5.5/10
26,953
428 user 173 critic

The Nutcracker and the Four Realms (2018)

Trailer
2:03 | Trailer
A young girl is transported into a magical world of gingerbread soldiers and an army of mice.

Writers:

Ashleigh Powell (screen story and screenplay by), E.T.A. Hoffmann (suggested by the short story "The Nutcracker and the Mouse King" written by) | 2 more credits »
Reviews
Popularity
2,798 ( 331)
1 win & 8 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Mackenzie Foy ... Clara
Tom Sweet ... Fritz
Meera Syal ... Cook
Ellie Bamber ... Louise
Matthew Macfadyen ... Mr. Stahlbaum
Nick Mohammed ... Short Butler
Charles Streeter ... Tall Butler
Morgan Freeman ... Drosselmeyer
Jayden Fowora-Knight ... Phillip
Prince Prince ... Jingles the Horse
Helen Mirren ... Mother Ginger
Omid Djalili ... Cavalier
Jack Whitehall ... Harlequin
Eugenio Derbez ... Hawthorne
Richard E. Grant ... Shiver
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Storyline

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.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

A magical adventure awaits! See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for some mild peril | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?

Trivia

Feature film debut of Misty Copeland as the Ballerina Princess. See more »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

Drosselmeyer: [to Clara; from trailer] Your mother was the cleverest inventor I ever knew.
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Crazy Credits

There are no opening credits and the title doesn't appear until the end credits. See more »

Connections

References Fantasia (1940) See more »

Soundtracks

When You Wish Upon A Star
Composed by Leigh Harline
Produced by James Newton Howard
Conducted by Gustavo Dudamel
Featured Piano Soloist - [Láng Lang]
Lang Lang appears courtesy of Universal Music Limited (Hong Kong)
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User Reviews

 
not your parents' nutcracker
2 November 2018 | by ferguson-6See all my reviews

Greetings again from the darkness. Missing: Tchaikovsky and Ballet. OK, not missing entirely, and it seems all we do is beg for creativity and new approaches in movies, so let's give this one fair treatment. It's not the traditional "Nutcracker" holiday fare you've come to expect on stage, on TV, in the mall, at schools, and just about everywhere. Instead, it's a version wrung from both the 1816 original short story "The Nutcracker and the Mouse King" by E.T.A. Hoffman and the 1892 ballet by Marius Petipa with music from Tchaikovsky, yet also something quite different. Still, different doesn't always mean better ... sometimes it just means different.

We are treated to a beautiful extended opening shot as an owl swoops through old London. This acts as preparation for the abundance of stunning visuals headed our way throughout. Budding star Mackenzie Foy (INTERSTELLAR, 2014) plays Clara Stahlbaum, a young girl distraught that it's her first Christmas without her beloved mother Marie, who recently passed away. Clara's quietly grieving father (Matthew Macfadyen) delivers the presents Marie left for each of the three kids. Mechanically inclined Clara's gift is an ornate egg that requires a specialty key to unlock the hidden message Clara believes her mother has left.

A lavish Christmas party at her Godfather's (Oscar winner Morgan Freeman) mansion leads Clara to a parallel universe where her mother Marie was Queen of the four realms. This is a fantastical land that reminds (maybe a bit too much) of Tim Burton's ALICE IN WONDERLAND and the classic THE WIZARD OF OZ. Clara buddies up with a live Nutcracker soldier Phillip (newcomer Jayden Fowora-Knight), who quickly becomes her trusted bodyguard. Land of Snowflakes, Land of Flowers, Land of Sweets, and the blighted Fourth Realm run by a cast-out Mother Ginger (Oscar winner Helen Mirren) make up this world. Keira Knightley stars as the Sugar Plum Fairy, and her devilishly fun performance is responsible for most of the energy, humor and entertainment outside of the visual effects. The two time Oscar nominee seems to relish the voice, the costumes and the chance to play a quirky character.

Disney touches like the animal sidekicks are noted: Phillip's loyal steed, and the pesky little mouse that flashes more personality than anyone in the film outside of Sugar Plum. Most of the comedic secondary characters (including Richard E Grant and Eugenio Derbez) fall flat with very little do in a screenplay from Ashleigh Powell that gives the impression of multiple hands in the pie. Adding to the disjointed feel and lack of cohesion in the story flow is the fact that two very different directors worked on the project. Lasse Hallstrom (CHOCOLAT) handled principal photography and then Joe Johnston (CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE FIRST AVENGER) spent a month on re-shoots with attention to visual effects. The contrasts between these two directors is quite clear in the finished project despite the cinematographer of Oscar winner Linus Sandgren (LA LA LAND).

The mishmash of styles and tone prevents us from ever really connecting with characters or being drawn in by the story, but beyond that, there are some really terrific visuals and special effects. I especially liked the look of the enhanced tin soldiers and the work of two time Oscar winning costume designer Jenny Beavan. Of course, this is a familiar story and many viewers bring certain expectations into the theatre with them. The iconic Tchaikovsky music is played early and throughout the film, though mostly in teases and in blends with new music from James Newton Howard. We do get a glimpse of Maestro Gustavo Dudamel conducting the orchestra, and for those expecting ballet, the fabulous Misty Copeland performs a couple of times, though it's likely not enough for those hoping for more of a ballet production. The end result is an impressive visual experience that will likely still disappoint those looking for another holiday watching tradition.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Official Sites:

Official Instagram | Official Site

Country:

USA | Canada

Language:

English | French

Release Date:

2 November 2018 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Nutcracker and the Four Realms See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$120,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$20,352,491, 4 November 2018

Gross USA:

$54,858,851

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$173,961,069
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Atmos

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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