A few decades after her original visit, Mary Poppins (Emily Blunt), the magical nanny, returns to help the Banks siblings and Michael's (Ben Whishaw's) children through a difficult time in their lives.
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's) 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 (Dame Helen Mirren), to retrieve Clara's key and hopefully return harmony to the unstable world.
The guard at the bridge raises his arm and puts his hand on his chest but in the next scene it is by his side. See more »
The ballet tells the story of the Four Realms. How your mother discovered our world.
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During the credits, Misty Copeland dances a traditional ballet to the "Miniature Overture" from "The Nutcracker". The outlines of male dancers performing a more hip-hop dance to the same music follow. See more »
If you desire a fun family Christmas movie - look elsewhere
"The Nutcracker and the Four Realms" is further evidence that Disney doesn't need to make a live action remake of, you know, literally everything. It was a film no one really asked for and few people were super fired up to see. After watching it, I can say that there's nothing awful about the movie... but there's also nothing great. It's not an abomination of filmmaking, but it's not really worth the time or the money either.
"The Nutcracker and the Four Realms" has its good parts of course. It features some truly impressive and creative visuals, and despite the overwhelming amounts of CGI, is very pleasing to the eye. I also appreciated the ways in which the film pays tribute the the ballet it came from. The filmmakers put effort into respecting the source material despite taking some heavy creative liberties.
Unfortunately, however, there are many parts that detract from its few high points. It's super-clichéd, and many of the dialogue moments felt flat and uninspired. From a predictable plot to a silly, by-the-numbers climax, there's no genuinely tense moments. In addition, the attempts at humor were not very well written and didn't make much sense. I think I yawned more often than I laughed, if I'm being honest.
Even the three A-list actors in the film couldn't do much to save "The Nutcracker and the Four Realms." Dame Helen Mirren gave a surprisingly uncompelling performance as Mother Ginger (though this may have been the fault of the script) and Morgan Freeman was barely in the movie. But unfortunately the worst part was Keira Knightley (who I normally love) as the Sugar Plum Fairy-she was just kind of annoying. From her high-pitched voice to her awkward mannerisms to her straight-up unbelievable character, she was sadly one of the lowest points of the movie.
I say all this with full knowledge that the film was intended to be more of a kid's movie. But does it deliver even as a kid's movie? Sure, it's bright, colorful, pleasing to the eye and contains some fun (clean) action younger audiences will probably enjoy. But at the same time, very little context is established for the film in a way that even a young kid would notice, it's not really all that Christmasy for a Christmas movie and it's just flat out boring in parts. I'm aware that I may be judging a little too harshly for a children's movie, but I'm not even sure the movie appeals to its target audience.
Overall, I didn't think this movie was awful, but it's not good or memorable enough to be worth a watch. If you're looking for a fun fantasy film to watch with your younger siblings, you'd be better sticking with "The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe" or Tim Burton's "Alice In Wonderland" (both Disney properties as well, and both of which this movie was kind of a rip-off). If you're looking for a good Christmas movie, you might be better off rewatching your favorite Christmas classic than this incurably mediocre movie.
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