The Nutcracker (1973 film)

Infobox Film
name = The Nutcracker


image_size =
caption =
director = Boris Stepantsev
Boris Larin
producer =
writer = Boris Stepantsev
music = Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
cinematography =
editing =
distributor =
released = fy|1973
runtime = 27 min. 6 sec.
country = USSR
language =
budget =
gross =
preceded_by =
followed_by =
website =
amg_id = 1:278683
imdb_id = 0928068

"The Nutcracker" ( _ru. Щелкунчик, transcribed as "Schelkunchik") is a fy|1973 Soviet animated film from the Soyuzmultfilm studio directed by Boris Stepantsev and based partly on Pyotr Tchaikovsky's ballet "The Nutcracker", but more closely on E.T.A. Hoffmann's novelette "The Nutcracker and the Mouse King", the story which inspired the ballet.

Ballet dancer Mikhail Baryshnikov, who himself starred in his own classic TV edition of "The Nutcracker" in 1977, included the 1973 animated film as part of his cable television series "Stories from my Childhood", of which he was the executive producer. For the U.S. telecast, narration spoken by Shirley MacLaine was added.

Plot

During the opening credits, a mouse soldier is climbing around a Christmas tree with a light.

The first scene is a Christmas party where numerous children are celebrating and using the nutcracker to crack nuts. The female protagonist in this version is a girl who works as a maid and watches the other children.

When the party is over, the girl dances with her broom in the empty hall. She eventually finds the nutcracker on the floor. When she kisses him, he comes to life and is devastated when he sees what he has become.

The story of how he became the nutcracker is then told. There was a party at a royal castle to celebrate a newborn prince. It was interrupted by the three-headed mouse queen and her son (also three-headed). A fight broke out between the king and the mouse queen. The king entered a chamber to obtain a poison against the mouse queen, but was locked in by the mouse prince. The mouse prince then started pulling the queen, something which angers the baby prince. When he attempted to hit the mouse prince, its tail got stuck under the cradle. The mouse prince screamed and runs to its mother. The king set himself free to pour the poison on the mouse queen, but she had already cast a spell on the baby prince that turned him into a nutcracker, while the mouse queen vanished. The king and queen were devastated and the entire hall is petrified while the mouse prince escaped. A pine branch grew through a wall and the nutcracker came to hang as an ornament in a Christmas tree.

When the story returns to the nutcracker and the girl, mouse soldiers begin to appear in the hall, followed by the mouse king. The soldiers try to get the nutcracker, but the girl stops them, leading the mouse king to shrink and capture her. The nutcracker brings the toys around the Christmas tree to life and a war is fought between the toys and mice. It ends when the girl throws her wood clog on the mouse king, causing him to drop his crown. The crown breaks and all the mice pop and vanish into thin air, one by one.

The clog is transformed into a glittering shoe. When the nutcracker takes up the shoe, his nutcracker appearance changes and he is revealed as a prince. As he puts the shoe on the girl's foot, her dress is transformed into a ball gown. The two dance to the royal castle to the Waltz of the Snowflakes. The king and queen are brought back to life through the Waltz of the Flowers, to which the prince and the girl then dance.

External links

*imdb title|0928068
* [http://www.animator.ru/db/?ver=eng&p=show_film&fid=2635 The Nutcracker] from Russian animation in letters and figures


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