Enchantment reigns at each performance of the seasonal ballet The Nutcracker. With music by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, and the original choreography by Marius Petipa and Lev Ivanov, it is a holiday classic and the fuel that allows most every ballet company to exist throughout the rest of the year.
Disney has jumped to the challenge of making a film about the characters brought to life in this classic ballet. The Nutcracker and the Four Realms, currently in theaters, is an adventure fantasy that takes liberties with the story even while using familiar themes and characters throughout the revised tale. The film is rated PG for some mild peril.
With heavy use of special effects, Clara (Mackenzie Foy), the heroine of our story, ventures into the Four Realms (Land of Snowflakes, Flowers, Sweets and the scary fourth realm of Mother Ginger). She discovers that her now deceased mother visited these realms herself many years ago.
The story works well, and will bring a tear to anyone who is not hard hearted as we follow Clara as she grieves the loss of her mother. Herr Drosselmeyer (Morgan Freeman) is an inventor extraordinaire, and knew her mother well. He is the catalyst for Clara’s journey.
Once through the Land of Snowflakes, where Clara surprisingly walks in frigid weather in a world blanketed by snow in just a flimsy looking gown, she meets Sugar Plum (Keira Knightley). I would love to have Sugar Plum’s coiffure of cotton candy like hair! The costuming throughout this tale is equally exquisite.
Helen Mirren plays Mother Ginger. Good and evil are not at all what they first appear to be, and Clara learns about herself and her mother during her adventure. The beautiful and talented Misty Copeland of the American Ballet Theatre dances both during the film and through the final credits.
I would recommend this film to old and young alike, if you appreciate ballet and the story of The Nutcracker. Do you personally enjoy The Nutcracker each year, and do you know of any other films that celebrate this classic ballet?