A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
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.
- Parents say
- Kids say
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.
- In theaters: October 23, 2001
- On DVD or streaming: October 5, 2010
- Cast: Kelly Sheridan, Kirby Morrow, Tim Curry
- Director: Owen Hurley
- Studio: Mattel Entertainment Inc.
- Genre: Family and Kids
- Topics: Magic and Fantasy, Princesses, Fairies, Mermaids, and More, Holidays
- Run time: 78 minutes
- MPAA rating: NR
- Last updated: March 14, 2020
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.
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