Common Sense Note
Parents need to know that this version of the classic Nutcracker holiday tale bears only a passing resemblance to the famous ballet and story that inspired it. Viewers expecting the whimsy of the original may be downright confused, enraged and -- if they're 8 and under -- frightened. Here, the Rat King is a Hitler-like villain with the desire to burn children's toys and a combative relationship with a dysfunctional mother (she bites his ear out of anger). Other disturbing scenes include a drummer boy (who appears human) whose head is yanked off and tossed around. Soldiers are shown wielding machine guns, and one character smokes a cigar. And the 3-D presentation makes some of the scary parts even more intense.
A man is shown whacking others with a shovel. Machine gun-bearing soldiers roam the streets. The Rat King enjoys taking photos of kids crying after their toys are confiscated and burned; he hangs the pictures on the wall. The Rat Queen bites her son's ear. Soldiers kidnap the Rat King's enemies, some of whom are children, and throw them in a cage. A boy likes to destroy toys. A character uses a man's head to crack a walnut with force.
In one instance it sounds as if the Rat Queen says "whore."
Many positive messages, including how grown-ups shouldn't lose touch with their whimsical side just because "real life" has overtaken the magic of childhood. Also, that children and their ability to believe in the fantastic have much to teach adults. Plus, that toys are to be cherished and cared for, not trashed and treated as if they have no value.
Drugs / Tobacco /
A talking monkey smokes a cigar.