Disney’s Nutcracker & The Four Realms Blu-Ray Review

Disney’s first big home video release of 2019 is the live action Nutcracker and the Four Realms, which is a retelling of the classic short story “The Nutcracker and the Mouse King”.

The film stars Mackenzie Foy as the main character, Clara, with Keira Knightley, Helen Mirren and Morgan Freeman. There are also some funny moments with Jack Whitehall and Omid Djalili.

As with most of the recent magical movies, a young girl loses someone and ends up travelling to a weird and wacky world, gets helped by the locals and rescues everyone before realising what she has at home and returns, to live happily ever after.

And that is one of the problems with why this movie just didn’t grab people’s attention during its initial cinema run. Which is a shame, because it’s a fun family adventure movie that I enjoyed watching. It’s might not be the most original story, since it reminded me of similar movies like “A Wrinkle In Time”, “The Golden Circle”, “Alice Through The Looking Glass” and “The BFG”, all of which struggled at the box office.

There were a few scenes which young children might be a bit scared, especially the scenes involving the mice. My wife certainly didn’t enjoy these scenes but did love the antics of the main mouse. The clowns also came across pretty weird too, though I think how they were used was impressive. I found these helped set the darker tone of that realm and especially how they contrasted with the other glossy lovely realms.

As you would expect from a movie based on one of the most popular ballets, there is a great scene in the middle of the movie where we see ballet used to tell the story of what has happened with the four realms. It works perfectly within the story and looks impressive, since it’s set up like a traditional ballet. Plus I think the additional ballet dancing shown during the credits also was a nice touch. For me it was enough, but I imagine dancing fans might be disappointed with how little dancing was actually in the movie.

The music is also another great aspect of the movie, even though I’ve never seen the Nutcracker in any form, I knew many of the traditional songs from Tchaikovsky. But it was the end credits song called “Fall On Me” by Andrea Bocelli and his son Matteo Bocelli, that I loved. Watching the music video from the bonus features was easily a highlight, since then I’ve downloaded the soundtrack because it’s such a beautiful and powerful song, that completely caught me off guard.

This multi screen edition comes with a DVD, Blu-Ray and Digital version of the movie, so there are plenty of options available.  I watched the Blu-Ray and the colours of the movie just jumped off the screen, especially since this movie has some incredible scenery, that made me wonder how it must look even more impressive in 4K.

During the “Making Of” featurette, we get to see the level of detail that went into building real sets for the majority of the movie.  Which really made me appreciate the artist style of the movie in more. And that is maybe the issue, artistically its fantastic, but the story just was too average.

As far as the other extras go, the deleted scenes were pretty short and don’t add much to the story.  There was a nice featurette with Misty Copeland about how they made the main ballet scene, which was interesting but something you’d only watch once.

While the movie’s opening scenes played up on the Christmas theme, once we headed into the realms, the concept of Christmas literally just ended until the final scene. I’m sure this movie will become a popular Christmas family film for years to come for children.

I skipped going to see the Nutcracker and the Four Realms at the cinema, which I think was a mistake since I think it would have looked stunning on the big screen in 4K. I think I misjudged the movie, it’s light hearted, fun and I found it very pleasant to watch. It’s just a shame Disney didn’t spend longer on developing the characters and spent less on how it looked.

OVERALL:  Disney’s Nutcracker and the Four is a enjoyable solid big budget family fantasy movie, while the story is a little light, it looks fantastic and has some great classical music.




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