THE NUTCRACKER AND THE FOUR REALMS
RELEASED OUT NOW! PG | 99 minutes
Directors lasse Hallström, Joe Johnston
Cast Mackenzie Foy, Keira Knightley, Matthew Macfadyen, Morgan Freeman Adapting gothic fairytale “The Nutcracker And The Mouse King” felt like a dark and decadent move for Disney. This is a story of dolls coming to life and seven-headed mice. But too many alterations and a slavering obsession with visuals results in boring, vacuous goop.
The film starts sweetly enough, following a young Victorian woman called Clara who finds a doorway into an enchanted kingdom. But once she meets the Sugar Plum Fairy and is tasked with rescuing the Four Realms from Mother Ginger, the story falls apart into lazy, uninspired storytelling.
The costumes are gorgeous, but the Four Realms look like an oversaturated, sickly mess. The star-studded British cast also has the unfortunate sheen of Christmas panto. And the film completely loses the sense that fairy tales can often be brutal, violent stories. Here the villain is so lacklustre she’s outshone by a CGI mouse.
A single masterful scene sees Misty Copeland reenact the making of the Four Realms through ballet, but the magic fizzles out when she steps off stage. What an awful misstep that the entire film wasn’t told through dance, something that could have elevated it above Disney dregs.