The Nutcracker and the Four Realms is directed by Lasse Hallström and Joe Johnston and it’s based off the famous story, The Nutcracker and the Mouse King. This adaptation sees Clara, a bright young girl who is on a quest to find the key that will open the gift her late mother left her. The key is being taken around the four realms and now Disney has a movie, sort of. This movie stars Mackenzie Foy, Keira Knightley, Helen Mirren, Jayden Fowora-Knight and Morgan Freeman.
I remember seeing the teaser and thinking that it looked very interesting, visually at least. I actually had high hopes for this movie. Then Disney decides to stop all advertising on this movie because they had to advertise their other movies which had a bigger chance of success than this one. Two months ago, Disney released the first and second trailer almost back to back. The marketing campaign for this movie went downhill. Clearly this movie was not needed, not even by Disney. I don’t know what they were thinking. You can tell they had too much to handle, who releases a Christmas movie in the beginning of November, even before Thanksgiving?
This movie is not complete trash. As expected from a Disney movie, the visuals are gorgeous and there are plenty of visuals in this movie to enjoy. I particularly liked the Christmas Tree Forest, I love Clara’s purple dress strikes you as it’s the only splash of colour in all of the snow. The costumes are also very appealing, I liked the Sugar Plum’s look, I loved how her hair was actually made out of cotton candy. Clearly the visual and technical aspect of any modern Disney movie is going to be a positive but in terms of actual scenes, there was one that stood out and it’s the ballet scene. It was very sophisticated and inventive, the use of colours really popped during that scene. Of course the music is also great, mostly in this scene. Apart from that, the music is average, there are hints of the original score for the play but it’s never really explored that much.
Now I hate trashing movies, I always try to find some redeeming qualities but this movie is just complete utter crap. This is the definition of a hollow movie, pretty on the outside, empty on the inside. This is one of the most heavily cliched movies I’ve ever seen. I saw this with a friend and we spent the entire time predicting the movie and laughing at it, like seriously laughing out loud as if it was a comedy. The script is easily the weakest aspect. It is pure rubbish. It’s not that I don’t agree with the tired message of believing in yourself and all that, it’s just that this movie is not subtle in any way. It is actually eye-rolling and cringe-inducing. There are also some creepy scenes involving mice and clowns which made my adult friend cover his eyes. So it’s not really for children in that manner.
The acting for the most part is good. Mackenzie Foy does an amazing British accent, I actually thought that she was British, I eventually looked it up and found out that she is American. Helen Mirren is in the movie for a good maybe seven minutes of screen-time. She’s fine as Mother Ginger, not a threat whatsoever though, just useless character. Jayden Fowora-Knight was charming as the Nutcracker even though he is absent for a big part of the movie despite the movie being named after him. I mean it’s called The Nutcracker… and he is treated literally more like a servant than a friend. Keira Knightley is a great person, she’s down to Earth, funny and charming. I love her in Atonement and Love, Actually but good God she is downright horrible in this movie. She’s the exact opposite of herself in real life, annoying, cringe-worthy, weird and just plain bad.
Overall The Nutcracker and the Four Realms is just an awful cashgrab. It doesn’t offer anything new or exciting. Apart from the gorgeous visuals and production, this movie is an utter waste of your time. If you want to take your kids to go see a relatively fun Christmas movie, go see the new Grinch movie.
Quick story, I saw this movie with a friend and he came ridiculously late, like forty minutes late. In a few minutes he was caught up. Don’t worry though it was only us and a couple at the very back. He hated the movie maybe even more than I did.