The Nutcracker and the Magic Flute review: old-fashioned Russian animation | Films | Entertainment

This duff, dubbed Russian animation has pirouetted past the anti-Putin boycotts to annex over 100 UK screens.

Those of us corrupted by decadent Western cinema may find its heroine a bit old-fashioned.

In sharp contrast to the feisty female leads in recent Disney films, insipid ballet dancer Marie (voiced by Alyson Leigh Rosenfeld) is happy to leave the heroics to a dashing prince.

Said royal begins the film in the form of a tiny toy soldier you may recognise from Tchaikovsky’s ballet.

When a distraught Marie faces financial ruin and marriage to a wealthy cad, she wishes for the carefree life she had as child.

After a forgettable song, magical lights twinkle, her old toys come alive and she shrinks to the size of a doll.

The nutcracker soldier transforms into Prince George (Dan Edwards) who was turned into a toy when his kingdom was taken over by evil, shape-shifting rats.

So Marie, along with two mildly amusing animal sidekicks, agree to accompany George back to his palace and help him locate the magic flute that will enable him to reclaim his stolen land.

But the animation is bland, the songs are lousy and the characters’ mouths are rarely in sync with the dialogue.

James Cameron will sleep well tonight.

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