The Nutcracker in 3D

The Nutcracker in 3D (released on DVD as The Nutcracker: The Untold Story) is a 2010 British-Hungarian 3D Christmas musical fantasy thriller film adapted from the ballet The Nutcracker. Co-written, directed, and co-produced by Andrei Konchalovsky, the film stars Elle Fanning, Nathan Lane, and John Turturro with Charles Rowe and Shirley Henderson as the Nutcracker. It was universally panned by critics upon its release, and was criticized for its story, deviations from the ballet, performances, twisted visuals, and the rats' similarities to Nazis. It was a box office bomb, grossing $20 million against a $90 million budget.[3]

The Nutcracker in 3D
The Nutcracker in 3D poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byAndrei Konchalovsky
Screenplay by
  • Andrei Konchalovsky
  • Chris Solimine
Based onThe Nutcracker
by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
The Nutcracker and the Mouse King
by E. T. A. Hoffmann (uncredited)
Produced by
  • Andrei Konchalovsky
  • Paul Lowin
CinematographyMike Southon
Edited by
  • Mathieu Bélanger
  • Andrew Glen
Music byEduard Artemyev[1]
Distributed by
  • G2 Pictures (UK)
  • Vertigo Média Kft. (Hungary)
Release date
  • 24 November 2010 (2010-11-24) (Canada)
  • 8 December 2011 (2011-12-08) (Hungary)
  • 28 December 2012 (2012-12-28) (United Kingdom)
Running time
110 minutes
  • United Kingdom
  • Hungary
  • Canada
Budget$90 million[2]
Box office$20.5 million[3]


Mary's (Elle Fanning) seemingly dull Christmas is suddenly filled with excitement and adventure following the arrival of her Uncle Albert (Nathan Lane), who gives her a Nutcracker as a gift. Later that night, Mary dreams that the Nutcracker – called N.C. (Charlie Rowe) – comes to life and takes her on a wondrous journey.[4] They discover that the Nazi-like Rat King (John Turturro) has usurped the Nutcracker's kingdom.

When Mary and N.C. go to the top of the Christmas tree, they meet a fairy and, as she begins to sing, N.C. looks at his hand, as it begins to turn human. Worried about this he runs into the sleigh, but leaves his human hand revealed, and Mary sees this. Mary, seeing this, goes to N.C. and rubs his hand as we see that he is in fact a human crying with tears of joy that he is human again. The snow fairy begins to sing and toys appear and begin to ice skate around the tree. N.C and Mary also dance together as two of the rat king's spies find out N.C is now human again.

N.C. takes Mary to the top of the tree to show her his city. The two come up with a plan to shut down the smoke factory. Suddenly N.C. is starting to turn back in to a doll. Then the tree is shaking and Mary falls off, only to awake in her room.

Mary tries to tell her parents about it but they think she is not telling the truth. Later on in the movie N.C appears to have been killed, but Mary's tears and declaration of love restore him to life and transform him into a prince, his true form. When the workers in the smoke factory see that N.C is alive they fight back against the rats. The rat king and more of his army arrive at the factory. The Rat king threatens to hurt Mary if she does not tell him where N.C is. The workers and the Prince attempt to fight them off but in the process The Rat King kidnaps Mary. N.C goes after them but loses them eventually. Mary and her brother help N.C to defeat the king and restore N.C to his rightful place as prince. The rats are all defeated and overthrown, but now Mary must reluctantly awaken from her dream. Before she is fully awake, N.C. promises that they will meet again. When Uncle Albert visits again, he wants her to meet someone, his new young neighbor, who is the exact image of the Nutcracker Prince and asks to be called N.C. The two become close friends, and the last shot of the film shows them ice skating together.


On screen
  • Elle Fanning as Mary
  • Nathan Lane as Uncle Albert
  • John Turturro as Rat King
  • Charlie Rowe as Nicholas Charles "N.C." / The Prince
  • Frances de la Tour as Frau Eva / Rat Queen
  • Aaron Michael Drozin as Max
  • Richard E. Grant as Mary's father
  • Julia Vysotskaya as The Snow Fairy / Mary's mother
  • Jonny Coyne as Gnomad
  • Peter Elliott and Daniel Peacock as Gielgud
  • Africa Nile as Sticks
  • Hugh Sachs as Tinker
  • Richard Philipps as Dr. Freud
  • Fernanda and Kriszta Dorogi as Dr. Freud's nieces
  • Stuart Hopps as Butler / The Rat Queen's servant
  • Attila Kalmár as Screech the Bat-Rat
  • Ferenc Elek as Admiral Halsey
  • Dániel Mogács as Trolley Bus Orchestra conductor
  • Andrea Tallós as Nervous Lady Rat
  • György Honti as Rat Captain
  • Péter Takátsy as Proud Rat Shoulder
  • Barna Ilyes as Slave
  • Lilla Károlyi as Little Girl
  • Verner Gresty as Little Girl's Father
  • Béla Gados, Jácint Hergenröder, Zoltán Hetényi, László Keszég, Gyula Kormos, Ferenc Kovács, Zsolt Sáfár Kovács, Krisztina Moskovits, Gábor Nagypál as the Rat Soldiers
Voice roles



Director Konchalovsky stated that the film had been his "dream project" for over twenty years.[5] He was inspired to adapt it into 3D for several reasons; he believed that the format would be useful in conveying the fantastical nature of the material, capturing the emotions of CGI characters, and appealing to a family audience.[6] At the same time, he opted to adapt it with no ballet sequences because, according to him, "ballet cannot work in cinema very well."[6]

Konchalovsky gave the rats who try to take over the fantasy kingdom Nazi-like qualities in his production, one of the many elements in the adaptation which alienated both critics and audiences.[7]


The film was announced at the 2007 Cannes Film Festival and principal photography took place primarily in Budapest, Hungary that summer, before the set was moved to the Stern Film Studio in Pomáz.[8][better source needed]


The film's score is derived from Tchaikovsky's original music for The Nutcracker, the ballet version of the E.T.A. Hoffmann story, and lyricist Tim Rice wrote lyrics for it. Many of the songs are based on the ballet's dances. Others are based on Tchaikovsky's other compositions, such as his Symphony No. 5 and Symphony No. 6[6]


The film was first screened at the European Film Market on 5 February 2009. It was released in Hungary on 8 December 2012 and United Kingdom on 28 December 2012.[9][better source needed]

Box officeEdit

The film brought in a total of $20,466,016 worldwide (over half of which came from Russia), making it a box office bomb[3] with a loss of $73,821,041.[10]

Critical responseEdit

On Rotten Tomatoes, the film has a rare approval rating of 0% – meaning no favorable reviews whatsoever, out of 32 reviews – with an average rating of 2.96/10. The site's consensus reads: "Misguided, misconceived, and misbegotten on every level, The Nutcracker in 3D is a stunning exercise in astonishing cinematic wrong-headedness."[11] On Metacritic it has a weighted average score of 18 out of 100 based on 18 reviews, indicating "overwhelming dislike".[12] Metacritic later ranked it the "Worst Limited Release" film of 2010.[13]

Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times gave it one out of four stars and asked, "From what dark night of the soul emerged the wretched idea for The Nutcracker in 3D?" Ebert went on to claim it as "One of those rare holiday movies that may send children screaming under their seats."[14] Claudia Puig of USA Today accused the film of being "contrived, convoluted, amateurish and tedious," and panned it for lacking any trace of ballet, unlike several previous versions of The Nutcracker.[15] Entertainment Weekly reviewer Lisa Schwarzbaum gave it its only positive review from a professional film critic, awarding it a B+ and remarking "Attention, university film clubs: Here's your cult-ready midnight-movie programming."[16]


Award Category Recipients Result
Metacritic's Best and Worst Films of 2010
Worst Limited Release Film of 2010 The Nutcracker in 3D Won
31st Golden Raspberry Awards
Worst Eye Gouging Misuse of 3D The Nutcracker in 3D Nominated
Young Artist Awards 2011
Best Young Actress Elle Fanning Nominated

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Примадонна озвучит Королеву крыс в сказке Андрея Кончаловского| Щелкунчик, Алла Пугачева, Андрей Кончаловский – Неформат. Информационный портал
  2. ^ "The Nutcracker in 3D (2010)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 23 March 2011.
  3. ^ a b c "The Nutcracker in 3D (2010)". The Numbers. Retrieved 30 December 2018.
  4. ^ "Plot Summary". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved 19 March 2011.
  5. ^ "Seattle: The Nutcracker in 3D". Seattle Weekly. Archived from the original on 13 June 2011. Retrieved 19 March 2011.
  6. ^ a b c "EXCLUSIVE: Andrei Konchalovsky Talks The Nutcracker in 3D". Movieweb. 23 November 2009. Retrieved 4 December 2010.
  7. ^ Самый дорогой российский фильм провалился в прокате
  8. ^ "Filming locations". Retrieved 3 April 2011.
  9. ^ "The Nutcracker in 3D Release Info". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved 19 March 2011.
  10. ^ Андрей Кончаловский о своем новом фильме-сказке
  11. ^ "The Nutcracker in 3D (2010)". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango Media. Retrieved 5 December 2020.
  12. ^ "The Nutcracker in 3D". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved 20 April 2020.
  13. ^ "The Best and Worst Movies of 2010". CBS Interactive. 7 January 2011. Archived from the original on 12 January 2011. Retrieved 19 March 2011.
  14. ^ Roger Ebert (23 November 2010). "The Nutcracker in 3D". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved 30 September 2019.
  15. ^ "'Nutcracker in 3D' is not at all relative". USA Today. 25 November 2010. Retrieved 19 March 2011.
  16. ^ Lisa Schwarzbaum (23 November 2010). "The Nutcracker in 3D". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 30 September 2019.

External linksEdit