The Nutcracker and the Four Realms is the new Disney creation bringing together the stories of The Nutcracker and the Mouse King by E.T.A Hoffman and Marius Petipa’s The Nutcracker and featuring adaptations of Tschaikovsky’s The Nutcracker Suite from 1892. A lot of traditional stories coming in to one, but, it’s Disney so of course they manage to bring it together into a modern classic.
The story focuses on Clara (Mackenzie Foy) who is struggling to come to terms with the loss of her mother. She is resentful of her father (Matthew MacFadyen) and siblings who are seemingly able to move on and enjoy their life. It is their first Christmas without their mother, and the three children are presented with gifts she left for them. Clara receives a trinket box, however, she doesn’t have the key.
The family attend the annual Christmas party thrown by Drosselmeyer (Morgan Freeman); Clara’s godfather. Who initiates a game for all of the children at the party to find their Christmas gifts. Clara’s search leads her into the Four Realms and a magical place called Christmas Tree Land, where she meets the Nutcracker and begins her magical journey of self-realisation and understanding.
Whilst in the Four Realms, Clara meets Sugar Plum (Keira Knightley), Shiver (Richard E. Grant) and Hawthorne (Eugenio Derbez); the Regents of three of the realms, and Mother Ginger (Helen Mirren); who has been exiled to the Fourth Realm.
It is the perfect family Christmas adventure, with lots of colour, drama and magic. It did remind me a LOT of The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe, but that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Keira Knightley definitely had the stand out performance which considering I feel like I haven’t seen her in anything for a very long time was surprising, I also think it’s the most unique role I’ve seen her play.
What I really liked was how the film brought aspects of the traditional ballet in without being overbearing or obvious. What I was a little disappointed in was the fact it was realised so early. I would have much rather seen it whilst I was feeling Christmassy; I know I could’ve waited but then it wouldn’t have been the same. I do look forward to hopefully watching it on TV next Christmas though!
There was also a lovely quote; which I might have changed slightly, that Clara said at the end as she was leaving the Four Realms: “Missing somebody means you remember them”. I loved that it was directed towards the Nutcracker, but also had clear links to how she felt about missing her mother.
All in all a lovely family feel good film which will definitely get you ready for those Christmas feels!