What happens when you hear the phrase “the Nutcracker?” Does it trigger an endless loop of famous Tchaikovsky pieces playing in your head and images of tutus and toy soldiers to instantly pop up? It does for me. The story and ballet of the Nutcracker have been around for ages and, just today, Disney released its own take on the classic called The Nutcracker and the Four Realms.
The Nutcracker and the Four Realms Movie Review
The Nutcracker and the Four Realms is a heartwarming story about a young girl, named Clara, who is trying to cope with the sad loss of her mother. But, before her passing, Clara’s mother left one last present for her precious daughter. This gift would change everything for Clara and would give her the inner strength needed to continue on. It’s a film about friendship, family, hope, and trust.
When Clara finds herself in a strange and mysterious parallel world that’s home to Land of Snowflakes, Land of Flowers and Land of Sweets, she must brave the ominous Fourth Realm and its ruling tyrant, Mother Ginger, to return harmony to the unstable world. Based on E.T.A. Hoffmann’s classic tale and “The Nutcracker,” “The Nutcracker and the Four Realms” showcases the wondrous journey of Clara, who finds herself in the mystical world of the Four Realms, home to a host of eccentric characters and no shortage of surprises.
I saw the film earlier on Monday during the red carpet premiere. I thought The Nutcracker and the Four Realms was a sweet and charming movie, perfect for families with children and young tween girls. There’s an emphasis on believing in oneself and embracing the qualities that make one different. Yet, these messages never overpower the simple charm of the storyline. I love that Clara is portrayed as a clever and independent girl. She’s not above getting help from others but, when the tough gets going, she’s not afraid to do what needs to be done. FYI, my interview with MacKenzie Foy, who plays Clara, will be up in a few days.
The costumes and visuals are mind-blowingly gorgeous! I could spend all day looking at the lovely details of each scene, set, outfit, and hairstyle. The fabrics and colors are all so bold and over-the-top — it’s great!
The Nutcracker and the Four Realms is based on the original story versus ballet. In fact, you might be surprised to know that there’s hardly any dancing in the film. Aside from the featured dance sequence by Misty Copeland used to tell the story of the Four Realms, there’s only a bit of ballroom twirling. The ballet portion is enjoyable, though, and provides a nice tie-in to the story. It’s also refreshing to see such a charming and empowering woman such as Misty Copeland in this role. Keep an eye out for my interview with her in a couple weeks.
There are no bad words or innuendo (except for a “rawr” kind of comment about the tin soldiers). Overall, most of the content is pretty innocent and harmless. As Clara ventures into the Fourth Realm, there are some dark fighting scenes that could be intense for young viewers. Even as I watched it, I had to remind myself that these were all technically toys. All turns out well in the end so just make sure your son or daughter is okay with a bit of suspense and action along the way.
If you’re looking for a nice, feel-good movie to see with the family, go watch The Nutcracker and the Four Realms. You’ll enjoy the story, acting, and it’s just so visually appealing that you have to see it for yourself. Oh, and there are some nice bits of humor and a twist that goes beyond what you’d suspect, if you suspect it at all. Don’t miss out and see it this opening weekend!
The Nutcracker and the Four Realms in theaters now!
- https://twitter.com/DisneyStudios (#DisneysNutcracker)