The Nutcracker Night Thread is Here to Consume Your Soul

You’re all familiar with the classic holiday story: one magical Christmas Eve, Albert Einstein went to visit his niece Mary and gave her a butt-ugly nutcracker doll. That night, the butt-ugly nutcracker came to life. They journeyed into a Christmas tree, where they met a Planet of the Apes reject, an obese clown, and a little drummer boy. Nazis showed up. With jetpacks. Nazi rats with jetpacks. NAZI RATS WITH JETPACKS! The Hitler rat looked like the guy famous for doing the soup can art. He had a shark tank. The shark got electrocuted. Albert Einstein sang a song about his pebbles. The drummer boy got decapitated. And one of history’s worst atrocities got recreated with toys.

The Nutcracker 3D aka The Nutcracker: The Untold Story is a bafflingly terrible movie, so ill-conceived on almost every level that it’s unfathomable that it even got made at all. Even more confusing is that it had a massive price tag of NINETY MILLION DOLLARS, so a lot of people not only apparently thought that this was a good idea, but also thought it would make a lot of money.

This image makes me die inside…

Not surprisingly, the movie didn’t make money. Opening over the Thanksgiving weekend of that year, most theaters opted to give their 3D screens to Disney’s Tangled instead, and I have no idea why they did that, I mean, I’m sure The Nutcracker would have been a huge hit if it had just been given the proper chance. I mean, it had such broad audience appeal. I am just aghast that it only made $16 million worldwide before more or less vanishing from the public until it was discovered by bad movie lovers on DVD.

Literally everything about this is wrong…

When I first watched it on disc in 2011, I was confounded by how the internet hadn’t exploded over it, as The Nutcracker falls into its own unique category of horrendous. At first, it didn’t quite live up to the hype the dismal reviews had built up–maybe because Nathan Lane is so damn charming even in crap like this–but as the movie went on, and it slowly turned into a drunken uncle’s version of Pan’s Labyrinth, I knew I had found something so dreadful that an actual shower might be required after witnessing it. And yes, the movie is THAT fucking bad.

But the weird thing is that a lot of passion and effort went into making it. On the excellent documentary included on the DVD (yes, you read that correctly), it’s made evident that everyone involved thought they were making a bold new holiday adventure movie. It also has a rather fascinating production history that somehow goes back more than 40 years, as it began life as a “good will” project between Hollywood and the Soviet Union that would have come out during the Cold War before it ultimately fell apart. But hey, everyone who made this movie tried. So, the moral of the story is don’t try. Don’t ever be creative, lest you risk making one of the most tone-deaf World War II (that doesn’t even take place during that time period!) Christmas movies ever created by anyone ever.

Oh my God I feel dirty even writing about this trainwreck. I haven’t even gotten into how TIM FUCKING RICE of The Lion King fame did the songs. And yes, this movie has songs. Abysmal ones. God, I think I need a shower. Have a great night, gang!