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Animation / The Nutcracker and the Mouse King

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The Nutcracker and the Mouse King is a 2004 German/Russian animated adaptation of E.T.A. Hoffmann's story of the same name with elements (and music) from Tchaikovsky's ballet.

The animation provides examples of:

  • Adaptational Attractiveness: The Mouse King isn't seven-headed.
  • Adaptational Jerkass: The Nutcracker is a Royal Brat, and it's his own idiocy that brings the curse on him. He still remains a brat for a good half of the film.
  • Adaptational Villainy: In the book Madam Mouserinks was definitely not nice, but her first villainous acts didn't go beyond the usual ways of mice (eating the lard from the royal kitchen), and then she cursed Pirlipat in revenge for her murdered family and the Nutcracker when he accidentally squashed her. Here, she wants to take over the world, at least via her nephew. Plainly For the Evulz.
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  • All Just a Dream: Subverted, as although Masha suddenly finds herself in her bedroom, she's still wearing the same Gorgeous Period Dress as she did in Fairyland, and then the action switches back to Fairyland where the Nutcracker is left.
  • The Alleged Steed: Taken Up to Eleven with the Mouse King's, er, steeds. The first we see is made of straw and wood, pushed by Tall and Fat. As it gets crushed under a stone, later he just uses Tall and Fat who stand under a piece of fabric and argue who's the tail and who's the head.
  • Annoying Younger Sibling: Nikolka for Masha, oh so much.
  • Badass Bookworm: Tall, who has read many books (while eating them) and manages to be quite a competent mook.
    • By the end, Masha qualifies too.
  • Beak Attack: The golden cockerel's beak can be quite painful, if you ask Mouserinks' shadow or the wood-eating beetles.
  • Big Eater: Fat. Thinking and talking almost only about food.
    Tall: If you get the nut Krakatuk, what will you wish for?
    Fat: I'll eat it!
    Tall: Idiot, it's magical!
    Fat: Then... I'll ask it for a large piece of cheese!
    • The army of Madam Mouserinks. That's what gets them defeated.
  • Blue Is Heroic: The prince dresses in blue, though it takes a battle with the mice for him to truly be heroic.
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  • Break the Haughty: The Nutcracker. And merely getting turned into a wooden toy and staying like this for a hundred years didn't do the job.
  • Cloud Cuckoolander: Masha. That's why no one takes her seriously when she explains that the horrid mess in the room was made by the battle with the mice.
  • Cool Old Guy: Master Drosselmeier.
  • Cool Old Lady: For all that she's evil, Madam Mouserinks (teamed with her shadow) qualifies. Managing to be badass while sitting chained to an armchair and constantly knitting is something.
  • Dance of Romance: Masha and the Nutcracker have a waltz together closer to the end.
    • We see glimpses of Masha's parents too at the same ball.
  • Exact Words: What gets the Nutcracker cursed. He says he'll never reform even should the ballroom be full of toys, and throws Krakatuk into the fire. As the nut Krakatuk must be consumed on New Year's Eve at midnight to grant your wish, the next moment all people in the room get turned into toys.
  • Fat and Skinny: The Mouse King's servants, who are actually called Fat and Tall.
  • Foreshadowing: The Nutcracker as a prince is so cruel that they say he has a wooden heart.
    • In the beginning the Mouse King is accidentally stuck on a Christmas tree at Palace Square. He angrily yells that he's not a decoration. In the end of the film, he is.
  • Heroes Want Redheads: Masha has a mass of copper red hair.
  • Innocent Blue Eyes: Masha is blue eyed.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: The Mouse King gets turned into a nutcracker.
  • Living Shadow: Madam Mouserinks is handicapped and unable to move, thanks to Drosselmeier, but her shadow can move anywhere, has a voice of its own, and can perform dark magic.
  • Love Redeems: The Nutcracker with Masha. Suggested as a future way of salvation for the Mouse King.
  • Ms. Imagination: Masha is often lost in her own thoughts and daydreams.
  • Scenery Porn: Half of the story is set in the center of Saint-Petersburg, and all the major sights are pictured gorgeously. Very briefly subverted when Madam Mouserinks' shadow chases Masha and transforms the city into a nightmarish vision.
  • Shout-Out: At the ball where the Flower Waltz is playing, Fat suggests that Tall produces a ballet and calls it Mouse Lake.
  • Textile Work Is Feminine: The Nutcracker's lady-in-waiting Clara can sew and mend expertly, even when turned into a doll.
  • True Blue Femininity: Masha dresses in blue for a good portion of the film.
  • Ugly Guy, Hot Wife: Masha's father is in his fifties at least, stout and balding, while her mother is slim and beautiful and looks very young to the point that the mice mistake her for Masha herself. The marriage, though, is perfectly happy.
  • We Will Meet Again: In the very end of the film, Madam Mouserinks hisses that everyone will have to remember her some day and that she'll get Krakatuk.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Part of the palace cook's masquerade costume was shaped like an elephant, but as a toy he became a raja riding a very cute elephant that really helps with fighting the mice. It's not specified what happened to the animal when the cook got turned back.
  • Willing Suspension of Disbelief: In-universe. The Mouse King is anxious to look like a real human monarch, so he even makes himself a horse out of straw and wood. Tall and Fat push it for him and make neighing sounds, and all three of them pretend it's a real horse.


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