72ANDSUNNY, Los Angeles / TARGET / 2017
Tchaikovsky’s suite for The Nutcracker is one the most recognizable pieces of music in history. For US retailer Target’s “The Toycracker”, we used this famous holiday score as a foundation to create a musical tailored for a modern audience. Working with Grammy-winning music producer Ariel Rechtscheid, we adapted five of the most recognizable melodies from the original score and re-imagined them using modern lyrics and music genres. For example, the theatrical and sweeping melody from The Waltz of The Flowers is the melodic foundation for the cheeky lyrics in our opening number Why Is There No Wifi, that Clara sings just before drifting off to her dream world. Each musical number told a different part of our story, was adapted from the original Nutcracker suite, and worked to convey the emotional journey of our heroine Clara. The effect engaged our audience, providing viewers with something familiar yet entirely original.
The Toycracker is a reimagining of the holiday ballet the Nutcracker as “a mini-musical spectacular.” It stars entertainment personality Chrissy Teigen as the Nutcracker and her husband, Oscar and 10-time Grammy winning artist John Legend as the Rat King, alongside a cast of over thirty CG-rendered, animated toys. Grammy-winning producer Ariel Rechtshaid (Adele, Vampire Weekend) and Golden Globe winning lyricist Benj Pasek (La La Land) collaborated to breathe new life into the iconic score and create a modern lyrical narrative. And while the music and visuals dazzle, The Toycracker’s heart is in its story—a young girl journeys through a magical, holiday toyland only to discover what she wants most for the holidays is what she had from the start, her family and friends. It’s a story told each holiday, as children everywhere learn toys make the holidays fun, but being together with the ones you love make the holidays spectacular.
Target is a major retailer in America and a beloved brand with a strong cultural aura. The holiday season is the most important time of the year for all retailers and a 2-month long battlefield that spans from early November to Christmas Day. This year was a very particularly challenging one, with the US presidential election kicking-off the season. The Toycracker stars beloved celebrity couple John Legend and Chrissy Teigen. Legend, a singer and songwriter, and Teigen, a model, entertainer, and author, are among the most influential celebrities on social media and new parents to boot. Our holiday musical also brings to life the season’s hottest toys like Elmo, My Little Pony, Star Wars, and LEGO, who are beloved by kids everywhere and instantly recognizable icons of the season.
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