Anytime you spy the signature Disney opening while in the theater, you are guaranteed a magical and entertaining experience. This season, one of their biggest productions is The Nutcracker, a story they reimagine for today’s world, all while giving it plenty of magic.
The Nutcracker and the Four Realms (2018) Film Review
Since the death of her mother, Clara (Mackenzie Foy) and her family haven’t been the same. Along with her sister and brother, Clara attempts to cope with the loss and the holidays that stir painful memories. Their father (Matthew McFayden) is a stalwart man whom Clara doesn’t believe mourns the death of their mother, and instead cares more about appearances. When he insists the family attends an annual Christmas ball, Clara is miffed by the ritual when all she wants is to remain home with the gift her mother left her. The trouble is, the beautiful music box is missing its key.
At the ball, Clara enlists the help of her godfather (Morgan Freeman) to solve the mystery. When even he cannot help her, Clara finds herself following clues that lead her into a magical world unlike any she’s ever seen…
From the moment I saw the first trailer for this, it went on my “must see” list. My mother too was keen to see it, so together one Saturday afternoon we did. Whether you like them or not, Disney is a source that a viewer can trust to put out a quality production. ‘The Nutcracker’ is another of their high quality productions that might not be my most favorite, but is still lovely.
What you will immediately notice about this production is the budget that’s poured into it; and along with that, a talented team. The Four Realm world is phenomenal. Sometimes CGI and live-action films have a distinct divide which shows some of its flaws. Likely the real reason for this is because much of the scenery you see in this film is actually a set. CGI isn’t what the majority of this world is built on. Instead, the sets offer a tangible look that the actors could touch, see and feel.
Another interesting fact about this film is that its greatest influence is the original story and ballet. Though I know nothing about the story origins, having sat through this, I see where the ballet plays a large role. There’s an entire sequence dedicated to telling the story in dance; and the end credits also pays tribute to the ballet.
To give proper credit, the entire cast is amazing. From its young leading star Mackenzie Foy (who’s fantastic as the lead) to the talents of Richard E. Grant, Keira Knightley and Helen Mirren, everyone is fabulous. I only wish Matthew Facfayden and Knightley could have shared a scene since they once co-starred as Darcy and Lizzy in 2005’s Pride & Prejudice. Misty Copeland also has a significant cameo. Lucy Bevan who is a familiar name casts the film.
If there is one flaw, it’s that the film may be a bit slow-moving for some viewers. There isn’t the same sense of “action” as fantasy films among its peer group have. Nonetheless, for me, I don’t think this distracts from is an enjoyable and beautiful film. The settings and costumes (by Jenny Beavan who recently designed Christopher Robin) is equally beautiful; and the faces who bring these characters to life deserve applause. I enjoyed seeing Keira on-screen again, and Helen is always fantastic.
Those of you who want a magical story to take you to a new world will discover this inside the ‘Four Realms’ of Disney’s The Nutcracker.
(Disclosure: this post does contain affiliate links; if you buy anything through these links, I may receive a small percentage of the sale at no extra cost to you. Read the disclosure page for details.)You can purchase or rent The Nutcracker and the Four Realms digitally on Amazon Video or on Bluray/DVD combo! Discover a magical world in #Disney's re-imagined take on the beloved tale of adventure and magic! #TheNutcracker and the Four Realms – Magic and Courage! Click To Tweet
ps: please excuse the “disorder.” you can read more about Finding Wonderland’s changes, new follow options and why archive posts are a royal mess in my “Disorder + Feedback” post!