Word recently broke that director Robert Zemeckis will soon be adapting 'The Nutcracker,' using his favorite toy: 3-D computer animation. His last three films have all been of the same CG-variety, from the groundbreaking 'The Polar Express' to the dull and disappointing 'Beowulf' on to the recently released, middling 'A Christmas Carol.' Based on that track record, it's a tough call to judge whether Zemeckis can crack this nut. Word recently broke that director Robert Zemeckis will soon be adapting 'The Nutcracker,' using his favorite toy: 3-D computer animation. His last three films have all been of the same CG-variety, from the groundbreaking 'The Polar Express' to the dull and disappointing 'Beowulf' on to the recently released, middling 'A Christmas Carol.' Based on that track record, it's a tough call to judge whether Zemeckis can crack this nut.

But there are a couple of promising signs: first, the source material is very rich. E.T.A Hoffman's 1816 story about a nutcracker that comes to life and brings a girl to a magical land inhabited by a truly scary mouse king has all of the childlike wonder, darkness and fantastic elements that could make for a great film. Second, it appears that Zemeckis will tap Hoffman's dramatic storytelling rather than the dancing pomp of the Tchaikovsky ballet. That may disappoint aspiring ballerinas everywhere, but it portends for a much more compelling film.

And if 'The Nutcracker' doesn't satiate Zemeckis' CG-classic conversion thirst, what might be next? We suggest 'The Trumpet and the Swan' (with Wynton Marsalis on the trumpet!), 'The Boy Who Cried Wolf' (with Benicio Del Toro returning as the wolf) or, better yet, 'Thumbelina' – Zemeckis could really run wild with this hallucinatory tale; with Ellen Page as the lead and Zac Efron as her fairy prince.

CATEGORIES Movies