Prima Princessa Presents the NutcrackerFall 2010 DVD
In Prima Princessa Presents The Nutcracker, an animated cartoon-styled fairy ballerina visits with a group of live-action little girls and boys at home during the holidays, and gathers them 'round to screen excerpts of The Nutcrackerballet. Excerpts from the ballet are beautifully performed by England's Birmingham Royal Ballet, with the cartoon fairy ballerina character summarizing some of the action in voice-over for the benefit of little viewers at home. The summaries, brief and easy for pre-schoolers to grasp, don't really detract from the child's ability to watch and appreciate the performance. The device serves to help young children make the connection between dance and storytelling.
In between the Nutcrackerexcerpts, vignettes take us to a ballet school studio where we see basic dance moves demonstrated by students from the School of American Ballet (the official academy of the New York City Ballet). Some of the demonstrations are set to music and the ballet demos are intercut with time-lapse photography of blooming flowers, among other images.
Other vignettes between The Nutcracker excerpts show the little girls and boys dancing, making holiday cookies, and unwrapping presents, with a heavy focus on the little girls in their party frocks. While boys are seen doing some ballet moves, do know this entire production is heavy on pink tutus and tiaras, so it definitely does seem to be aimed at little girls- although it is a nice addition to see males dancing, both in the scenes with the children and in the demonstrations at the ballet school.
Adults may wish the ballet excerpts were longer, but the abridged performance is a suitable length for young viewers ages 3 - 6.