The Nutcracker and the Four Realms would have been better conceived as a cinematic version of the ballet with some narrative sinew connecting the dances accompanied by Tchaikovsky’s familiar music. Instead, Disney attempts to re-bottle the weak billion-dollar lightning generated by Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland.
On Christmas Eve, Clara Stahlbaum (Mackenzie Foy)—daughter of the late Marie, who is the character in E.T.A. Hoffman’s original story—receives an egg from her mother. Soon, she is whisked away to a fantastic land where she meets a Nutcracker (Jayden Fowora-Knight) and the Sugar Plum Fairy (Keira Knightley), who are at war with Mother Ginger (Helen Mirren) and the Mouse King over the Four Realms—the Land of Sweets, Flowers, Snowflakes and Amusements.
The Nutcracker and the Four Realms pleased my 3-year-old companion, who had no idea what to expect, but better holiday fare is bound to pop up in theaters as we close in on the season. Why is it so hard to make a good film version of something as popular and timeless as The Nutcracker?