The Nutcracker and the Four Realms Movie Review
The Nutcracker and the Four Realms Movie Review Metadata
With Mary Poppins and The Grinch returning to occupy movie theaters this holiday season, adding a Nutcracker film to the mix can only guarantee that the top box office holiday earnings will be split three ways this year. While it may be too soon to predict whether Mary Poppins Returns (2018) or The Grinch (2018) will be remembered on future holidays by film-going families, unfortunately The Nutcracker and the Four Realms (2018) probably won’t.
Disney’s newest reincarnation of The Nutcracker Suite stars Mackenzie Foy as Clara, who would rather study statistics and mathematics than mingle with the local townsfolk. As Clara is a middle child to their father, Mr. Stahlbaum (Matthew Macfadyen), Louise (Ellie Bamber) is the elder sister, and Fritz (Tom Sweet) is the youngest child and only son. The family lost the mother of undisclosed causes, and now the family continues to grieve while still keeping up appearances and attending social functions. It is Christmastime and the children’s godfather, Drosselmeyer (Morgan Freeman) has hidden presents for the children throughout his home during his annual Christmas party, and the children must follow colored threads to find their gifts. Clara is presented with her mother’s precious Fabergé egg, but Clara is told she must search for the key to open it.
In much the same method presented in The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe (2005), Clara must enter a parallel world and encounter a variety of unique characters, occupying four distinct realms, to locate the missing key. Jayden Fowora-Knight plays Clara’s companion Phillip (a.k.a. The Nutcracker), Eugenio Derbez plays Hawthorne (regent of the realm: Land of Flowers), Richard E. Grant plays Shiver (regent of the realm: Land of Snowflakes), Keira Knightley plays Sugar Plum (regent of the realm: Land of Sweets), and Helen Mirren plays Mother Ginger (regent of the Fourth Realm).
Co-directors Lasse Hallstron (Choclat (2000), The Cider House Rules (1999)), and Joe Johnson (Captain America: The First Avenger (2011), The Rocketeer (1991)), bring strong cinematic credentials to this film. Surprisingly, despite the vast CGI landscapes and waterfalls throughout the alternate fantasy land, the actual sets seem noticeably smaller in comparison to the assumed grandiose storytelling that Disney has been known to present. The dual-universe structure of this film is similar to that of Alice in Wonderland (any version), with the ‘step-through-to-the-snow’ alternate universe concept that the aforementioned C.S. Lewis book-to-screen adaptation presented.
Your youngest children may become bored during the slower dialogue-sharing scenes of The Nutcracker and the Four Realms, but consider family time with the remaining elder children and catch this film for Christmas. Your family should be entertained by this film, but it’s unlikely to become the latest addition to your collection of favorite holiday films.