The first cinematic gift of Christmas 2018 is The Nutcracker and The Four Realms, and like all of Disney’s brilliant productions, spares no expense, pulls all stops. It’s a magnificent storytelling feast that’s 100 percent Disney. It’s also quite simple and sweet as a whole package.
For many of us, this story carries a mysterious childhood nostalgia, and the iconic score takes us to cherished places tucked deeply into our memories. We hold our breath to see if the modern interpretation will deliver. My first recommendation is to not miss the opening scene. The imaginative connection between Clara (MacKenzie Foy) and her brother Fritz (Tom Sweet) sets the stage for a story that unfolds with the familiar and the new.
The classic story is filled in a bit as we are brought into the otherworldly dimension of toys through the power of Clara’s late mother’s beautiful but curious Christmas gift and her Godfather’s inventive wisdom. As we arrive in the land of the Sugar Plum Fairy (Kiera Knightley) and Mother Ginger (Helen Mirren) and the battles of the Four Realms, we see important themes of dedication, bravery and servanthood played out between surprising characters. Of course, there is an “epic” battle between good and evil, and at first, we’re not entirely sure which is which.
I longed for more dramatic emphasis on the famous music and more of Misty Copeland, but the story’s simple formula doesn’t allow it. Copeland is mesmerizing and I was grateful for the added treat at the closing credits. In the end, it’s easy to appreciate the heartwarming messages of a mother’s devotion and the passing down of her imaginative mind and strong heart. Clara is strengthened by the realization of her mother’s true faith in her, and she becomes the strong and wise stabilizing force for a family that feels lost. And of course the Nutcracker himself, brought to life by delightful newcomer Jayden Fowora-Knight, is the key relationship in the whole story.
Dove encourages you to take the opportunity to have a conversation about the original works, the Nutcracker Suite ballet and the enduring and glorious music from more than a century ago. Then go enjoy this new version of The Nutcracker and The Four Realms which is joyfully Dove-Approved for All Ages.
The Dove Take Disney has created a new take on a classic story that delivers on every front, for all ages, filled with messages of family, courage and commitment.
And enjoy this extra feature with Misty Copeland and the other stars sharing their own traditions surrounding this classic tale.