A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Positive messages of friendship, loyalty, and teamwork.
Positive Role Models
Marie is kind and offers to help others before helping herself. She defends her friends and family. Prince George is chivalrous, heroic, and kind. Their animal sidekicks learn to be brave to help their friends out of danger. A character pretends to be kind but later decides to be selfish and deceitful. They face consequences for their actions.
The lead character is a confident young woman, though she sometimes seems to be a damsel in distress. Mostly she's seen taking charge and saving others. There isn't much diversity among characters or body types except a larger cook character, who is cast as a villain.
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Violence & Scariness
Animated violence includes the use of swords, magic, large rat monsters, and people falling off cliffs. Some characters are given poisonous magical potions to make them fall asleep or change into something else. Characters face off in battle against teams of rats and ghosts. A main character is impaled and unharmed by a ghost sword. A character slaps another character who's cheating while playing cards. In a silly animated sequence, a butcher chases a bird around, trying to slaughter it.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
An older man offers to wipe out a family's debts if the young daughter agrees to marry him. Marie gets jealous of Margaret, who is close to the prince. A couple gets engaged.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that The Nutcracker and the Magic Flute is a comedic spin on the familiar Nutcracker tale where a young woman named Marie makes a wish and shrinks to the size of her toys and goes on a Christmas Eve adventure. The musical has animated violence, including sword fighting, knife slashing, slapping, and chasing. There are moments of danger and peril throughout, including characters falling off waterfalls, people being controlled by a magical flute, and characters turning into rats. Since Marie becomes small, ordinary objects become very dangerous, such as house rats and sewing pins. Some brief sequences with ghosts and rat villains might seem intense for younger or more sensitive viewers. The evil rat queen is rude and deceitful. She eventually faces consequences for her actions near the conclusion of the movie. Positive role models include Marie, who tries to keep the group working together as a team and finds ways to get them out of trouble and into safety. She's willing to do whatever it takes to help her friends, as well as her mother. The prince is also willing to take risks for others. It's hard to miss the lessons about friendship and teamwork in this sometimes-dark tale, and viewers who look closely might also get some takeaways about loyalty, trust, and family bonds. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
The Nutcracker and the Magic Flute takes a familiar tale with an enchanted nutcracker and gives it an interesting twist. Instead of the nutcracker growing, a young woman shrinks to the size of her toys. Though the computer animation quality feels a decade behind, the talented voice cast and engaging story help make up for it. Though the characters don't burst into song in every scene, there are a handful of musical numbers that keep the story moving along, as do the comedic animal sidekicks.
The magical adventure has charming characters with captivating traits, such as a ram who happens to look and sound a lot like Elvis. The story moves along at a decent pace and with a runtime of an hour and a half, will likely keep the intended younger audience entertained. It also has enough humor and appeal so that the adults in the room may be willing to tolerate yet another Nutcracker story with a somewhat predictable ending.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.