The Nutcracker and The Four Realms is a beautiful mess. But, it seems to be part of a modern trend of just botching the Nutcracker. I guess it’s time to admit that updating 19th century ballet into something that plays for the Disney Afternoon crowd is something that’s not going to work. However, can we talk about the visuals? This might be the most visually stunning Disney film of 2018 and nobody is giving it any credit.
Disney live-action has always suffered when played against its animated fare. Now that Mouse House is buying up every other live-action label, it seems like their filmed affairs are going to suffer more. The most memorable press about the film was how Joe Johnston got brought in late to reshoot a month of the movie. Award winning writer Tom McCarthy punched up the script, but it’s not like any of that matters.
Kids don’t care about Oscars unless they are 9 year old fancy boys that own Brooks Brothers suits. But, let’s save that for another time. Misty Copeland is stunning in her small role, but she gets lost among the constant battle to showcase all of the Regents and their Kingdoms. Helen Mirren and Morgan Freeman do their best, but it’s obvious why they’re here. This is a movie in desperate need of credibility. Unfortunately, none is found.
The Nutcracker and The Four Realms has special features?
- On Pointe: A Conversation with Misty Copeland – Copeland shares the thrill of portraying one of her favorite characters in a whole new way.
- Unwrapping “The Nutcracker and the Four Realms” – Dive into the production design, sets, costumes and more that helped transform a beloved ballet into an adventurous movie.
- Deleted Scenes –
- The Stahlbaums Arrive– As the Stahlbaums enter the Christmas Eve ball, the butler attempts to announce them to the assembled guests.
- Follow Your Ribbon- Drosselmeyer encourages a reluctant Clara to go find her gift.
- Deleted Scene: Clara Asks About Her Mother– Sugar Plum gives Clara a tour of her mother’s bedroom.
- Left, Left, Left, Left, Left– Wandering lost in the forest, palace guards Cavalier and Harlequin quarrel about which way to go.
- Out with the Old– Sugar Plum makes sweeping changes to the palace decor.
- Music Videos –
- “Fall on Me” Performed by Andrea Bocelli Featuring Matteo Bocelli– Experience superstar tenor Andrea Bocelli and his son Matteo Bocelli performing their first duet together in this uplifting song.
- “The Nutcracker Suite” Performed by Lang Lang– Get swept up in a series of images from the movie, set to Tchaikovsky’s music and featuring world-renowned pianist Lang Lang.
How does this Nutcracker look and sound?
The redeeming grace of this release is it’s reference quality visuals and a stunning audio track. While the cool kids are pushing Dolby Atmos, many home theaters are still only equipped for DTS-HD 7.1 mixes. Those mixes need attention and they play up a lot bigger than most give credit. The 1.85:1 transfer plays well with the info onscreen, but it often feels like a scope movie fighting for space.
The Nutcracker and the Four Realms arrives on January 29th, 2019.