When Disney decides to take on a live-action holiday classic, you expect nothing less than excellence—and that is exactly what you get with the new Disney’s Nutcracker and the Four Realms. This live-action, whimsical look at a classic holiday story is sure to be a new family holiday movie tradition—but it’s not a dance film, and it's not The Nutcracker you think you know. We have our Disney’s Nutcracker and the Four Realms review for you.
Nutcracker and the Four Realms Review – Spoiler-Free Review
While a modern take on the classic storybook version of the “Nutcracker,” Disney’s Nutcracker and the Four Realms incorporates elements of the traditional “Nutcracker” ballet, as well, and features mega-dancers Misty Copeland and Sergei Polunin’s as the Ballerina Princess and Nutcracker Prince. Copeland told us during our interview with her that you couldn’t have the Nutcracker without dancing and the music. Liam Scarlett, the resident choreographer at The Royal Ballet, choreographed the film's dance sequences, although Copeland mentioned she had some involvement in that realm, as well.
This is the first time Copeland and Polunin have paired together. The 18 other dancers they are joined with on-screen come from a variety of countries and schools. For ballet buffs, Scarlett made his Nutcracker debut at the age of 11 as one of Fritz’ comrades; Copeland performed Clara at the age of 13, only 9 months into her ballet training after that first infamous class on a basketball court.
The movie incorporates elements of dance, battles, and the classic children’s story that will keep kids on the edge of their seats. Clara, played by Mackenzie Foy, is an intuitive and curious young girl who’s interested in inventing and discovering—an excellent role model for young girls of all ages.
For young kids who dance or are dance curious, watching Copeland and Polunin is nothing short of exquisite. Disney’s Nutcracker and the Four Realms is the perfect medium for introducing ballet to the masses. It presents an opportunity for everyone to see how beautiful and approachable dance truly can be—and Misty Copeland could not have been a more perfect choice to be the ballerina to share that message with all across the big screen.
Note of caution: if you have young kids, maybe under 9 or 10, there are a few dark moments that may be a bit scary.
From the sets to the music, Disney’s Nutcracker and the Four Realms won’t disappoint this holiday season.
The Nutcracker and the Four Realms is in theatres today, November 2, 2018.
Thanks to Walt Disney Studios for bringing me to Los Angeles for an all-expense paid trip. As always, all opinions are my own.