My daughter and I were invited to an early screening of Disney’s The Nutcracker and the Four Realms – a movie that I was so excited to see. Although our theater admission was free, all thoughts are my own. THE NUTCRACKER AND THE FOUR REALMS opens in theaters everywhere on November 2nd!
About The Nutcracker and the Four Realms:
All Clara (Mackenzie Foy) wants is a key – a one-of-a-kind key that will unlock a box that holds a priceless gift. A golden thread, presented to her at godfather Drosselmeyer’s (Morgan Freeman) 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 (Helen Mirren), to retrieve Clara’s key and hopefully return harmony to the unstable world. Starring Keira Knightley as the Sugar Plum Fairy, Disney’s new holiday feature film “The Nutcracker and the Four Realms” is directed by Lasse Hallström and Joe Johnston, and inspired by E.T.A. Hoffmann’s classic tale.
I loved the fresh new take on the Nutcracker story! It was magical, colorful, full of imagination and beautiful music. The story is a little different than the Nutcracker ballet we’ve all grown up watching. Many of the characters we know and love are still there – Clara, Drosselmeyer, the Nutcracker, the Sugar Plum Fairy – but their roles are slightly different. Don’t go to the theater expecting to see the Nutcracker ballet in movie form. Yes, you will see beautiful ballet performed. You will hear Tchaikovsky’s music. But you’ll also see, hear, and experience so much more. Expect to be surprised!
Did you know? E.T.A. Hoffmann penned “The Nutcracker and the Mouse King” in 1816. Alexandre Dumas Père’s subsequent adaptation, “The Nutcracker,” was set to Tchaikovsky’s music and the resulting ballet was commissioned in 1891 by director of the Russian Imperial Theatres. Premiering a week before Christmas in 1892, the fairytale ballet—which takes place on Christmas Eve—became a holiday tradition around the world. The New York City Ballet first performed George Balanchine’s “Nutcracker” in 1954.
Who Should See The Nutcracker? The Nutcracker and the Four Realms is a family-friendly film that is good for the whole family (rated PG). The Mouse King could get a little scary for younger, sensitive viewers, so if you have little ones who are easily scared you might want to preview the movie first.
Facts about the Mouse King
Filmmakers wanted to create an oversized rodent villain that would be scary without being silly—which was a challenge considering the Mouse King had long been depicted in the original story and ballet as a giant mouse. Cue visual effects and an unexpected style of movement:
• The Mouse King, created entirely in CG, is made up of 60,000 mice who crawl all over his body shape as he moves.
• The idea is actually rooted in reality. “Rat king” is a real term that describes a group of mice or rats living in close quarters whose tails become intertwined and bodies
caked in mud to form what appears to be a single giant being.
• His movements are inspired by the unique dance style of Lil Buck aka Charles Riley, who previously portrayed the Mouse King in performances at his old ballet school, New Ballet Ensemble. This version of the Mouse King, however, embraces his current style: jookin, which incorporates slides, glides and toe spins. The end result is a feeling of undulation as the giant CG rodent moves across screen.
Connect with The Nutcracker and the Four Realms
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THE NUTCRACKER AND THE FOUR REALMS opens in theaters everywhere on November 2nd!
Click HERE to see (and download) the free activity pack, including coloring pages and more, based on The Nutcracker and the Four Realms.
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