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 Nuttiest Nutcracker is a silly retelling of the original story through the perspective of fruits, veggies, and nuts. Here, young teenage girl Marie must help save Christmas (and veggies, fruits, and nuts) from Reginald the Rat King, who wishes to enslave the nuts in his cheese factory and ruin the holiday. There are some crass flatulence jokes, but it's largely a goofy but sweet story about the Christmas spirit. Kids don't necessarily need to know the original story to enjoy this one, but fans of the original who enjoy silliness might appreciate this twist.
What's the story?
Maria's parents won't be home for Christmas, but her uncle's gift, a nutcracker prince, transports Maria off to a magical dreamland that night in her sleep. There, she meets Reginald the Rat King (voiced by James Belushi), the Sugar Plum Fairy (Phyllis Diller), and an assortment of nuts, fruits, and veggies battling it out for dominance. Maria must help beat the rat army, reclaim the star for the top of the Christmas tree, and save the holiday from Reginald's evil plans.
Is it any good?
THE NUTTIEST NUTCRACKER is not widely available for a reason -- it's a bit cobbled together, only loosely follows the original story, and features dated animation. But kids who enjoy Christmas stories may be enthralled with this battle among fruits, veggies, and nuts, and a rat king who will stop at nothing to win. There are some silly flatulence jokes and lots of veggie army action. Plus, there are some good lessons about helping others and having a good attitude, even when things don't work out as you wish. And, with a resolution about helping those who've hurt you, it's a good message for the season, even if it's unlikely to keep parents all that entertained.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about The Nutcracker. Have you seen the original story? How are the original and this version different? How are they the same?
How does your family get into the spirit of the holidays?
Have you ever forgiven someone who was unkind to you? How did it make you feel? How did you work it out?
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