“Nutcracker and the Four Realms” takes a nutty twist on the classic tale

Graphic by Jaeden Johnson

Graphic by Jaeden Johnson

Jaeden Johnson, Entertainment Writer

Everyone knows the classic tale of the nutcracker, but Disney has created a new movie called, “The Nutcracker and the Four Realms” that changes the story completely. The movie was released, October 29, 2018, and the film was directed by Lasse Hallström.

Although I thought the movie was captivating and the nutcracker prince was very charming, it’s not traditional, infact, the story had a dark twist to it. In my opinion, Nutcracker should be done a certain way. I am a little biased when it comes to ballet, but I wasn’t satisfied with the way the story was portrayed.

The story starts off with Clara, played by Mackenzie Foy and, Fritz, played by Tom Sweet, in both Nutcracker’s but with Disney’s, “The Nutcracker and the Four Realms,” Clara has an older sister named Louise Stahlbaum, played by Ellie Bamber, and the mother is deceased.

Both nutcrackers start at a Christmas Eve party but besides that, the differences in the story are completely outrageous! It’s almost like they are two completely different stories.

In the ballet, Clara goes to sleep on Christmas Eve, and she is awoken to mice, but in the movie, Clara is gifted a locked egg from her deceased mother and sets out in a magical land to retrieve the key.

In Act 1 of the Nutcracker, Clara walks through the mystical snow where the snow core and snow queen perform. Then, she walks to the land of sweets where, Spanish chocolate, Arabian coffee, Chinese tea, Russian candy canes, Marzipan, Mother Ginger, Dewdrop, flowers, Sugar plum’s cavalier, and Sugar plum perform for Clara as a celebration of her arrival. The movie is extremely different because it’s split into four realms. Sugar Plum (Keira Knightley) runs the “Land of Sweets,” Mother Ginger (Helen Mirren) runs the “Land of Amusement,” Hawthorne (Eugenio Derbez) runs the “Land of Flowers,” and Shiver (Richard E. Grant) runs the “Land of Snowflakes.”

The movie completely changes the ballet’s format by creating these realms. In the movie, the characters antagonized Mother Ginger, and they tell Clara that they are at war with the Land of Amusements which they now refer to as “the Fourth Realm.”

Clara walks into the magical land to find the key that her godfather Drosselmeyer, played by Morgan Freeman, gave her. There she meets the Nutcracker Prince and he directs her to the kingdom where she meets Sugar plum, Shiver, and Hawthrone. She ends up getting her key snatched by a pesky mouse who is associated with Mother Ginger.

Clara learns that her mother, Marie, was the queen of the realms, making her a princess. The next day, Clara sets out to retrieve the key to give to Sugar Plum, but Sugar Plum had intentions of taking over the other two realms. Sugar Plum is now the antagonist and builds up an army to destroy Mother Ginger while Clara, the Nutcracker Prince, Shiver, and Hawthrone are locked up. They are eligible to escape and destroy Sugar Plum with an invention her mother created, shrinking Mother Ginger into a doll size glass figurine.

Besides the fact that the movie is different from the ballet, I found the story to be very family-friendly. This type of film is something that is adored by all ages.

The two nutcrackers highly contrast each other, but if you know the actual story of the Nutcracker, the plot will make sense mildly. The plot of the story was very thought provoking, but I personally didn’t rejoice in this version.

I did love how they included American Ballet Theater principal, Misty Copeland, a dancer with American Ballet theatre as the Ballerina Princess, and Sergei Polunin as The Sweets Cavaliers, who is a permanent guest artist at, Bayerisches Staatsballet.

The dancing was absolutely breathtaking. These two dancers are eye catching on stage they were perfect for this role. Whenever I watch Misty dance, I can feel her love for what she does beaming off her.

I think Disney tried to create a version of the nutcracker that would be compelling and possibly attract a new audience, but the Nutcracker is a joyful story on its own. I didn’t favor the idea to put a whole dark twist onto the classic tale.

I was not very fond of antagonizing the two characters because, Sugar plum, Flowers, and Mother Ginger all live in peace and happiness in the land of sweets in the original Nutcracker. I don’t recommend watching this, unless you know the traditional story of the nutcracker, because they just are not comparable.