‘The Nutcracker and the Four Realms’ brings an early Christmas

Image courtesy of Walt Disney Pictures Promotional poster art for “The Nutcracker and the Four Realms.” 

Image courtesy of Walt Disney Pictures Promotional poster art for “The Nutcracker and the Four Realms.” 

Sierra Lutz

The timeless Christmas classic “The Nutcracker” has been taken on by Walt Disney Pictures and given a modern twist. “The Nutcracker and the Four Realms” premiered in theatres on Nov. 2, allowing viewers to jump straight from Halloween into the Christmas holiday season. 

Left with a mysterious Christmas present from her deceased mother, Clara Stahlbaum (Mackenzie Foy) sets out on a quest to find a special key to unlock the last piece of her mom that she has left. Stahlbaum is eventually lead into the Four Realms by her godfather, Drosselmeyer (Morgan Freeman), in search of this key. 

In the Four Realms, she meets Captain Phillip (Jayden Fowora-Knight), a Nutcracker soldier and learns that everything may not be as it seems with Sugar Plum (Keira Knightly) determined to fight the evil Mother Ginger (Hellen Mirren). 

This movie proves to be another fairytale twist by Disney with an unsuspected villain and a happily ever after. However, the story doesn’t purely focus on “true love” and finding your prince charming, and instead looks to promote self-discovery, self-confidence, and the importance of family in a young female heroine. 

I personally found this movie to be very different from my expectations, and I think most of that is because of the twist Disney put on the story. 

I was immediately smitten as Matthew Macfadyen (Mr. Darcy in the 2005 “Pride & Prejudice”) played Clara’s father, Mr. Stahlbaum. Dreaming of the story line as a continuation of “Pride & Prejudice,” I found it ironic that Keira Knightly (Elizabeth Bennet in the 2005 “Pride & Prejudice”) was also in the film, though their two characters never met.  

Moving past that little tidbit, the movie strays form the ballet version quite quickly as Clara enters the Four Realms in a Narnia-esque fashion and finds the Captain Phillip guarding a bridge to the Fourth Realm. From this point on, many viewers can expect to find a very different plot unfold than they may be used to.  

Misty Copeland, the first African-American female Principal Dancer in the American Ballet Theatre, makes an appearance in “The Nutcracker and the Four Realms” as the Ballerina Princess that dances in a ballet showcasing the story of the Four Realms to Clara. However, other that this performance, there is no dancing and musicals in the film. This might be a welcomed change for some, but for those accustomed to “The Nutcracker” Ballet, it is a little sad.  

Overall, I would rate “The Nutcracker and the Four Realms” at 3.5/5 stars because I was expecting a movie similar to the ballet and, if I’m being honest, even something closer to “Barbie in the Nutcracker.” However, despite this lower rating, I would definitely see this movie again and suggest you put it on your to do list for movies to see this holiday season.