Here's a Roundup of The Nutcracker in 3-D Reviews That Mention the Holocaust
Expectations for The Nutcracker in 3-D weren't terribly high to begin with. The film had been shelved for two years, given a reportedly awful 3-D conversion and it's opening against Disney's much-hyped Tangled. But according to the first reviews, it's much worse than all of that. Yes, we're talking about a misguided Holocaust allegory that apparently makes the prison camp in Toy Story 3 look like Neverland. Let's take a look at some of the most scathing, Nazi-themed reactions to the film, which is currently ranking at 0% on Rotten Tomatoes.
From what dark night of the soul emerged the wretched idea for The Nutcracker in 3D? Who considered it even remotely a plausible idea for a movie?
Christy Lemire was also baffled:
Who thought, OK, let's take a classic tale like The Nutcracker, a holiday favorite that families have enjoyed together for over a century, turn it into a movie, convert it into 3-D, write lyrics to accompany Tchaikovsky's beloved music, then twist the plot to include an oppressive, fascist society reminiscent of Nazi Germany, complete with a Hitler figure and uniform-clad minions?
And critics didn't just stop at comparing the film to say, Schindler's List or Life is Beautiful. It seems that the film references every Nazi-themed piece of entertainment ever concocted. For example, here's John Anderson's introduction:
Seemingly predicated on the idea that nothing says "the holidays" quite like the Holocaust, The Nutcracker in 3D owes as much to Art Spiegelman's Maus as it does to Tchaikovsky.
Okay, at least Maus was a scathing indictment of the Third Reich, unlike say, propagandha films commissioned by the Nazis themselves. Here's Joshua Rothkopf:
Someone must have thought the constant nods to Leni Riefenstahl's Triumph of the Will were clever; same with the heaping piles of toys set to be burned. Who will save them before the next painfully awkward action sequence or psychobabble lyric arrives?
With all of these rhetorical questions about who thought this film would be a good idea and now Rothkopf referring to the filmmaker as "someone," maybe we should figure out who brought this nightmare-inducing holiday tale to fruition. I'm sure a few clever folks immediately guessed Andrey Konchalovskiy, the man who brought us 80s classics like Tango and Cash and Runaway Train. And you're correct! Though according to Nick Schager, anyone who guessed Mel Brooks will be awarded a consolation prize:
The Rat King intends to blot out the sun with the billowing ash of burning children's toys that emanates from towering smokestacks, a bit of glib symbolism--also promoted by the sight of stormtroopers ripping beloved possessions out of poor people's hands--that's in such monumentally bad taste that the film soon devolves into unintentional Springtime for Hitler-type camp.
And suddenly, I feel the same impulse that I felt when Uwe Boll's House of the Dead first hit theaters and I'm a bit curious to see this film. That is, until I read Mike Hale's review:
It's a dystopian fantasy masquerading as a children's story, with weird things popping up, like a bit of kung fu wire work by the Rat King (a hammy John Turturro) or a scene involving an electrocuted shark that appears to be a homage to, or a dig at, Damien Hirst. There's a surprising level of bloodless violence and a propensity to uncover a bit more of the body of its 12-year-old star, Elle Fanning, than is strictly called for.
Yikes, alright. So far, not even the always-contrarian Armond White has jumped to the film's defense. So maybe bring your kids to see Love and Other Drugs this weekend instead of, as J. Hoberman calls it, the "Nutcracker version of the Final Solution."