Nutcracker [2001]

Director: Roger M. Sherman, Ross MacGibbon
Stars: Anthony Dowell, Alina Cojocaru, Ivan Putrov, Miyako Yoshida, Jonathan Cope
Genre: Drama, Horror, Mystery
Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Runtime: 115 minutes

Look who became a star. Barbie comes to life in this computer-animated Christmas tale that quite naturally takes the longtime favorite doll into a new realm. The plot is a slight variation on the traditional ballet based on Tchaikovsky's music. Instead of being in an open-ended dream, Barbie and her escort, the Nutcracker (soon to be Ken, natch), are on an adventurous quest. Along the way there are more creatures and derring-do than in the original. The sole known voice talent, Tim Curry, has a good old time as the Mouse King, and the animated dancing is gracefully adapted from New York City Ballet choreography. A few clever characters, bright animation, and wonderful music should entrance any Barbie fans ages 3 to 9. The 78-minute feature debuted on video shortly before playing on CBS in 2001. --Doug Thomas

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