Disney’s live-action film adaptation, The Nutcracker and the Four Realms, is based on E.T.A. Hoffmann’s 1816 story “The Nutcracker and the Mouse King.”
While The Three Musketeers novelist Alexandre Dumas adapted the story, it would be cemented into history by Russian composer Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky and choreographers Marius Petipa and Lev Ivanov, who – in 1892 – turned the story into the Christmas standard that is The Nutcracker ballet, famously brandishing the musical centerpiece of Tchaikovsky’s “The Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy.” (Better known to younger generations as Tetris music.)
The Nutcracker and the Four Realms will star rising child star Mackenzie Foy as Clara, who will be joined by names like Keira Knightley, Morgan Freeman (current controversies notwithstanding), Helen Mirren and Matthew Macfadyen.
The Nutcracker and the Four Realms Trailer
Disney just released a new trailer for The Nutcracker and the Four Realms and, while it’s light on the ballet, it is rich in imaginative worldbuilding and visual detail. Check it out…
Here’s The Nutcracker and the Four Realms teaser trailer, which arrived back in December.
The Nutcracker and the Four Realms Director
Stockholm-born helmer Hallstrom – known from recent films such as A Dog’s Purpose and The Hundred-Foot Journey, and notably from his Oscar-nominated tenure for The Cider House Rules – was initially appointed as the full and proper Nutcracker director. However, Disney would order a major 32-day reshoot in December 2017 to film additional material by writer Tom McCarthy; a task that Hallstrom was unable to complete due to his schedule, resulting in the appointment of pinch director Johnston.
Consequently, Johnston’s contributions to the film would become so significant, that it justified the Directors Guild of America to waive its rule, in which only one director (or established directorial team,) can be billed as the director of a film. Indeed, the shared Nutcracker director billing is one that Hallstrom is embracing. As he tells THR in a statement:
“It was an absolute blessing to have Joe Johnston step in when it became clear that I wouldn’t be available for reshoots. Joe is the ultimate expert in visual effects and I enjoyed collaborating with him on this film.”
The Nutcracker and the Four Realms Release Date
The Nutcracker and the Four Realms will spring to life when it’s released on November 2.
Here’s the official poster:
The Nutcracker and the Four Realms Details
Here’s the story and main cast, per the official synopsis:
All Clara (Mackenzie Foy) wants is a key – a one-of-a-kind key that will unlock a box that holds a priceless gift from her late mother. A golden thread, presented to her at godfather Drosselmeyer’s (Morgan Freeman) annual holiday party, leads her to the coveted key—which promptly disappears into a strange and mysterious parallel world. It’s there that Clara encounters a soldier named Phillip (Jayden Fowora-Knight), a gang of mice and the regents who preside over three Realms: Land of Snowflakes, Land of Flowers and Land of Sweets. Clara and Phillip must brave the ominous Fourth Realm, home to the tyrant Mother Ginger (Helen Mirren), to retrieve Clara’s key and hopefully return harmony to the unstable world. Starring Keira Knightley as the Sugar Plum Fairy and featuring a special performance by Misty Copeland.
Additional cast members include Miranda Hart as the Dew Drop Fairy, Eugenio Derbez as Hawthorn, Ellie Maber as Louise, Richard E. Grant as Shiver and Jack Whitehall as Halequin. Also onboard is Matthew Macfadyen as Mr. Stahlbaum. The casting facilitates as a reunion with Keira Knightley, with whom Macfadyen co-starred as romantic leads in director Joe Wright’s 2005 film adaptation of Pride & Prejudice; a film that earned Knightley a Best Lead Actress Oscar nomination.
The Nutcracker and the Four Realms Review
You might be able to work out what happens next just from the information I’ve given you, but the chief joys of this movie don’t lie in its formulaic plot. They lie in the film’s sumptuous set and costume design. The film moves from sequence to sequence on the strength of its aesthetic wonder, almost as if you are watching a feature film made entirely of Tumblr-based gifs and mood boards.