Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Disney's Live Action Nutcracker

Not technically a fairy tale, but many of you may also find this of interest: Disney will be making a live action version of Nutcracker along with remakes of many of their classic cartoons already in the works.

 "Tchaikovsky’s timeless Nutcracker ballet provides the latest chapter from the Big Storybook of Public Domain Fairytales for Disney to revive. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Disney plans to craft a live-action treatment of the Christmastime fantasia, adhering faithfully to the mold from which the highly lucrative Alice in Wonderland was cast. This film will also place an ordinary girl into a dreamlike world plagued by warring armies, in this instance comprised of mice and gingerbread men. (Which hardly seems like a fair matchup — mice are nothing if not the natural predator of food.) In accordance with the ballet and E.T.A. Hoffmann’s story, Clara will assume her station as princess of this magical plane, and help to bring about peace between the opposing factions. Unlike the ballet, there will presumably be dialogue."

Even though I'm kind of obsessed with "Nutcracker", I'm not sure I'm even excited about the idea of Nutcracker being turned into some epic fantasy war movie. I may change my mind around Christmastime though? I never did see Burton's "Alice in Wonderland".

7 comments:

  1. Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland was.... not good. Though I would at least entertaining, which is more credit than some critics give it.

    Turning The Nutcracker into a fantasy war movie seems oddly fiting, when taking into consideration the militaristic undertones of the book (which are quite troubling when viewed in histrorical context, but that's for another day). The Nutcracker was always designed to have a unisex appeal with whimsical magic for girls and exiting fight scenes for boys (similarly to Peter Pan), so I can see the approach working, at least better than in Alice in Wonderland which was never meant to tell a grandiose or even cohesive story.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I didn't really think about the historical context when I read Nutcracker...that would be interesting to look into! I guess Nutcracker is still more appropriate to make into a war movie because there actually IS a battle in it, unlike Alice, but I hope they don't lose the rest of the story and just make it a bunch of action sequences with special effects.

      Delete
  2. Well, at least if it's a war movie then Fritz's toy hussars will have plenty to do. The funny thing about the recent Disney adaptations is that many seem to like them better when they stick to the accepted story (Cinderella and The Jungle Book), yet the movies get criticized when they deviate (Alice in Wonderland and Maleficent). However, at the same time I hear lots of people who decry the lack of originality. I wonder of there's any overlap between these two groups.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Very good point. Making adaptations is so tricky-it has to satisfy the fans of the original story (who all have different ideas in their heads to begin with), yet be unique enough to justify making another version. I don't really know how best to balance originality with faithfulness to the story...at least with original stories there's nothing to compare them to. I think people would complain less about Disney not being original if they were to at least balance their adaptations with some other original story ideas

      Delete
    2. There really needs to be a movie of "The Nutcracker" that follows the original story, rather than the ballet or some "reimagining." They need to drop the name "Clara," and go with "Marie." Even as a kid (who actually didn't even know about the ballet when the story was first read to me), I thought the name change was lame. "Marie" is a better name than "Clara." Last time I read the original (about four months ago), I kept getting confused every time they mentioned something that Marie's doll did. Marie's doll was named Clara, and even though I knew about the name change, I kept seeing the main character in my head when they mentioned the doll doing something, only to remember that it was really the doll seconds later, because "Marie" would talk to "Clara." Ugh. So confusing. And in the animated movie, the main character was named Clara, and the doll was named Marie. Seriously? At least THAT movie used the plot of the book.

      Even using the plot of the book, they can still use the music from the ballet. It's not like it's a big no-no if they use the book's plot.

      I still need the see the 1986 movie, which apparently had references to the book. I just can't find the movie anywhere. I DID see the "Untold Story" movie, and I didn't think it was as bad as people made it out to be (but, seeing as I also really like the Joel Schumacher Batman movies, I'm probably not the best person to rate movies). It was still pretty mediocre though.

      Maybe I'll make a low-budget movie of this story someday. If that's what it comes down to in order to get a definitive adaptation, than I'm all for it. There's already a group of people attempting a low-budget "Wizard of Oz," so that we'll get a definitive version of THAT.

      But seriously, how come "Peter Pan" got a definitive adaptation in big-budget form (the 2003 movie), but none of these other stories did?

      Sorry to rant so much. It's just a subject I'm passionate about. I didn't expect to hear about it until Christmas, so I could avoid to rant until then. But then this information came to light. Oh, we'll. It was bound to happen sooner or later. I have GOT to get back to my blog. I'm behind by almost two weeks!

      Delete
    3. Yeah, not sure where they switched the name in the first place (especially in an art form in which the names really don't matter; no spoken words!) It would be awesome to see a version that uses the original Hoffman story more. I would imagine it could be tricky handling the whole backstory with Princess Pirlipat and the mice and all that, by that point in the story it seems to drag on and be unnecessarily complicated. Maybe throughout the story Marie and Fritz could find clues to the Nutcracker's past...

      Delete
    4. I know that some versions of the ballet had Clara's last name be "Silberhaus," which originated from the Dumas "translation." But she was still called "Marie" in that version. In the 1993 movie of the Balanchine version, they had a narrator for some reason, and they changed her name back to "Marie." (The Balanchine version makes me fall asleep once it gets to the enchanted forest, because for the remainder of the movie there's no story!) I saw a recording of a professional performance that I think was from 2011, and Marie (that's just what I refer to the main character as) was played by two dancers. One when she was in the real world (a young dancer), and when when she was in the magic world (an adult dancer). In the credits for that version, Marie was credited as "Masha." I think that Fritz was credited as "Fred" or "Frex" or something like that. I wonder if the name changes have to do with how the names are translated in different countries (the story was from Germany, after all). But, yeah. The name changes bother me to no end. You don't know how many times I've had people come up to me and talked about some performance of Nutcracker, and I've asked about how it's done, and which actors play which parts. I ask who plays Marie, and they all think I'm stupid because I "got the name wrong."

      I've actually found a few Nutcracker fans online. I often post on "The Royal Forums of Oz," and there's a section there called, "Talk About Whatever You Want." I posted about Nutcracker, so that I could find some more fans. After only about three posts in that particular topic, it turned into a discussion about "Alice in Wonderland!" LOL! And then after that, it turned into a discussion about fairy tales! I ended up renaming the topic, and me and about four other guys chatted about fantasy stories that we really liked. I never knew that Oz fans liked so many of the same stories that I did.

      Delete