What's on at Harbour Lights - The Enchanted Screen
Director: Kevin Lima.
Starring: Amy Adams, James Marsden, Susan Sarandon, Patrick Dempsey.
USA 2007. 107 mins.
Classic Disney animation meets contemporary urban chaos when a princess is banished from her magical animated homeland to modern-day New York. Princess Giselle (Adams) lives in the blissful cartoon world of Andalasia, where magical beings frolic freely and musical interludes punctuate every interaction. She is engaged to the handsome Prince Edward (Marsden) but her fate takes a turn for the worse when the villainous Queen Narissa (Sarandon) banishes her to the unforgiving metropolis of New York. As the cruelty of the big city begins to wear down the frightened and once carefree princess, she soon finds herself falling for a friendly but flawed divorce lawyer (Dempsey) whose kind compassion has helped her to survive in this strange and dangerous new world.
The young Clara creeps downstairs on Christmas Eve to play with her favourite present – a Nutcracker doll. But the mysterious magician Drosselmeyer is waiting to sweep her off on a magical adventure. After defeating the Mouse King, the Nutcracker and Clara travel through the Land of Snow to the Kingdom of Sweets, where the Sugar Plum Fairy treats them to a wonderful display of dances. Back home, Clara thinks she must have been dreaming – but doesn’t she recognize Drosselmeyer’s nephew?
Peter Wright’s nigh-on definitive production for The Royal Ballet ranks as one of the most enduring and enchanting versions of 'The Nutcracker'. With its festive period setting, dancing snowflakes and enchanting stage magic, Lev Ivanov’s 1892 ballet has become the perfect Christmas entertainment, with Tchaikovsky’s sumptuous, sugar-spun music the most recognizable of all ballet scores.
Loosely based on the story by E.T.A. Hoffmann, the ballet opens with a lively Christmas party, its Victorian setting captured in opulent detail by Julia Trevelyan Oman’s designs. Wright’s choreography ingeniously incorporates surviving fragments of the ballet’s original material, including the sublime pas de deux for the Sugar Plum Fairy and her Prince. But in emphasizing the relationship between Clara and the Nutcracker Prince, the production also gains a touching subtext of first love.
East Germany 1957. English narrated version.
A proud and beautiful princess is punished for her arrogance when a bewitched suitor (in the form of a bear) steals her away to an enchanted garden. There, through a series of gripping trials, she learns that kindness, humility and bravery are the routes to friendship, love and happiness. Inspired by stories by the Brothers Grimm, this East German fairy tale enchanted a generation when broadcast as a three-part black-and-white miniseries under the BBC’s ‘Tales from Europe’ banner in the 1960s. Today’s viewers are in for an even greater treat; prepare to be bowled over by the original feature’s joyous riot of colour.
Director: Jakob Schuh & Max Lang | Johannes Weiland & Uwe Heidschotter.
Voices: Helena Bonham Carter, Rob Brydon, Robbie Coltrane, James Corden. UK 2009 and 2011. 55 mins.
Join us for an enchanting double-bill of these all-star adaptations of Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler’s best-selling picture books. The magical tale of a plucky mouse in search of a nut is followed by the adventure of the Gruffalo's Child, who bravely tiptoes out into the snow in search of the fabled ‘big bad mouse.’