The Nutcracker Ballet is hands down the most famous ballet in dance history. Millions of little girls dream of one day dancing this classic tale. Misty Copeland was one of them and now not only has she danced in the beautiful ballet on stage, but makes her feature film debut in Disney’s The Nutcracker and The Four Realms.
Don’t be fooled. This is not the ballet turned into a narrative film, but rather a very interesting spin on the classic ballet tale. To be clear, the only dancing in the film is done by Misty Copeland as the Ballerina Princess.
Beautifully shot by Linus Sandgren, The Nutcracker and The Four Realms introduces us to Clara (Mackenzie Foy) shortly after her mother’s death, but not before leaving Clara and her siblings with one last Christmas gift. An exquisitely ornate egg whose lock lacks a key. After paying a visit to Drosselmeyer (Morgan Freeman) to gain more clarity about this egg, Clara finds herself in a new world complete with tin soldiers, a Sugar Plum Fairy (Keira Knightly) and more. However, Clara is misled into thinking that Mother Ginger (Helen Mirren) possesses the key believed to solve the mystery left behind by her mother. The journey she embarks upon and the characters encountered are all crucial to how this turns out in the end.
The narrative seems to crawl along until Clara hits the Fourth Realm and then it picks up a bit, but not sought to keeps one’s interest. The numerous scenes with the Mouse King, who consisted of real mice, creeped me out two say the least. Mostly, I left feeling like a lot of A-list talent was underutilized for the fantasy fable. It does however leave kids with two quotes and invaluable lessons in self-worth, ” Seeing the world in a unique way is one’s greatest gift” and “Everything You Need is Inside.”
Produced by Walt Disney Studios, The Nutcracker and the Four Realms dances itself into theaters on November 2nd.