The Nutcracker and the Magic Flute review – fairytale mashup is a right turkey
Combining elements of the Nutcracker and the Magic Flute into something this bland and forgettable takes some doing, in addition to an inert female lead
Rolling back the years, The Nutcracker and the Magic Flute returns us to the era before the advent of feisty young heroines in kids’ animations – back when the destiny of a female character, as often as not, was to wait around for a prince to show up, duff up the bad guys and make her his princess. That thankless role goes here to pretty, bland ballet dancer Marie (voiced by Alyson Leigh Rosenfeld), a young woman who, in the face of danger, shrieks and hides her face in her hands.
The film opens on Christmas Eve. Marie’s father has died leaving the family in debt. Odious pawnbroker Mr Ratter (Pete Zarustica) makes Marie a repulsive offer: marry him and he’ll let her family keep their house. Singing a sappy forgettable song (a warning – there are more to come), Marie dreams of being a carefree child again. Hey presto, her wish comes true. Marie shrinks to the size of a doll, and her toys come to life. A nutcracker turns out to be a real-life prince called George (Dan Edwards), turned into a toy by an evil spell.