to have a problem with there being more chatter/odd jokes being added in. The Mouse King in particular (Voiced by Leslie Nielsen) and his cronies, seems especially prone to this. Their dialogue, filled with more ‘modern’ jokes, sometimes doesn’t really fit tonally with the rest of the film, which is attempting to stay true to a certain time period.

This one has some weird visuals, which I found pretty entertaining. I should mention though, when I showed this one to my viewing audience I could tell that it didn’t capture them in the same way it did for me, it just didn’t hold their attention. So this might be one that you have to view yourself, and gauge whether or not you think your viewers will enjoy it.


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