The Nutcracker and the Four Realms is a new telling of the classic short story of The Nutcracker and the Mouse King by E.T.A. Hoffmann and also The Nutcracker by Maris Petipa. It is a story about a young girl attempting to unlock an egg given to her by her deceased mother. To achieve this, young Clara finds herself going on a magical journey to a magical land with four realms. There she discovers more about her past and also finds herself entering the fourth realm to get her key and also restore peace to the magical land. The Nutcracker and the Four Realms has a star-studded cast that includes Keira Knightley, Mackenzie Foy, Eugenio Derbez, Matthew Macfadyen, Richard E. Grant, Misty Copeland, Helen Mirren, and Morgan Freeman.
Watching The Nutcracker and the Four Realms is a visually appealing experience. The worlds that were created and re-created for the film are creative and colorful. At times, the color and creativity might have gone a bit too far as they came off digital. The costumes, however, were fantastic. Watching the movie, it felt like some of the digital effects needed some more polishing. The sound, however, was a different story. For many watching, the music accompanying this movie will be fairly recognizable. There are a lot of nods to the classic Nutcracker Suite, with some new additions intertwined throughout the familiar themes. Overall, the music was enjoyable to listen to. The sound design for the film was just fine as well. It didn’t blow me away but it also wasn’t distracting. In general, this is exactly what the sound effects for a film should do.
There were a few extras included on the Blu-Ray release for The Nutcracker and the Four Realms. Odds are, if you are a fan of the classic Nutcracker, you will enjoy some of these bonus features. They go into some of the ballet utilized in the film, some behind the scenes things, deleted scenes, and also two music videos. Overall, they are enjoyable enough but perhaps not the most memorable collection of extras ever made. Fans of the movie, and also of Misty Copeland, will really enjoy this collection.
Reviewing The Nutcracker and the Four Realms was an interesting experience. There are some things I really liked about this film. I thought Makenzie Foy did a very good job as Clara. I look forward to seeing her in future movies. It should come as no surprise but Helen Mirren also did a great job. The soundtrack that accompanied the story was beautiful as well. On the flip side, I’m never a fan of CGI that is distracting because it looks digital. I also felt like there were some pacing issues in this film. If polished, it could have taken it to a different level. This would also create a larger audience that would enjoy it as well. That being said, I did watch The Nutcracker as a kid and never appreciated it as much as my grandparents did. I enjoyed the music but the rest just never connected with me. So, I must admit that I may be bringing a bias to my review. That now disclosed, I truly do think that this is a movie with some really wonderful components that just don’t quite hit the mark. It tries to be a Christmas classic but doesn’t quite make it. If you love The Nutcracker, ballet, Misty Copeland, or any of the other actors or elements I mentioned above, you’ll most likely enjoy this film. And I do think there is a group of people who will LOVE this film. The dancing is quite beautiful. However, if you aren’t really into any of these things, this might be a movie you want to rent first.
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