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Nutcracker: The Untold Story [Blu-ray]

 PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)   Blu-ray
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 8.57
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Product Description

Experience the classic holiday tale of the Nutcracker brought to life like you have never seen it before. This all-new film features a highly-acclaimed cast including; Elle Fanning, Nathan Lane, Frances de la Tour and John Turturro. Join Mary on a magical adventure when her toy nutcracker comes to life and whisks her away to a magical kingdom filled with fantastical toys, sugar plums and dancing fairies. Mary soon discovers the evil Rat King is threatening the kingdom and in order to save the Nutcracker, Mary must uncover a hidden secret to free the prince and restore his kingdom. Based on the story that inspired Russian composer Tchaikovsky to create the music for the iconic ballet, the film includes eight new exciting songs written by Oscar®-winning lyricist Tim Rice (The Lion King, Evita).

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Customer Reviews

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3.7 out of 5 stars
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Most helpful customer reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars Thank goodness for reviews! Nov. 14 2013
Format:DVD
I was almost tempted to buy this dvd, until I read the reviews. Thanks to all who took the time to write in. I think I'll pass!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Enchanting and fun Aug. 23 2013
By Bernard
Format:Blu-ray|Verified Purchase
Not your traditional nutcracker story but I love it. It is funny and well made, loosely based on the Nutcracker story.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Nutcracker: The Untold Story Jan. 3 2012
Format:DVD
I purchased "Nutcracker: The Untold Story" for a Christmas gift. It was delivered as promised ... before December 7th which was fantastic!!! Thank you very much!

Happy New Year!!!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 3.6 out of 5 stars  58 reviews
33 of 43 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars terrible excuse for a Christmas movie Dec 6 2011
By Sah - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD
This movie was horrendous! The rat king's teeth morph into this incredibly scary monster and scared my 6 year old girl and 2 year old boy. Although my 8 yr old boy didn't mind all of the horrific effects, it was no Christmas movie. There was no hint on the dvd cover that this movie would be so dark and violent. Why would they do this to the Nutcracker? They tore apart a beautiful concept. I would guess Nathan Lane and John Turturro were appalled when they saw the final cut. I can't imagine they were proud of this Christmas production. After watching it, it made me want to write a letter to Lane, Turturro, the producer, director, somebody and tell them they should be ashamed and tell them what a terrible waste of time and energy this movie was. We all sat down as a family waiting to see a beautiful Christmas story and we were all incredibly disappointed. The dvd cover is very misleading and does not show any pics of the scary or dark stuff. There is one scene where the rat king chews through the door of the elevator to get to the little girl - and it scared me! I hated this movie so much and wish my children had never seen it, that I am writing this review on Amazon and I didn't even buy it online here. I bought it out of the $10 WalMart bin - no wonder it was in there. Don't waste your money or scare your children!!!!!! As I am writing this review tonight, my 6 year old and 2 year old have already called me crying because they can't get the rat king out of their head! just awful.
19 of 24 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not for children Aug. 22 2012
By Audioampbuilder - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD
I'm not the only reviewer disturbed by this production. I took a script writing course one semester. I was disturbed then too..that the instructor didn't think my storyline was dark enough. He taught that the antagonist should prevail for the like 97% of the story..the idea bein,g "oh what a relief it is" when evil is overturned...which is unrealistic, anyone knows.
The problem is we all have this sparkling, magical, happy association with Christmas, well not everyone, but most of us, try our best to make it the happiest time of the year for our children, And the Nutcracker has been a part of this American festive occasion for two generations. "Visions of sugar plums dancing in our dreamy heads"...
But nooooo...we have to give children visions of snarling, murderous, sadistic Rat Faced Nazis for a long...long time. Explosions, threats of 'biting the fingers off of our heroine, one finger at a time'...isn't that special. What then?..replace dreams of toys and deleirous, magical happiness..with a bleeding nightmare?

Who are these people who decide to spend the money producing slimy crap like this?

As the other reviewer said, don't let the sparkling , smiling, hppy faces on the cover fool you. That to me, is the purist and cruelest example of deception possible. DEceeption, bait and switch, slobbering greed..."visions of a film to be bought over and over, and played again and again, like Tchaikovsky's masterpiece..laughing all the way to the bank year after year. Well guess what,
Rat Faced Producers...you have blood and gore on your faces. There is a special place in Hell prepared just for you. Tons of vermin. Enjoy your undeserved wealth while you can.
12 of 16 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Not proper 3D Feb. 13 2012
By E. Worth - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Blu-ray
The featurette accompanying this film goes some way to explaining what went wrong and why some people love it and others hate it: The director declares outright that he has no interest in the story of the Nutcracker, which he dismisses derisively as a "festival for children" and explains that his real interest lies in much darker areas such as the Holocaust. He fulfills his directive of filming the Nutcracker in the first half hour of the film - though with a complete lack of emotional commitment, resulting in a pallid, rather morose and lifeless quality - and then quickly passes on to the subject that interests him, the Holocaust. The remaining 70 minutes of the film are taken up with a documentary about the Nazi occupation of Europe which is definitely not for children and depicts Jewish children being led away to the gas chambers and SS officers torturing people by slamming their heads into the table and so on. There is one point of historical inaccuracy - Hitler is shown torturing a shark to death by electrocuting it, something he is not known to have done.

Those people who enjoyed this film are older audiences who also enjoy films like 'Hostel' and 'Saw'. Those who were looking for a beautiful, magical children's film based on 'The Nutcracker' were disappointed and shocked. Despite the title, this film bears no resemblance to more familiar ballet versions and is not intended for young audiences.

As a further point, the film was not made in 3D but was merely converted from the 2D format, so if you are committed to watching it, simply buy the 2D version and use the conversion process on your television or 3D-player and you'll be just as far along. The only shot that was digitally altered to be genuinely 3D was a shot of the snow flake fairies dancing, so if you think it's worth paying the extra for that...
17 of 24 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Nutcracker, or Natzi-cracker? Dec 6 2011
By A. Peck - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD
HORRIBLE, HORRIBLE, HORRIBLE! Can you ever find a way to butcher a beloved Christmas classic? I almost bought this piece of garbage movie at the store a while back but DVR-ed it instead. Glad I did. God, Tchaikovsky would be rolling over in his grave! Really? Albert Einstein? Freud? A musical...? They only did like 3 Nutcracker songs anyways!
How can this possibly watched by children. The Rat King would horrify any young child. Talk about making them hate this classic. The creators ought to be ashamed of themselves...come on, the Holocaust in the NUTCRACKER?!?!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Underrated and strange Dec 21 2013
By Joe Smart - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Blu-ray
Genuinely strange big-budget children's film bombed when it received its original theatrical release and received extremely bad reviews. The story concerns a young girl (an excellent Elle Fanning) in the early 1900's. Her wooden nutcracker doll comes to life and turns out to be a boy prince who was cursed. She travels to his kingdom and helps him defeat the Rat King (a very amusing John Turturro) who has taken over and enslaved the population.

Some reviewers are claiming that this movie is not appropriate for children--I guess that depends on how bland you think children's entertainment needs to be to be appropriate. The Nutcracker: The Untold Story is about the power of imagination and friendship. There is less violence than a child could see on a typical network television program and not a single character in the movie dies, not even the villains. So what exactly is so objectionable?

Some adults seem to be disturbed by the fact that the villains are loosely modeled on the Nazis. While that is certainly true it's not something that small children are likely to pick up on or be disturbed by. And the villains are not Nazis--the Rat King burns children's toys in a huge factory to create a dark cloud that keeps the sun from shining down into the kingdom and his soldiers are more bumbling than menacing. The Rat King also has a habit of breaking into song, which makes him even less scary.

If Elle Fanning and her prince (and, eventually, her bratty little brother) can shut down the factory the sun will shine on the streets again and the rats will be forced to retreat to the sewers because they can't stand sunlight.

Sounds really, really adult, doesn't it?

The special effects and production design are both excellent but what's most interesting about them is that with the exception of the metallic rat dogs and the Rat King's occasionally trans-morphing face they don't looks like CGI--they looks like effects you might have seen in classic Hollywood films. It's like the makers of the film traveled back in time and grabbed the set-designers from Metropolis and the special-effects people from The Wizard of Oz and got them to work on the film. A sequence where Fanning dances through the air with a line of fairies could have easily come from Fantasia era Disney.

The numerous songs are a bit of a surprise. Unfortunately, they aren't especially tuneful--although, when delivered by John Turturro's prancing Rat King, they are at least amusing.

The pacing is unnecessarily draggy. The movie was obviously a labor of love for Andrei Koncholovsky (Runaway Train) who directed, co-wrote and co-produced, and you get the impression that he couldn't bring himself to cut because he loved the world that he had created too much.

The Nutcracker is far from perfect but it's unlike any other children's film you are likely to see, is pretty wonderful visually and features very nice turns from Elle Fanning (in one of her first roles) and John Turturro, who seems to be having a blast playing the song and dance loving villain.

I would say it's absolutely fine for children with decent attention spans--it's even possible that their parents will enjoy it as well.
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