The Nutcracker and the Magic Flute (Shchelkunchik i volshebnaya fleyta)
Genre: Family, Animation
Year Released: 2022
Runtime: 1h 37m
Director(s): Victor Glukhushin
Writer(s): Alexander Arkhipov, in cooperation with V. Rovensky
Cast: Fedor Fedotov, Lyubov Aksenova
Where To Watch: available On Demand and Digital November 15, 2022, from Lionsgate
RAVING REVIEW: In my best midwestern dialect, “oof,” this was a tough one. Maybe it’s because I’ve seen countless variations of The Nutcracker, or perhaps it’s because the animation style felt more like something from 2012.
So, where to start? While the base of the story is the same as countless other versions, there are plenty of twists, turns, and tweaks that make it different enough to stand out from the pack.
What I couldn’t get over was the use of the animation style that made me feel like I was in a time machine. It’s been perfected, so it’s not nearly as choppy or uncanny valley-like as it was years ago, but at the same time, I had a hard time getting over it. With all of the big-name animation studios churning out near-lifelike animation, it’s a bit of a shock to the system to see this again.
While I didn’t hate the experience, I feel like I most definitely wasn’t the target audience here. The jokes seemed to miss me a bit and gave into some unintentionally funny moments. I will say that younger kids will probably enjoy it, though. The story is easy enough to follow, and the constant action will be able to keep their attention and focus. On the other hand, parents may want to have their phones ready for internet scrolling while on.
I don’t want this to be taken as being hateful because, let me tell you, I couldn’t even come close to creating anything like this. I don’t want this to be taken as an attack on the many people who made this; it’s just not what I’ve come to expect. I’m sure there will be plenty of people who love the experience.
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