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Western Animation / Barbie in the Nutcracker

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Based on The Nutcracker, it stars Barbie as Clara who, along with a living nutcracker, begins a journey to find the Sugarplum Princess.

Released Direct-to-Video, it was the first in what would later become a series of Barbie movies: a series which now spans 16 years.


This movie contains examples of:

  • Adaptation Name Change: Clara's brother, Fritz, became Tommy.
  • Adaptational Nice Guy: Clara's brother breaks the Nutcracker here, like he does in the ballet, but in the ballet, he's often shown as doing so purposefully out of jealousy (though this isn't universal). Here, it's just the result of two siblings fighting over a toy, and the Nutcracker getting broken is an honest accident.
  • An Aesop: Believe in yourself.
  • And You Were There: Barbie appears in the story as Clara and the Sugarplum Princess, while her sister, Kelly, plays a candy girl and a fairy, Ken plays the Nutcracker/ Prince Eric, and Ken's brother Tommy plays Clara's brother, Tommy and a candy boy.
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  • Anguished Declaration of Love: Prince Eric tells Clara he loves her as she fades away back to her world.
  • Ascended Extra:
    • The Mouse King has one scene in the ballet, in which he fights the Nutcracker, is defeated, and dies. Here, he's the Big Bad, and antagonizes the heroes throughout.
    • Clara, to a lesser extent. In the ballet, she doesn't do much once the Nutcracker is introduced, especially in the second act. Here, she's a proactive heroine.
  • Bad Boss: The Mouse King turns so many of his subordinates into statues that the castle lawn is completely covered in them.
  • Book-Ends: At the beginning of the Framing Device, Kelly is having trouble keeping up with Barbie's dancing. In the end as they try the same dance again, Kelly does the dance perfectly.
  • Composite Character: The Sugarplum Fairy is a separate entity in the ballet, but here, she and Clara are one and the same.
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  • Dance of Romance: Clara and the Nutcracker at the end.
  • Dance Party Ending: Everyone in the castle celebrates with a dance party after the Mouse King's defeat, then Clara and Eric dance together on Christmas Day at the very end.
  • Empathy Doll Shot: Clara finds a doll in the ruins of the Gingerbread Village. Luckily, though, the owner is just fine — and Clara manages to return the doll to her.
  • Everything's Better with Princesses
  • Evil Chancellor: The Mouse King was this before usurping the throne.
  • Evil Is Hammy: The Mouse King, voiced by Tim Curry.
  • Framing Device: Barbie tells the story to Kelly, who feels too nervous to dance in a ballet.
  • Gender Flip: Uncle Drosselmeyer became an Aunt.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Nutcracker makes Mouse King get hit by his own shrinking ray in the climax.
  • Honorary Princess: Clara turns out to be the Sugarplum Princess, the savior of the candy kingdom. This is specific to the Barbie version as it was the Sugarplum Fairy in the original ballet, and it was a character distinct from Clara.
  • I Choose to Stay: Clara decides she doesn't want to go home, but then the Mouse King, having been thought to be defeated, returns and activates the device she'd been given to send her home. She then vanishes and wakes up in the real world.
  • Incredible Shrinking Man: The Mouse King shrinks Clara to the size of a doll (Get it?...).
  • It Was with You All Along: Clara is really the Sugarplum Princess, as revealed after her kiss reverts the Nutcracker back to being his human self (Prince Eric). This was also foreshadowed when Clara's footprints caused snow to melt and flowers to grow.
  • Magic Wand: What the Mouse King uses to shrink people, or turn them into stone.
  • Melancholy Moon: Clara and Nutcracker sit out at night looking at a huge full moon.
  • Motion Capture: Dances were rotoscoped.
  • Mythology Gag: When Clara considers the possibility that she might not be able to return to her own size, she considers how she might live the rest of her life, figuring among other things, that she has some "doll clothes" that might fit.
  • Never My Fault: Major Mint denies that it's his fault Captain Candy almost fell to death into a crevasse even though he outright shoved Candy off just to keep balance.
  • No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: The Mouse King delivers a brutal one to Nutcracker in the finale.
  • Pajama Clad Heroine: As with some versions of the ballet, Clara spends the majority of her adventure in her nightgown.
  • Or Was It a Dream?: Clara wakes up to find her nutcracker disappeared. While she asks everyone else if they knew where it went, Aunt Drosselmeyer enters, and asks Clara to meet her friend, who looks exactly like the Nutcracker's human form.
  • The Power of Love/True Love's Kiss: Clara changes the Nutcracker into Prince Eric, and herself into the Sugarplum Princess, after kissing him on the cheek.
  • Public Domain Soundtrack: The movie makes liberal use of Tchaikovsky's music.
  • Separated by the Wall: When Nutcracker, Major Mint, and Captain Candy are imprisoned in the dungeon, they're held behind an invisible wall that prevents them from being seen or heard by anyone. Clara places her hand on the wall, opposite the Nutcracker's.
  • Shifted to CGI: This was the first of many all-CGI Barbie animations. Prior, she had been traditionally animated (though some commercials previously used CGI).
  • Taken for Granite: The Mouse King does this to the captives in his castle prior to the final battle. He also does it earlier to two guards who have failed him.
  • Teleporters and Transporters: Clara's locket, which teleports her back to the real world when opened.
  • Those Two Guys: Major Mint and Captain Candy.
  • Toyless Toyline Character: Major Mint and Captain Candy didn't get full-size dolls, leaving fans to settle for Tommy and an Ambiguously Brown friend dressed as them. The Mouse King received no toys at all.
  • Transformation Sequence: The Nutcracker has one when he turns into Prince Eric, as does Clara when she turns into the Sugarplum Princess.
  • Twice-Told Tale: Of the Nutcracker.
  • Your Princess Is in Another Castle!: At one point, the men enter a pink castle, hoping to find the princess inside. Instead, they get trapped in a cage, and captured by the Mouse King.

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