A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that The Nutcrackers is a film about fitting in that shows some behavior most parents would not want their children to emulate -- a clique of shallow, judgmental sheep who insult the appearance of others and are only concerned with appearances. Such behavior is used to teach lessons about diversity, but parents must make a choice about whether their kids can make this distinction at this age. There's also some iffy language as characters say "Oh my god!" several times in some early scenes, and some very light, but consistent, slapstick violence, typically involving getting knocked down, run into, or having things fall on the characters' heads, but with no real injury.
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What's the story?
Mumu meets a bunch of very special "star" sheep in the park one day on her way to perform for King Tristan. She decides to dress and act just like them to fit in, but when the sheep reach the King's palace, they learn that his plans for them are not what they expected. To get out of this mess, Mumu and her friends must learn some lessons about friendship and accepting people for who they are.
Is it any good?
The animation in THE NUTCRACKERS is low-budget, but it almost pulls off a stop animation feel. The plot is more drawn out than it needs to be, and the use of shallow, mocking sheep may be a bit edgy for the preschool set.
Still, the lessons here do offer some value for preschoolers, who can learn about accepting friends for their differences, not in spite of them. Kids will enjoy the sheep's antics and problem-solving, and parents can appreciate a solid message about what friendship really means.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about fitting in. Have you ever felt you needed to change something about yourself to fit in? What happened?
Have you ever felt excluded? How did it make you feel? How did you handle it?
It's important to find friends who have things in common with you, but also friends who are different from you. How are your friends like you? How are they different?
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