The Nutcracker in 3D


Tonight: The Nutcracker 3D: The Untold Story


Holy shit do things get real.  So in 2009, they created another Nutcracker movie.  I have never really seen any of the Nutcracker movies, plays, or stories, so other than the fact there is a Nutcracker and a Rat King, I know nothing about this story. 

And after watching this movie, I’m pretty sure I still don’t. 

So we open on an ice skating rink in . . . somewhere?  London?  Switzerland?  New York?  I don’t believe they ever clarify.  Nathan Lane plays Uncle Albert (Einstein), and he is riding in a carriage and apparently very late to meet his neice and nephew.  He briefly talks to the camera about how interesting it would be if he were being followed, but alas he is not.  Sure, just like it would be really interesting it would be if I was being spied on by the government, but alas I am not. 

(Brief Glance at the figurine on his mantle that he doesn’t remember buying)

Yeah. . .

So we are introduced to Mary and Max. Mary is writing a christmas letter and Max is . . . setting his sister’s ornament on fire. She freaks out and he says it’s an accident. Max’s thing is he intentionally breaks toys and doesn’t want to be punished. Their parents are going to the Palace so the mother can sing.

It’s a weird family dynamic based on accents. Uncle Albert is American(though going for german), his brother(the father) is English, the mother is Russian(though going for American accent), and the children are simply bad actors.

Uncle Albert shows up and presents Mary and Max with a toy house and the eponymous Nutcracker. Max IMMEDIATELY breaks it. Mary is pissed, but Uncle Albert fixes him. Then they sing a song about Relativity. For a story built around a famous ballet, the songs and dancing are AWFUL. The choreography is essentially the children just doing freestyle arm flailing.

I’m pretty sure the choreographer lied on his resume. What was Joey doing in 2009?

Anywho, the nutcracker comes to life and Mary takes it in stride. She makes the nutcracker grow to full size by knocking it off the top of a shelf. Because.

Mary and the Nutcracker(who prefers to be called NC and for typing purposes I shall grant this request) argue for a few minutes about the differences between boys and girls before they go to the living room, which has grown to massive size. The toy house and its occupants(A drummer, a clown, and a monkey in a suit) are also human sized now.

After briefly meeting the occupants, Mary and NC use a system of pulleys and levers to go up the now gigantic christmas tree. They meet the Ornament that Max set on fire earlier(who is played by the mother). This is made clear by the dialogue, “You look exactly like my mother.” “But I’m not.”

How many people DID lie on their resume in this movie?

So the not-mother sings a song and because of Mary’s belief, NC turns back into a real boy. That is the easiest cure to a curse I’ve ever seen. Believe in something for five minutes and BOOM curse lifted.

The musical number resumes and a couple of Biker Mice from Mars nearby see that the prince has returned, and then offer a brief critique on the movie, “That music is terrible.”

After the rats fly off, the now human NC tells the backstory of the Rat King. He basically had giant black phallic tanks rise up from the ground and had storm troopers come out and march through the streets. The Nazi kind, not the Star Wars kind.

Apparently these are very non violent storm troopers, considering one guy decides to attack them with a bouquet of flowers and they decide to keep marching instead of shooting him to death.

After their invasion, the Rat King’s factories blot out the sun with their smoke because he doesn’t like the sun. Personally, I prefer Mr. Burns’ giant sun shade, but whatever. Mary has the brilliant idea of shutting down the factories which the brilliant military strategist NC never thought of.

We then meet the Rat King played by (SQUEEE!) John Turturro! Oh this ought to be FANTASTIC!

(One musical number later)

Wow. Okay. Maybe I oversold his saving grace a little too much. The Rat King is apparently able to summon bands at will, but not, you know, good ones. And I’m not sure of John Turturro’s singing ability, but I’ll blame the fact that NONE of these songs were meant to have lyrics. And the Dancing Nazi Rats just complete the insanity.

And then, with all that insanity, the Rat King kills his pet shark. Just because?

After he finds out the Prince is alive, the Rat King goes to his Mother and cries that the spell is broken. She starts sucking down a cocktail that distorts her face and turns NC back to wood.

The rat soldiers use robo rats to chew out the base of the tree and it collapses. Causing mary to wake up in bed. Her parents come home and blame the children and nanny for its destruction and of course do not believe Mary’s story of robo rats.

So the next day we get another crappy song about Mary not being believed.

Uncle Albert shows up and again breaks the fourth wall like it is a Nick Jr. show. He shows up the house and the parents try to convince him not to come around anymore. He sings a song about magic pebbles, and the matter is dropped.

That night, NC again comes to life, but this time recruits Max as well as Mary. NC tells Max he can come if he promises not to break anymore toys. Max agrees, but crosses his fingers behind his back.

Seriously, this kid is a little shit. Sid from toy story was more tolerable than this. At least when HE found out Toys were alive, he had the decency to wet his pants in fear whenever he saw one again!

So NC goes off to wake up the doll house and immediately gets . . . dragged to hell?

Mary and Max come downstairs to find the living room giant sized again. Mary can’t find NC anywhere, until she starts hearing his voice from a dark corner.

She reaches out her hand to the darkness and THE RAT KING GRABS HER HAND!

Briefly. Then lets go.

The Rat King has NC, the clown, and the drummer boy from the doll house held captive by his rat soldiers. After a bit of banter, the Rat King demands the drummer boy play something. What the drummer boy plays isn’t to the Rat King’s liking so he RIPS OFF THE DRUMMER BOYS HEAD AND THROWS IT TO MAX!

WHAT THE EVER LIVING HELL?!? Yes, the drummer boy is technically a toy, but unlike the Nutcracker which is CGI and looks fake, the Drummer boy is played by a person and is not made to look fake.

Oh right, this was also originally shown in 3D, so the Rat King ripped off his head and immediately throws it TOWARDS THE AUDIENCE! I really hope the 3D wasn’t used their or the theater seats are never getting cleaned!

After throwing the head around a bit, he puts it back on the Drummer boy. Mary then grabs a fountain pen(which is the size of a spear) and sprays some Ink at the Rat King.

Which misses. But it still causes the Rat King to lose his cool and attempt the Large Marge Face jump scare. However, the scariness is kind of undercut by John Tuturro just making the “scary rat noise” with his mouth. It really just sounds like him going “blahh!!!” Might freak kids out, but it just looks silly.

After regaining his composure, the Rat King has the toys taken to the smoke factory. Max joins the Rat King because they will let him have his own motorcycle. With Machine gun attachments.

Mary returns to the dollhouse to find the monkey is still there. They go to the attic and find the mirror is a portal to the Rat King’s world. They knock out the only posted rat soldier and go out into the empty streets. They walk by a guy who is wearing a trench coat and clearly nothing else. And they freak HIM out.

Truly this world is upside down when little girls freak out flashers.

Meanwhile, NC and the other toys manage to pull off a daring escape, mainly by using the clowns but to block the view of the driver in back. However, this is short lived because NC manages to get his hat stuck while being pursued by robo rats and is captured again.

Mary and the monkey come upon a rally where the Rat King is having toys gathered up and thrown in a pile to be burned. The rat king then gives another song with dancing rat Nazis.

The Rat King is so enthralled with the suffering of children he runs into the crowd taking pictures of crying children and posts them as wall art.

Max finally realizes he has chosen the WRONG DAMN SIDE. The Rat King has him locked up, and resumes his awful song.

Mary jumps into a pile of toys to find out where they end up. Luckily she chose the correct pile, because she manages to find the clown, drummer, and NC.

NC is in bad shape, because his leg is off and he is not animated. Mary needs a distraction to go help NC, so the Drummer, Clown and Monkey do a musical number. Which does a good job because the Rat Soldiers do absolutely nothing.

Mary manages to put NC back together and then I guess her tears make him human again. And him just being Human again is enough to inspire the enslaved humans to rise against the Rat army.

The Rat King instantly knows the curse is broken and apparently all is lost. Apparently the rat army he used before is useless. Which based on all their actions before is kinda true. The Rat King’s mother suggests abandoning ship, like rats do, but the Rat king wishes to fight on.

A brief battle ensues in the smoke factory and NC shoves Mary into a metal elevator. For one of the more terrifying moments of the movie, you see the Rat King trying to break into the elevator. First you see his fingers come through the sliding door trying to wrench it open. Mary yells back, “I’m not afraid of you!” You see the fingers slip back out, then you see the fangs of the Rat King tear a hole through the metal door in a very creepy way, briefly seeing the mad glint in his eyes.

Then he sticks his mouth in the hole and goes “blah aha” totally ruining the whole thing.

The Rat King yanks Mary out of the elevator and demands to know where NC is or else he’ll start biting her fingers off.

Seriously, this quick shifting between 1st and 5th gear on the scary scale is doing no one any favors.

NC makes his dramatic move by sounding the high frequency alarm, which disables the Jet pack rats and convinces the Rat King to run away, with Mary as his hostage.

Max and the Rat Queen try to fly away in the helicopter, but apparently neither of them know how to start the thing.

Eventually everyone makes it up to the Helicopter pad and a dramatic aerial spree before they just crash into a pile of toys. Everyone survives, the rats turn back into proper rats and run away.

The sky becomes clear, speeches are made, flowers bloom, songs are sung, Mary wakes up and has her “and you were there, and you were there” moment, even meeting NC, named Nicholas Charles, and the movie FINALLY FUCKING ENDS!

This movie had Nathan Lane, John Tuturro, and Richard E. Grant in it! They even had Moaning Myrtle doing the voice of NC! HOW DID THEY SCREW THIS UP?!?

I guarantee you that the number of people lying on their resume before this film is NOWHERE NEAR the number of people lying about this afterwards. Surprised the cast and crew page isn’t just a long line of Alan Smithee’s.

Again, if you want to see it, find it for free somewhere. Do not part with your money for this.

Tomorrow: We finally bring this long dreadful Christmas to a close with the ultimate showdown. Is Santa any match for THE DEVIL?!?

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