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Barbie in The Nutcracker

Movie review by
Joly Herman, Common Sense Media
Barbie in The Nutcracker Movie Poster Image
A more passive-than-usual Barbie in lackluster holiday tale.
  • NR
  • 2001
  • 78 minutes

Parents say

age 6+
Based on 6 reviews

Kids say

age 5+
Based on 7 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Educational Value

Dance fans might learn a thing or two from the choreography in this movie. Though it does not hold completely true to Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker, the music in the movie is the real thing, as performed by the London Symphony.

Positive Messages

Clara and the Nutcracker journey together to save the people of Parthenia, who have suffered under the violent rule of the Mouse King. There is more emphasis, however, on Clara's pretty presence than her abilities, which makes it anyone's guess as to why the Nutcracker wants to share his leadership role with her.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Barbie plays a role model to a little girl named Kelly, who is trying to learn ballet steps for the Nutcracker ballet. She tells Kelly a story about Clara, whose bravery she finds exceptional, hence her telling of the Nutcracker tale.

Violence & Scariness

No version of the Nutcracker would be complete without a sword fight, though this movie has more hand-to-hand combat than expected. There are perilous moments, as well as threats from the Mouse King who asks if Prince Eric prefers to die via "dismemberment or barbecue."

Sexy Stuff

Kissing and hand holding.


The Mouse King growls and threatens with ferocity, using words like, "stupid," "idiot," and so forth.


Barbie movies all have tie-ins available on the shelves. This movie peaks with a transformation of Barbie into the Sugarplum Princess, who has fluffy, curled tresses and a sparkly dress.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

The Mouse King drinks wine or grog from a chalice.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that there are dolls and product tie-ins that accompany this movie. Also, Barbie is not as strong-willed or as complete a character as she becomes in later Barbie movies. There are some perilous moments as well as some hand-to-hand combat; the Mouse King growls and threatens with ferocity, using words like, "stupid," "idiot," and so forth.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written bymcpjess7503 January 10, 2012

One of the best Barbie movies

I picked "educational" because I love the music from these. My daughter now knows the music from Swan lake and the Nutcracker. It's a fantastic m... Continue reading
Parent Written byaimless1 December 29, 2012

One of the good ones

I have been impressed and very un-impressed at some Barbie movies. Some are good and then some are terrible with cattiness, shallowness, and tween/teen situati... Continue reading
Teen, 14 years old Written byEspumaMarina October 16, 2010

One of my faves growing up!

I loved it when I was younger, I think some parts scared me.. I think it was mostly that giant rock thing that was creeply stomping up the hill to either captur... Continue reading
Kid, 10 years old April 20, 2011

What's the story?

Barbie (voiced by Kelly Sheridan) plays Clara, the heroine from the Nutcracker, who falls asleep on Christmas Eve to find herself embroiled in a conflict between the Nutcracker ( Kirby Morrow) that she received for Christmas and the evil Mouse King (Tim Curry). She follows the Nutcracker to his homeland, Parthenia, which has been ravaged by the Mouse King's men. Can Clara and the Nutcracker dethrone the Mouse King and save the day? Fans of the original Nutcracker will know the answer.

Is it any good?

Compared to later Barbie movies, this feeble variation of Tchaikovsky and Balanchine's Nutcracker portrays Barbie as a watcher, not a doer. She helps the Nutcracker with some of his tasks, and she stands up to the Mouse King in a scary confrontation, but she's more interested in being the romantic link than the heroic one.

 The vocal and musical scores of this movie are impressive, since the London Symphony Orchestra plays the beautiful score. But the clumsy CGI animation takes the wind out of the sails here. Both Nutcracker and Barbie fans have better entertainment choices than this movie.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about leadership roles. Why does Prince Eric feel that he has let his people down? What are your ideas of good leadership?

  • Which came first? Barbie or the Barbie movies? Do you think that her movies have more value than long advertisements for the doll? Why or why not?

  • Here are some tips that can help parents keep a lid on the push to buy the products that are featured in movies.

Movie details

Themes & Topics

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For kids who love celebrating the holidays

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