THE NUTCRACKER AND THE FOUR REALMS
By Chris Dugopolski
This movie can be seen in 3-D. I did not see it in 3-D but was immensely impressed by its sheer beauty. Normally I would base my judgment of a movie on its plot and acting. However, not in this case. The Disney studio has outdone itself. As the studio that almost invented fantasy, this one belongs right at the top.
Movies are a visual art form and seldom have I ever seen one as beautiful as this one, with an equally beautiful musical score. As the name implies, much of the score is recognized as coming from The Nutcracker Suite by Tchaicovsky.
The story is a simple one. Clara has recently lost her mother and is not happy attending a ball during the Christmas season. Her mother left her a gift before she died. It is a beautiful metal egg, but it requires a key to open it and Clara needs to find the key. At the ball, a gift string leads her to another realm (four other realms to be exact) where she finds the key but loses it instantly to a mouse.
While chasing the mouse she meets Philip (the Nutcracker) and together they chase down the key. Along the way they run into some beautifully portrayed and decorated characters, Sugar Plum (Kiera Knightly) and Mother Ginger (Helen Mirren), some fantastic jesters, who I would consider somewhat scary for little children and a huge army of life-sized tin soldiers.
This movie is reminiscent of The Nutcracker Ballet, Fantasia and the Chronicles of Narnia. As part of the Christmas Ball, the movie includes a ballet sequence with Misty Copeland, and the closing credits are also accompanied by a ballet duet with Misty Copeland. Seeing the ballet alone is worth the price of the ticket.
The visual effects are seamless. There are many mice and they look completely real, squeamishly real. Inanimate objects like the tin soldiers and the court jesters go in an out of being real and being inanimate. This movie is a feast for the eyes and ears and I can only imagine how much more beautiful it is in 3-D.