Traumafessions :: Reader Toby B. on NutCracker Fantasy

Hey all, long time reader, first time submitter.

While I suffered many, many traumatic events (THE PEANUT BUTTER SOLUTION, SALEM'S LOT, etc.) the worst and most pervasive for me was the 1979 film NUTCRACKER FANTASY released by Rankin/Bass. Granted, from what I understand it was originally released in theatres, but I caught it for the first time on television (it's a tad older than I am, so I missed it in theatres) and so I probably didn't suffer quite the level of trauma that those children whose parents took them to see what would probably have been touted as a "family film" in the day, but it is still absolutely terrifying for me.

I personally have to say this movie's the the worst traumatizer for me because of the (in)famous Rag Man character that literally had the complete opposite effect on me than what was obviously (in retrospect) intended.  My parents probably wondered why I couldn't sleep for three days afterward my viewing without having terrible nightmares compounded by the fact I was terrified of being awake to keep from having those nightmares.  The rest of the movie was extremely trippy, and as such I cannot really tell you too much more about the film, aside from the fact that the finale song "Dance of the Dolls" (or something of the sort) has been constantly kicking around in the back of my head for the last 20-odd years, surpassing the annoyance caused by "It's a Small World" by far.

Lucky for me (or unlucky, depending on your opinion), the film has never been commercially released on DVD, so I can avoid it as a part of the usual Christmas deluge of Rankin/Bass films.  Unfortunately for me, though, the fact that I cannot watch it again means that I can't exorcise the horrors of my childhood by watching it again and seeing how foolish my fear is.

It is foolish, right?  Right?

AUNT JOHN SEZ: Nope Toby, there's nothing foolish about the way you feel. Based on the introductory footage we were able to unearth below, I'd be hesitant to sit through the whole special, save for the fact that it does star two of my personal heroes JO ANNE WORLEY and EVA GABOR (as Queens Morphia and Time, respectively). I would like to add though, RANKIN & BASS (per my crack sources) did not actually have a hand in this holiday nightmare. Director TAKEO NAKAMURA did work as an animator on the R&B special SANTA CLAUS IS COMIN' TO TOWN, but that is where the connection ends.

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14 years ago

Whoops, my bad.  I guess that I fell in amongst those who mistook it for a R&B production.  It still doesn't blunt the terror of the movie for me a bit though, although maybe it does my hatred of R&B for traumatizing me as a kid.

14 years ago

Surprisingly enough, this was produced by Sanrio. The Hello Kitty People. And thankfully, their latest foray into stop-motion is the kinder and gentler "Hello Kitty Stump Village"-

They also made "The Mouse and His Child", the "Unico" movies (Which are now owned by Osamu Tezuka's estate) and the mecha space opera "Ideon".

Oh, and to add to the creepy factor, Christopher Lee plays Drosselmeyer. 🙂