Disney’s The Nutcracker and the Four Realms is set to become the new magical holiday tradition
This holiday season, the legendary story comes to the big screen, with an even darker, grander twist on the classic tale.
Mackenzie Foy, Keira Knightley, Helen Mirren, and Morgan Freeman
Lasse Hallström and Joe Johnston
November 2nd, 2018
Get ready for a serious nostalgia trip as The Nutcracker and the Four Realms marches into theatres nationwide! Directed by Lasse Hallström (The Cider House Rules) and Joe Johnston (Captain America), the film draws its inspiration from E.T.A. Hoffman’s iconic Christmas tale, "The Nutcracker and the Mouse King" – the same novella on which Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky's ballet was based.
For those who grew up with the time-honoured tradition of The Nutcracker, Disney has reimagined the original fairy tale with new twists and turns in a darker take of the classic. Weaving together the old and the new, here’s why the film is bound to become your newest holiday tradition.
The classic characters
This holiday favourite boasts all of the beloved characters from the ballet, along with some inventive adaptations you won’t want to miss! Rising star Mackenzie Foy plays Clara, the young girl who discovers that she is the princess of the four realms and sets out to save them from the evil Mother Ginger (Helen Mirren). It also stars Keira Knightley as the ethereal Sugar Plum Fairy and Morgan Freeman as Clara’s godfather, Drosselmeyer. The classic characters of the original fantasy all make an appearance, including The Mouse King, the Ballerina, and the soldiers.
The regal realms
The film takes audiences on an epic adventure across a new world of mysterious and stunning realms: Land of Flowers, Land of Snowflakes, and Land of Sweets. The troubled Fourth Realm – ruled by the evil Mother Ginger – is where Clara must brave her destiny and find the key that will save her kingdom.
Oscar-nominated production designer Guy Hendrix Dyas (Inception) brings the film’s breathtaking worlds to life. Inspired by Russian art and architecture and his extensive research into 1870s London, Dyas spent weeks sketching up ideas for the realms, followed by 14 weeks of production to create the dreamlike props--think massive puppets and huge origami flowers--amidst a world of mesmerizing CGI effects.
Alongside the film’s gorgeous set design, audiences can look forward to the awe-inspiring costumes in The Nutcracker and the Four Realms. With a team of more than 100 people, Academy Award-winning costume designer Jenny Beavan (Mad Max: Fury Road) has merged Victorian England with yuletide fantasy to create a world of approximately 1,500 magical outfits. Blooming floral patterns, sparkling ball gowns, soldiers’ uniforms, and confections fit for a Sugar Plum Fairy – there’s intricate detail in every stitch!
Song and dance
While the film itself is not a dance movie, The Nutcracker and the Four Realms pays homage to its ballet predecessor. Featuring performances by some of the world’s most prominent dancers – Misty Copeland, Lil Buck, and Sergi Polunin – audiences can expect a story-within-a-story dance sequence, which will lead them through the fantasy of the four realms.
And what’s The Nutcracker without music? Adapted from Tchaikovsky’s timeless ballet score, Oscar-nominated composer James Newton Howard has refreshed the film’s soundtrack with a modern twist while maintaining the golden harmony of the 1892 classic. The film features a solo by renowned pianist Lang Lang and an original end-credit duet, “Fall on Me”, by Andrea Bocelli and his son, Matteo.
See The Nutcracker and the Four Realms with your whole family.
Disney’s re-invention of this classic story is cause for a new holiday tradition with your family. Take everyone to see this awe-inspiring, magical tale as it invokes nostalgia for parents and introduces the story to a new generation.