All Clara wants is a key - a one-of-a-kind key that will unlock a box that holds a priceless gift from her late mother. A golden thread, presented to her at godfather Drosselmeyer's annual holiday party, leads her to the coveted key-which promptly disappears into a strange and mysterious parallel world. It's there that Clara encounters a soldier named Phillip, a gang of mice and the regents who preside over three Realms: Land of Snowflakes, Land of Flowers, and Land of Sweets. Clara and Phillip must brave the ominous Fourth Realm, home to the tyrant Mother Ginger, to retrieve Clara's key and hopefully return harmony to the unstable world.
It is a retelling of E. T. A. Hoffmann's short story "The Nutcracker and the Mouse King" and Marius Petipa's "The Nutcracker", about a young girl who finds a nutcracker doll among the family's gifts and is charged by her parents to take special care of it. See more »
Hawthorne queries what Christmas is, suggesting that the holiday doesn't exist within the four realms, yet within the four realms conifers are explicitly referred to as "Christmas Trees" twice. See more »
I really enjoyed this film. A lot of the negative reviews seem to be awfully nitpicky for a family Disney movie. It's no masterpiece but I can't understand all the hate.
As we can all agree, it's visually stunning. The costumes are magnificent as well as hair and makeup. The sets are stunning and surprisingly, according to some of the interviews I've watched, most of it is not CGI. They created a beautifully detailed world and it pays off.
The story is not the same as the ballet, nor does it claim to be. I personally wouldn't want it to be the same. We get to experience the beloved elements of The Nutcracker in a new way. Though there's a lot of room for improvement, specifically in the script, I really enjoyed the new story. The dynamic between Clara and her late mother is great and is the real emotional draw of the film. Because it's a Disney film aimed at kids, the script is awfully cheesy at times, but not enough to be distracting.
Clara herself should be a strong selling point of the film. She's highly intelligent, specifically in engineering and physics. They make it a point to differentiate Clara from her sister, Louise, a proper (for that time period) young English woman. Not that there's anything wrong with being all prim and proper, in fact, Clara admittedly does spend a lot of the film in beautiful dresses and makeup. And yet, she's still the hero and she still kicks ass. This is important because it associates these feminine traits with power.
Hear me out on this. I feel like so many of the strong heroines we know and love are, in some ways, stripped of their femininity. They're typically made to be a strict "tomboy" who's "not like other girls." This by itself isn't the problem. The problem is that instead of embracing feminine traits, they diminish them. I know gender roles are bull, believe me, but I don't think women should be shamed for being what society deems feminine. You can be a bad b**** AND enjoy princess dresses. Women should not have to adopt "masculine" traits in order to succeed. Because of this, I think Clara is a fantastic role model for young girls who will almost undoubtedly take something from her.
So, although it's far from perfect, it's fun, beautiful, and full of heart. It's not claiming to be the next Shawshank Redemption so I don't see why it's being drilled so hard. It's a delightful little Disney movie, don't think so much about the specifics and just enjoy.
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