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 7 reviews

Kids say

age 5+
Based on 7 reviews

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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 bymeydiana.rizki October 18, 2020

Outstanding cartoon movie

So fresh, absolute must see! Your children won't regret.
Adult Written byRarityfan October 1, 2018

With 2 days until Christmas really starts

Not bad of an old Barbie special. Good animation, lovely ladies and some intense moments. It is Barbie so there are lot of consumerism.
Teen, 14 years old Written byMochiWolf March 17, 2018

I liked it when I was little...

This was my favorite movie when I was little. I even collect nutcrackers now, partly because of this movie. (In case you're wondering, I have around 35 of... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written byluvpink December 26, 2011

Good For Little Girls

The romantic parts are sweet and chaste. And the violence is at a minimum. Language is a bit of an issue. Overall good movie for little girls to watch.

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

Our editors recommend

For kids who love celebrating the holidays

Themes & Topics

Browse titles with similar subject matter.

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