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Animation / The Nutcracker

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The Nutcracker (Щелкунчик, pronounced "Shchelkunchik") is a 1973 Soviet animated film by the Soyuzmultfilm studio. It is an adaptation of E. T. A. Hoffmann's eponymous Fairy Tale, and uses elements and music from Tchaikovsky's ballet.

It can be seen here.


The Nutcracker provides examples of:

  • Adaptation Distillation: The adaptation is based on the most famous musical pieces of the ballet, with the most relevant points of the original story edited back in.
  • Composite Character: The Nutcracker is both the Nutcracker and Princess Pirlipat.
  • Distressed Dude: The Nutcracker.
  • Evil Counterpart: In the flashback, The Mouse King is set up as a full-fledged foil to The Nutcracker: also a prince, also loves toys, but spoiled rotten and evil to the core.
  • Evil Sorcerer: Both the Mouse Queen and the King.
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  • Fairy Tale
  • Flashback: Explains The Nutcracker's origins.
  • God Save Us from the Queen!: The Queen of the Mice is downright mean in this adaptation.
  • Gorgeous Garment Generation: In the end, the heroine is transformed into a princess and gets a new dress created by magic.
  • Mime and Music-Only Cartoon: The cartoon has no dialogue, leaving everything to the music and action like, you guessed it, a ballet. (In export versions, a voice-over narration is sometimes added).
  • Overlord Jr.: The Mouse King in the flashback, where he doubles up as a Royal Brat.
  • Pop-Cultural Osmosis: Several generations of Russian children were introduced to the ballet (and Chaykovsky's music in general) by this cartoon.
  • Weaksauce Weakness: The mice are vulnerable to... things that make you sneeze, such as pepper.

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