All Clara 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 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, 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, to retrieve Clara's key and hopefully return harmony to the unstable world.
At the beginning of the ballet telling the story of the Four Realms, the conductor mounts the podium and conducts an orchestra appearing in silhouette. This is a reference to the Disney classic 'Fantasia,' which included a segment based on "The Nutcracker Suite." See more »
Hawthorne queries what Christmas is, suggesting that the holiday doesn't exist within the four realms, yet within the four realms conifers are explicitly referred to as "Christmas Trees" twice. See more »
[to Clara, as she's attempting to escape the tower]
My dear, that doesn't look very secure.
It's not gonna work.
It's just the laws of physics.
Do those laws ALWAYS work?
[under her breath]
As far as I know.
See more »
The Disney logo plays an alternative version of the "When You Wish Upon A Star" theme that was re-arranged by James Newton Howard and conducted by Gustavo Dudamel with a piano solo by Lang Lang. When the logo is complete, Drosselmeyer's owl flies past the castle and into the opening shot of the movie. See more »
Be warned first of all, this movie is supposed to be about Christmas but does more to represent the Spanish War. Its message is also unclear and actually quite dangerous. Without trying to reveal spoilers, i'll go ahead and basically say that the moral of this movie is that actual family presence means nothing and can be overridden with clever purchases and their uses (aka appealing to the consumerist part of Christmas).
The movie shares two tones, one being the exquisite and quite beautifully CGI rendered world of the kingdom, and the other being a Halloween looking tent that Mike Myers might want to hide out in. The part that irks and confuses me, is that there is no clear reason for why these two tonal shifts have to be so conflicting with each other in the film other than to provide an obvious front for conflict. This symbolises to me a lack of care and depth that went into the developing this film's characters or story. It was a complete attempt to appeal to the audience, there was no sacrifice on the writers part to put something original in here. It's everything you've seen and liked in pop culture, fit into the "Christmas" theme of The Nutcracker (this movie isn't really about The Nutcracker).
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