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.
Lasse Hallström completed principal photography, but due to him being unavailable Joe Johnston took charge for 32 days of reshoots. Hallström returned to oversee post-production. 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 »
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 »
Mackenzie Foy tries her hardest here, and I enjoyed the one scene with Misty Copeland on stage. However, dialogue and story is beyond muddled. Internal logic makes no sense. Another fairy tale is now an edgy political commentary and an "epic war". World feels confined and claustrophobic. A bunch of tired Disney cliches surface here, like moping about dead mothers and Chosen One Princess. They even have a twist villain, because that's so beloved.
It's cynical and unpleasant. Too dull and scary for kids, too dumb for adults. If you're looking for the Nutcracker you won't find it here. Just go to the actual ballet, or watch the first Narnia movie
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