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“The Nutcracker and the Four Realms” Now on Blu-ray and 4K

 

Review by John M. Delia, Jr.

Using the perfect amount of animation, special effects and CGI to create the necessary feel that makes the film lively and real The Nutcracker and the Four Realms comes to home video. The film is both delightful and adventurous as we follow a youngster that has suffered a loss and her challenging road to recovery. The family film is perfect, even though it may not be Christmas when you watch it at home on DVD, Blu-ray or even 4K.

It’s Christmas Eve and for their first year after the death of their mother, its solemn moments as Clara (Mackenzie Foy), Fritz (Tom Sweet), Louise (Ellie Bamber) and their father, Mr. Stahbaum (Matthew Macfadyen), gather around the tree. He hands each one of the children a gift and tells them their mother had prepared it for them prior to passing. Fritz gets some toy soldiers and is delighted, Louise a beautiful gown for the party that night and Clara receives a box. When Clara opens the box she sees an egg made of metal that has a key hole, but no key to open it. She starts to wonder right away, but finds a message tucked away in the box telling her “all she needs is what’s inside”.

Mackenzie Foy is Clara and Keira Knightley is the Sugar Plum Fairy in Disney’s THE NUTCRACKER AND THE FOUR REALMS.

So begins a tale of wonder, mystery and a little bit of chaos as Clara works her way through the puzzle of her mother’s gift. Directors Lasse Hallstrom and Joe Johnston start introducing their additional characters at a dance at the home of Drossmeyer’s, her mother’s residence as a child and home of Clara’s godfather (Morgan Freeman). From there they introduce the clues that Clara needs to follow.

Mackenzie Foy is Clara and Jayden Fowara-Knight is Phillip the Nutcracker in Disney’s THE NUTCRACKER AND THE FOUR REALMS.

I like the way the story is presented with so many surprises, trails and interesting animal characters all leading to and within the magical four realms. On her quest she meets Captain Hoffman and his horse Jingles as her guide. It’s like Alice In Wonderland where at every turn there’s another obstacle, new characters, amazing palaces, dark woods and another path to follow. Brilliantly written for the screen by Ashleigh Powell, it’s an adventure that the whole family can enjoy.

The acting by Mackenzie Foy as Clara reminds me a little of Judy Garland who lifted her career in The Wizard of Oz with her quizzical look at every marvel and mystery in the enchanted land. Here Foy is about the same age as when Garland played Dorothy, and she certainly has the talent to make The Nutcracker’s Clara a memorable film for young girls everywhere.

Morgan Freeman is Drosselmeyer in Disney’s THE NUTCRACKER AND THE FOUR REALMS.

The movie has a great ensemble cast that includes Helen Mirren as Mother Ginger with her fiery red hair and stern leadership who heads up the fourth realm. Then there’s Keira Knightley as the Sugar Plum Fairy who’s the belligerent queen of the castle in the Land of Sweets, and of course Clara’s godfather Drosselmeyer played by Morgan Freeman makes a fun role model for her being an engineer. Each has a key role in the film that makes the motion picture work.

BONUS FEATURES:

BLU-RAY DISC:

“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” – Feature the following:
“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.
“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” – special features are:
“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.

The Nutcracker and the Four Realms has been rated PG for some mild peril. It’s available as a box set 4K with Ultra Blu-ray and Digital Code. The Blu-ray box set includes a DVD and a digital code.

FINAL ANALYSIS: A very family friendly movie for everyone: (4 out of 5 Stars)

Specifications and additional video information:
Cast: Mackenzie Foy, Tom Sweet, Ellie Bamber, Matthew Macfadyen, Jayden Fowora-Knight, Helen Mirren, Eugenio Derbez, Richard E. Grant, Keira Knightley and Morgan Freeman.
Directed by: Lasse Hallstrom and Joe Johnston.
Genre: Adventure, Family, Fantasy
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for some mild peril.
Running Time: 1 hour and 39 minutes.
Video Release Date: January 29, 2019
Original Theatrical Release Date: November 2, 2018
Language: English (changeable to English Descriptive Audio, French, or Spanish)
Reviewed Format: Blu-ray/DVD Combo
Audio: English 7.1 DTS-HDMA, English 2.0 Descriptive Audio
Video: 1080p Widescreen, Aspect Ratio 1.85:1for TV Viewing
Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish, French
Number of Discs: 2 Discs
Distributed by: Buena Vista Home Entertainment
Released in: DVD, Blu-ray, Blu-ray/DVD Combo, 4K/Ultra Blu-ray Combo

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