Sunday, May 19, 2024



Raise your hand if you saw the Nutcracker as a child? Raise your hand if you understood what you were watching? 

When I was a child, I believe I took at least 3 -5 field trips to see the Nutcracker on ice. There is a strong possibility that I saw it as a stage play as well. This story has been told so many times, as a ballet by Tchaikovsky, as a novel by Dumas, and as a Christmas cartoon by Barbie.

Every time I saw the Nutcracker, I really just didn’t understand the story. 

Fast forward to 2018. Disney recreates the Nutcracker into a film and I feel like I understand everything more clearly. My daughter initially didn’t want to go screen the movie with me, but I made her go.

My favorite quote from her after the movie was, “I’m glad I came or I would have missed out on a really good movie!”

I have to agree with her. Due to my childhood experiences, I thought it would be another event associated with the Nutcracker that I wouldn’t understand. Quite the opposite.

I really enjoyed watching The Nutcracker and the Four Realms and learned a new story that I’m sure many children and tweens will enjoy. 

Is the movie exactly like the original? No. Is it entertaining? Yes. 


What is The Nutcracker and the four realms about?

Young Clara needs a magical, one-of-a-kind key to unlock a box that contains a priceless gift. A golden thread leads her to the coveted key, but it soon disappears into a strange and mysterious parallel world. In that world, she meets a soldier named Phillip, a group of mice and the regents who preside over three realms. Clara and Phillip must now enter the fourth realm to retrieve the key and restore harmony to the unstable land.

It’s directed by Lasse Hallström and Joe Johnston and written by Ashleigh Powell and Tom McCarthy. It’s actually a retelling of E. T. A. Hoffmann‘s 1868 short story “The Nutcracker and the Mouse King” and Marius Petipa‘s The Nutcracker Balletabout 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. Source

In this movie, the Nutcracker, Jayden Fowora-Knight, is an African American. In the past, the Nutcracker was always the charming prince. He’s Clara’s sidekick in this 2018 version. You can almost feel an attraction between the two characters, but you don’t see that develop into anything.

Based on the title, I always thought the Nutcracker was the star of the movie, well not in this one. Clara, (Mackenzie Foy) who is a smart young teenager needs to find a key to unlock a gift her late mother, Marie (Anna Madeley), left her. She finds her way into a different dimension, where apparently her mother once visited (and became Queen) when she was young as well. The Nutcracker helps Clara along her journey, but the movie has nothing to do with him. Honestly, anyone could have helped her. 

During her time in the four realms, she learns more about her mother and her own personal power. The fantasy of it all is that our favorite toys can come to life and bring us joy. 

What 3 Lessons Did My Daughter Walk Away With

Everything you need is within you. Clara learned that she possess the power she needs to make her dreams come true. Confidence and execution are key.

Friends don’t hurt each other on purpose. There was a character that smiled and cheered on Clara the entire time until she got what she wanted. Once she had the key, her smile turned into a smirk and her true colors were revealed. My daughter mentioned that she had always seemed fake towards Clara. I advised that people are like that in real life sometimes. People will eventually reveal their true colors. Always pay attention. 

Being Who You Are is 100% Ok! We live in a world where everyone wants to be like someone else, but being who God created you to be is just perfect. Being different is where the magic is. It’s ok to be smart, inquisitive and creative. 

The film stars Keira KnightleyMackenzie FoyEugenio DerbezMatthew MacfadyenRichard E. GrantMisty CopelandHelen Mirren, and Morgan Freeman. Do you plan on seeing this film? I’d love to know what you and your children think?

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