By Black River Santa
Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (1840-1893) was born on this day in 1840, in Votkinsk, in the Russian Empire. Though he never played Santa Claus, the score he wrote for the two-act ballet, “The Nutcracker,” adapted from E.T.A. Hoffman’s story, "The Nutcracker and the Mouse King," is part of our collective Christmas soundtrack, and attending a stage performance is an annual family tradition for many during the holiday season. I know this has to be a @Drosselmeyer favorite!
so - took my wife on a double date with our son and his girlfriend to see Nutcracker and the 4 Realms this evening. Since the movie has been discussed in anticipation, now it is time to share thoughts about the movie now that I have seen it.....
Earlier today I was expecting to write about the Lone Ranger movie - as an old school Lone Ranger purist the new movie was a poor representation of the original characters - at best it was a gross retelling of the story that in no way represented the intent of the original TV series. This is what I expected from Nutcracker....that was the comparison I expected to make.....
but I was wrong. The movie was not based on the storyline of Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker - but another story using some of the characters called The Nutcracker and the Mouse King. I won't say too much about the plot for those that want to see the movie - but it is a different story all together - somewhere between Alice in Wonderland and Narnia. Clara is an intelligent young girl whose mother has passed and left her a puzzle box gift. Her Uncle Drosselmeyer knows she has to journey to the land of the realms to restore the balance her mother had there when she was queen. Aside from the names of the characters and the fact that the story happens at Christmas - there is nothing much else it has in common with the Nutcracker ballet. Even the Nutcracker music is more for ambiance than part of the storyline (the ballet shows up in the story to tell the narrative of Clara's mother). (by the way - some of the stuff in the trailers is not even in the movie...)
Part way into the movie my wife and I looked at each other and predicted who the true villains and heroes of the story were - it wasn't that deep. It was a lot of CGI and a pure steampunk fantasy. But we had a nice evening out. Time well spent with family. Don't expect a big Hallmark Christmas movie. Don't expect the Nutcracker ballet. It's just another Disney fantasy movie....
it's not even out yet and the negative reviews have started...
The Next Really Bad Nutcracker Movie - My Merry Christmas
MYMERRYCHRISTMAS.COM Disney is bringing out their version of The Nutcracker -- and you may want to hide the kids. This is Alice in Wonderland meets the Avengers. I am going to hold judgement on this one. Much like "the Man Who Invented Christmas" I don't think you should go into this movie with preconceptions or expectations. In the recent "Lone Ranger" movie with Johnny Depp, I think folks expected a flat retelling of the old story, not a new interpretation. There was a knee-jerk reaction against it because it wasn't just like the original. This looks to be a new, stylized interpretation of elements of the story. It impresses me as a steampunk fantasy. Of course now you have live action, special effects, and CGI. This is not going to be the traditional recognized ballet....
And by the way, for as much as it is known and loved, the Tchaikovsky hated the Nutcracker - he thought is was meaningless fluff. But remember, the story is a child's fantasy, a dream. Dreams can take different forms. This is somebody's new storyline for the dream. Like it or not - the Avengers are pretty cool right now - why wouldn't the movie industry capitalize on that? if you are an old-school purist you may not like it, but that doesn't make it wrong, it just makes it different. The original Nutcracker had sword battles and cannons and monster mice - pretty intense stuff for its day. This is trying to appeal to the kids of this generation - pretty sure most of them aren't into classical ballet.
I am going to see this movie. The worst is I will have wasted 2 hours on some mindless entertainment. I don't expect to go see the Nutcracker ballet. I have been pleasantly surprised by some movies, disappointed by others. I will hold judgement on this one until after I have seen it...