Released 11/02/2018 Rated: PG
I have no idea how many times I’ve seen some rendition or other of the Nutcracker ballet/story because it’s never really held much interest for me, but it’s not a high number. After seeing this movie I had to look up the plot for the ballet. So, obviously, I’m not super familiar with the source material. I mean, I associate the iconic score more with Fantasia than The Nutcracker for crying out loud.
I vaguely remember the seven-headed mouse king, and the girl throwing her shoe, but that’s it. Apparently the whole thing is a dream, which makes sense, and is probably why I never fell in love with it (because I had a hard time following it). But they definitely changed some things for this movie, and even included a ballet scene that Sugar Plum states tells the story of how Marie discovered their land. All I can say is that if I had this version growing up, I’d have been more into it.
It’s not the traditional story, which explains why there’s barely any of the classic music in it. This is more of a sequel. Clara is Marie’s daughter and knows nothing of the world her mother discovered many years ago. But with the help of godfather Drosselmeyer as per her late mother’s last wish, Clara finds herself in the land of the four realms in search of the one-of-a-kind key that will open the last gift her mother gave her.
My biggest worry going into this movie was Keira Knightly’s voice. She’s so high-pitched; I was sure it was going to be obnoxious. Surprisingly, it was bearable…at least until the twist. [SPOILER ALERT] Sugarplum’s the villain. When she turns she drops the sweet act and some of the things she says takes on this sexual tone. The straps of her gown even go from up on her shoulders to off, and I found it a bit unnerving for a family movie.
But overall I enjoyed it. The costumes were gorgeous, the set designs were beautiful, there was plenty of action and adventure, and a strong, smart protagonist to carry it all. My only this is that for a movie called The Nutcracker and the Four Realms it seems to suffer from a lack of Nutcracker, and even when he’s there you have to remember that he is the only Nutcracker. But I’m always nitpicking at stuff like that.