The Nutcracker is a beautiful tale normally told in the art of ballet, but when I saw that Disney were going to be bringing the classic Christmas tale to life for mainstream audiences I was pretty excited (I have been excited about a lot of film releases this winter!)
I watched three films in less than 24 hours and I have to say, hands down, The Nutcracker And The Four Realms was the best BY MILES. Rounds of rapturous applause to Disney, they have really pulled this one out the bag.
For those of you not familiar with classic Nutcracker storyline, I’ll give you a quick summary – young Clara goes to a Christmas party with her family and all of the children receive a gift. Clara’s is a nutcracker soldier and she falls asleep after the party clutching him tightly – she is then transported to a magical dreamland filled with nutcracker soldiers and sugar plum fairies.
The Disney version is of course a little different, but in many ways it does stay true to the original tale. Young Clara (Mackenzie Foy) is the star of the show. Having recently lost her mother, Clara is not feeling the Christmas spirit but her father is doing everything he can to try and keep the magic alive for himself and his three children. He brings the family together to open Christmas eve gifts which their mother had insisted he give them, but Clara is confused when she is given a small box which requires a very special key…except her mother appears to have forgotten to give her the key. Heartbroken, Clara is in no mood to attend the party, but wonders if her godfather (Morgan Freeman) might know how to get into her gift without the key – but again to no avail. When it comes time for the children to receive their party gifts, Clara is surprised to find that hers is a key – the very key she’s been missing! The excitement is short lived however when the key is then stolen by a mouse, which Clara chases deep into what we would soon learn are The Four Realms. We learn that there is war in the realms, and Mother Ginger (Helen Mirren) has been ousted by the other three realm leaders – although as Clara does all she can to try and save the other three realms from Mother Ginger, she realises that things may not always be as they appear…
I’m probably so in love with this movie release because it is a little bit of some of my favourite movies – it’s a little bit Narnia, it’s a little bit Alice In Wonderland and in some ways it has an essence of Cinderella mixed in. It is a whole lot of Disney, the whole thing screams Disney – from the one parent family in the opening scenes to the incredible craftsmanship and storytelling. While the cast list is littered with familiar faces – Morgan Freeman, Helen Mirren and Keira Knightley to name a few – each one feels like they were placed there because they were perfect for the role and not just to try and boost the movie.
Overall I wholeheartedly recommend this movie and I’m looking forward to buying the DVD so that I can watch it again and again and again…well done Disney, this might just be my new favourite Christmas movie!