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The Nutcracker
The Nutcracker (1993 film) poster.JPG
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Emile Ardolino
Produced by Robert Hurwitz
Robert A. Krasnow
Written by Susan Cooper (narration)
Narrated by Kevin Kline
  • Darci Kistler
  • Damian Woetzel
  • Kyra Nichols
  • Bart Robinson Cook
  • Macaulay Culkin
  • Jessica Lynn Cohen
  • New York City Ballet
Music by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Cinematography Ralf D. Bode
Editing by Girish Bhargava
Studio Elektra Entertainment
Regency Enterprises
Distributed by Warner Bros.
Release date(s) November 24, 1993 (1993-11-24)
Running time 92 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $19 million
Money made $2.1 million

The Nutcracker, also known as George Balanchine's The Nutcracker, is a 1993 American Christmas musical film based on Peter Martins's stage production and directed by Emile Ardolino. It stars Darci Kistler, Damian Woetzel, Kyra Nichols, Bart Robinson Cook, Macaulay Culkin, Jessica Lynn Cohen, Wendy Whelan, Margaret Tracey, Gen Horiuchi, Tom Gold and the New York City Ballet.

The film was released by Warner Bros. under their Warner Bros. Family Entertainment label on November 24, 1993, four days after director Ardolino died. It received mixed reviews and grossed $2,119,994.


The film follows the traditional plot of the Nutcracker.

Act I

Scene 1: The Stahlbaum Home

Nutcracker design (cropped)
Konstantin Ivanov's original sketch for the set of The Nutcracker (1892)

It is Christmas Eve. Family and friends have gathered in the parlor to decorate the beautiful Christmas tree in preparation for the party. Once it is finished, the children are sent for. They stare in awe at it sparkling with candles and decorations.

The party begins. A march is played. Presents are given out to the children. Suddenly, as the owl-topped grandmother clock strikes eight, a mysterious figure enters the room. It is Herr Drosselmeyer, a local councilman, magician, and Clara's godfather. He is also a talented toymaker who has brought gifts for the children, including four lifelike dolls who dance to the delight of all. He then has them put away for safekeeping.

Clara and her brother, Fritz, are sad to see the dolls being taken away, but Drosselmeyer has yet another toy for them: a wooden nutcracker carved in the shape of a little man. The other children ignore it, but Clara immediately takes a liking to it. Fritz, however, breaks it, and she is heartbroken.

During the night, after everyone else has gone to bed, Clara returns to the parlor to check on her beloved nutcracker. As she reaches the little bed she put it on, the clock strikes midnight and she looks up to see Drosselmeyer perched atop it. Suddenly, mice begin to fill the room and the Christmas tree begins to grow to dizzying heights. The nutcracker also grows to life size. Clara finds herself in the midst of a battle between an army of gingerbread soldiers and the mice, led by their king. They begin to eat the soldiers.

The nutcracker appears to lead the soldiers, who are joined by tin soldiers, and dolls who serve as doctors to carry away the wounded. As the Mouse King advances on the still-wounded nutcracker, Clara throws her slipper at him, distracting him long enough for the nutcracker to stab him.

Scene 2: A Pine Forest

The mice retreat and the nutcracker is transformed into a handsome Prince. He leads Clara through the moonlit night to a pine forest in which the snowflakes come to life and dance around them, beckoning them on to his kingdom as the first act ends.


  • Darci Kistler as The Sugar Plum Fairy
  • Damian Woetzel as The Sugar Plum Fairy's Cavalier
  • Kyra Nichols as Dewdrop
  • Wendy Whelan as Coffee
  • Margaret Tracey as Marzipan
  • Gen Horiuchi as Tea
  • Tom Gold as Candy Cane
  • Lourdes López as Hot Chocolate
  • Nilas Martins as Hot Chocolate
  • William Otto as Mother Ginger
  • Peter Reznick as Fritz
  • Karin von Aroldingen as Grandparent
  • Edward Bigelow as Grandparent
  • Heather Watts as Frau Stahlbaum
  • Robert LaFosse as Dr. Stahlbaum
  • Bart Robinson Cook as Herr Drosselmeyer
  • Jessica Lynn Cohen as Marie Stahlbaum
  • Macaulay Culkin as The Nutcracker/Prince/Drosselmeyer's Nephew
  • Kevin Kline as Narrator
  • Katrina Killian as Harlequin
  • Roma Sosenko as Columbine
  • Michael Byars as Soldier
  • Robert D. Lyon as Mouse King
  • Maureen C. McFadden Devlin as Drummer
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