Your Thanksgiving turkey has arrived on schedule and it's called "The Nutcracker in 3D."
Director Andrei Konchalovsky's gassy spectacle, inspired by Tchaikovsky's classic ballet score and its fairy tale source material (E.T.A. Hoffmann's short story), comes off like a wan mash-up of "The Wizard of Oz," "Alice in Wonderland," "Toy Story" and, frankly, "Willard," but with a manufactured sense of wonder and tension.
Worse, trying to hip up this retro-tinged package with post-produced 3-D proves pointless and merely undermines the film's otherwise OK special effects.
Konchalovsky and Chris Solimine's script, set in 1920s Vienna, revolves around Mary ( Elle Fanning, curiously unengaging), a precocious, well-off child drawn into a chaotic fantasy world by a new Christmas toy: a wooden nutcracker doll (voiced by Shirley Henderson) given to her by her jovial uncle ( Nathan Lane, in forced Teutonic accent and Einstein fright wig).
But, turns out, this doll is actually a child prince (Charlie Rowe) who needs Mary's help to save his kingdom from the grotesquely evil Rat King ( John Turturro, in a staggeringly ill-conceived turn) and his nasty Rat Queen mother (Frances de la Tour).
Younger kids will likely find the pervasive rat business either nightmarish or a turn-off, while parents might wish they'd just stayed home and played Tchaikovsky's gorgeous music for their children, without the burden of the prefab Tim Rice song lyrics tacked on here.