The Nutcracker: The Untold Story

The Nutcracker: The Untold Story ★★★★

This is a mesmerizingly misguided and totally bonkers 90 million what-in-the-sam-fucking-HELL-am-I-witnessing freakshow. Disney’s Nutcracker and the Four Realms wishes it could be this consistently enthralling.

You can totally tell that Konchalovsky began conceptualizing this in the late 80s (curious considering how popular Art Spiegelman's Maus and the Pacific Northwest Ballet/Maurice Sendak Nutcracker were at the time) as it all looks and feels like a nightmare-fueled psychotronic garbagepunk 80s kids movie, with the added benefit of being more polished and much more entertaining than the likes of Mac & Me, The Land of Faraway, Little Monsters, Purple People Eater, and Super Xuxa vs The Down Mood. It is a beautiful trainwreck you can never take your eyes off of. So well made and professional looking (the lighting, the steampunk costumes, the glamorous and impressionistic set designs - all stunning. The so much) that it makes all the wacky offbeat contents contained within seem weirder. I am shocked it never became a cult classic. How is this not the Gen Z Return to Oz?

This thing is chock full of wonderfully bleak holocaust imagery, flying steampunk rat Nazis, menacing mechanical rat-dogs, shark electrocution, drummer boy decapitation, motorcycle chases, explosions, a wall of pictures of crying children, a rat woman saying "Come to mama," a clown in a cage, a hellish furnace used for destroying toys, a dance party inside a christmas tree (that is later town down...with the people in it) and a big rat fortress bursting out of the ground looking like a giant phallus (which I'm pretty sure is intentional since Dr. Freud makes a brief appearance with two ladies). Oh and its all interspersed with characters singing the classic suite with insane new lyrics by Tim Rice (featuring Nathan Lane as "Uncle Albert" Einstein singing "Everything's Relative" with his niece and nephew to the tune of "Sugar Plum Fairy"). And you know.....this probably has more actual nutcracking than any other Nutcracker movie.


You all can continue to cling to your cynical Jim Carrey Grinch and Tom Hanks Polar Express Christmas cash-grabs...I'll be over here continuing to sing the praises of the well-intentioned but bewildering The Nutcracker in 3D aka The Nutcracker: The Untold Story over and over again every holiday season. It's unfuckingbelievable and demented and brilliant.

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