Disney has yet another live-action adaptation coming your way. This time, it’s a version of The Nutcracker, the classic ballet from Pyotor Ilyich Tchaikovsky, based on the E.T.A. Hoffmann story, The Nutcracker and the Mouse King. The Nutcracker and the Four Realms will be directed by Lasse Hallström, who brought us Chocolat, The Cider House Rules, and My Life as a Dog, with a script from Black List writer Ashleigh Powell.
If you were a kid in a reasonably sized town or city, it’s likely that you’ve seen The Nutcracker performed. If you haven’t, here’s the deal; a young girl named Clara is given the gift of a nutcracker during a Christmas party by a super creepy guy. (Seriously, he gives her a a nutcracker! Who gets that for a kid?) The boys at the party try to take him from Clara and break him in the process. She binds his “wounds” and puts him in a doll bed. When she falls asleep, he grows to human size and battles a mouse army for her. You remember the mouse army. It gave you nightmares, didn’t it? That Mouse King with the dozens of heads–shudder. Then there are some Sugar Plum Fairies and a bunch of personified candies that dance in different styles in front of Clara and the now-Prince who’s curse has been broken. Of course they do. There is also a dance performed by a bunch of kids in candy cane-stripped clothing that apparently live under the giant skirt of their mother. One can only assume there was a lot of opium involved in the writing of this story.
This is not the first time the film has hit the big screen. There was a version of the actual ballet. There was that nightmare-inducing animated Barbie version. Then there was the one starring Elle Fanning that stands proudly at 0% on Rotten Tomatoes and should be burned with fire. The problem with this as a story is that the framework of the ballet was a wire hanger to place different dance styles on. The story it’s based on is still strange and populated with creepy dolls, but would make much more sense.
Are you guys excited for the film? Have you ever read the original story? Did your fear of dolls coming to life at night and murdering you come from this ballet? Just me? Tweet me/us @JennaBusch/@Nerdist and let us know what you think.