December 20, 2011

The Nutcracker: When Something's Just Not Right

Disclaimer: This post is full of stereo-types, assumptions, my opinion and general crossing the line-ness.

Tis the season for Tchaikovsky and the Nutcracker. I'm a Nutcracker junkie, as are my kids. I'm sure we've seen every version out there. Today I tackle The Nutcracker Motion Picture, by The Pacific Northwest Ballet. I'm not going to critique the dancing or music; but rather point out a rather troubling inkling of pedophilia by Uncle Drosselmeyer. I'm sure if you were alive in the 80's you've seen this.
While watching this particular version this season with my children I found myself raising my Mommy-brow at Herr Drosselmeyer. Drosselmeyer is portrayed many different ways in adaptations of the Nutcracker, sometimes as a grandfather, uncle, magician, or family friend. You see it's always a family friend right? So I'm only referencing awkwardness and glaring perviness in this particular adaptation.

This guy is a creep, yes, in a pedophilia type of way. Yes, I really just said that. If you were to judge a book by its cover or stereotype pedophiles; this guy’s the ticket. Nothing about his portrayal in this film is right. I wonder what the director was thinking here. They've found the creepiest, crazy haired loon, put a huge hook nose and an eye patch on him and then dressed him in pink. I can read between the lines. Eye patches are mysterious; they usually mean there has been an altercation of some sort. Maybe one like an 11 year old year scratching your eye out?

I found only one good clip of the show, but my point will be made. The awkward exchanges are during the first two minutes of the clip, so you're off the hook after that.



Please tell me it's not just me? There is compelling evidence here right?  That's only a snippet.  The dude is pouting in the corner. What grown man does that? Wait, rephrase. What grown man pouts in the corner because he is not getting the attention of an eleven year old? Clara is visibly shaken and disgusted by him. Even Clara's Mother forces her to participate in an awkward dance with Drosselmeyer, which makes me kind of sick to my stomach. Drosselmeyer is visibly entranced with his niece, and jealous of a dang hunk of wood Nutcracker. It's all too strange for me to take in. I know I cannot be the only one jumping to these conclusions.

At any rate, this movie can not only become a wonderful tradition, but also open the door to conversations about stranger danger, safe and not-safe touching, and usually if someone looks like a super creep, you should go with your gut.

What do you think? Creep or Crazy? Maybe both?

{Disclaimer: Sexual abuse and pedophilia is no laughing matter.}


58 comments:

  1. I tend to be cautious of guys with eye patches. I mean you can't really tell what they're looking at which is suspicious enough. It isn't really a stereotype either because I haven't ever met a guy with an eyepatch that could be trusted. Okay, never really met any. But still.

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  2. So not cool. I grew up on the Barishnikov version, which is not creepy at all.

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  3. I had not seen this one since before I was a mommy. It absolutely got my hinky going. But I do love the ballet. Havent been able to get my monkeys to sit though it. I was glad they finally got the meaning of the Christmas Carol.LOL

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  4. On the one hand, yes, he's a creepy perv. On the other, all the rest of the 'men' are wearing tights and hiding behind masks that look like mice. The creepy bulging tights freak me out a bit more than crazy uncle with eye patch.
    I do think it actually could be a good tool for watch out for strangers with eye patches, but I think you could pretty much say watch out for any body dressed remotely like anyone in this production.
    cheers

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  5. I agree, creeper for sure. And he should really see a hairdresser. I also want to know that background on the eye patch. When I was in high school, there was a older boy who had one...but that was due to a gym class injury that caused him to lose his eye (and we were never allowed to play floor hockey again). I feel that creeper uncle's story is not gym class related and more pervy related.

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  6. I had not seen this before. Every body looks a bit creepy to me but he is a bit extra. I just watched part of the Nutcracker Ballet on PBS. I'll stick with that New York City Ballet Company version.

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  7. I heard you go blind if you shake it more than twice. Likely explains Uncle Kooky's eyeball patch.

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  8. He definitely puts the P in pedophilia. Creepy guy...

    I never really trusted guys with an eye patch. Even Captain Feathersword of the Wiggles makes me uneasy.

    Yup, I always tell my kid not to trust anyone she or mom doesn't know, especially those who look suspicious. But I do tell her that sometimes, even the pretty ones can be bad people.

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  9. It's a well known trait of anyone "up to no good" to wear an eye patch, it's like a club - any nasty who signs up gets an eye patch with his member registration. At the end of the day he has a private carnival in his own home - he's either paedophile or mentally ill :| lol I felt so awkward watching that clip though, I've never seen the film I feel like should now. so funny x

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  10. @Christina- True, sketchy. Pirates have patches too, but I wouldn't trust them either. Patches are just synonymous with trouble.

    @MM- I know right? This is really the only creepy version I've ever seen...there is one version that is more "interpretive" that I don't care for. Love the Nutcracker!

    @Army Mom- My kids love it! I'm not sure if they would sit through the live ballet, my guess is yes, maybe I'll take them next year. But not if Drosselmeyer is wearing a patch.

    @Bob- Good point. Now thinking about it, the Nutcracker in this production is kind of pervy too. He has a wiry 'stache and tights. Perhaps the man tights can provide some inspiration for a men's line of yoga pants? ;)

    @SingleMama- LOL! Maybe gym locker room related though?????

    @Cam- NYC version is awesome. And yes, I didn't provide a clip of the puppet mouse king that has multiple heads...as in six. You can catch the whole thing on Hulu if you dare.

    @Beard- Hahaha! Seriously can't believe no body said that until now. But why in just one eye? Mysterious. But I don't know the inner-workings of the perv, so I'll just let that go.

    @Pepper- Feathersword is a perv too. Eye patches are like the Scarlett Letter.

    @Jen- Ha! A membership patch! Brilliant. Yeah they obviously think it's sexy *shiver*.

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  11. Now I know - why I never wanted to see the Nutcracker again. This is the only version I saw a long time ago and it really creeped me out. I loved the music, but the whole thing creeped me out so I have never been interested in seeing it. ever. Thank you so much for pin-pointing the reason for me. Now that I know it's only "one" interpretation of that character, I might actually watch it again sometime. thank you .

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  12. Ha, we just watched this tonight and I couldn't help thinking dude needed to chill. It was a combo Clara's clear revulsion and his crazy eyes and creepy grin that made me think an intervention was required. Very pedo.

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  13. Haha...the Scarlet Letter...
    Hey, have a Merry Christmas, Cari! Kisses to your 2 kids...

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  14. @Suzi- Many other less disturbing Nutcrackers out there to enjoy. Merry Christmas!

    @Hannah- Yep, creeptastic! Happy Holidays and hide the kids.

    @Pepper- Thanks, back atcha!

    @Kara- In a word, yes.

    Happy Holidays everyone:)

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  15. I agree that his portrayal in this version is a bit off. He probably did have some less than healthy feelings towards the girl, but I also think that it could be explained in other ways. They talked about, in the beginning of the movie, how strange a guy he was and how some of his childish mannerisms frightened Cara. He could be some kind of idiot savant as far as we know. Maybe he has the maturity of someone Clara's age, or younger. I think it's more likely that Herr just has some mental disabilities and, as should be expected, seeks out someone with a similar capacity.

    I might also note on this, even though it goes against what I've already said, that Cara said that despite all his weirdness, she loved him. Now, what kind of love that is, we're never really told, but I think it's also possible that the producers were trying to get at some lolita jawn here. >__>

    I'd like to think of it the other way, however. ^____^

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  16. It's not just you!!! I'm watching it on Netflix; it's my mother's favorite version of the ballet, and I have the same creepy feeling about Drosselmeyer as I have every other time I watch it. I'm glad someone else can verify this for me. I'm not crazy. No I'm not.

    Merry Christmas and stay safe!!

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  17. @Bellesouth- Glad I could be of service here. That is after all, what this blog is all about...serving the people...bahahahaha!

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  18. I agree, I'm 12 and i definitely think it's creepy!

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