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The Nutcracker and The Four Realms Parental Review

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Earlier this week I attended a screening of the newest holiday film, Disney’s Nutcracker. The movie opens nationwide on November 2. Is Disney’s Nutcracker family friendly? Here’s my Nutcracker and the Four Realms parental review covering what you need to know if you plan on taking the family to this holiday movie!

Alright, Halloween is over. Barely, but November 1 officially brings Christmas songs and holiday baking to my house.

As the saying goes: time marches on, and I’m following the Nutcracker Captain into the Christmas holiday season. Starting with Disney’s Nutcracker.

I think everyone knows the basic story of the classic ballet, The Nutcracker. Or most people know some of it, and probably are familiar with the music if nothing else.

It seems that most of my friends have either had a role in the ballet as a kid or are taking their children to rehearsals all of November! You guys sure do love the Nutcracker.

I’m sharing my thoughts on the movie and answering some of the most asked questions about taking your kids to this movie.

The Nutcracker and The Four Realms Parental Review

Mackenzie Foy is Clara, Keira Knightley is Sugar Plum Fairy, Eugenio Derbez is Hawthorne and Richard E. Grant is Shiver in Disney’s THE NUTCRACKER AND THE FOUR REALMS.


All Clara (Mackenzie Foy) wants is a key – a one-of-a-kind key that will unlock a box that holds a priceless gift. A golden thread, presented to her at godfather Drosselmeyer’s (Morgan Freeman) 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 (Jayden Fowora-Knight), 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 (Helen Mirren), to retrieve Clara’s key and hopefully return harmony to the unstable world.

Starring Keira Knightley as the Sugar Plum Fairy, Disney’s new holiday feature film “The Nutcracker and the Four Realms” is directed by Lasse Hallström and Joe Johnston, and inspired by E.T.A. Hoffmann’s classic tale.

Jaden Fowara-Knight is Phillip in Disney’s THE NUTCRACKER AND THE FOUR REALMS.

Is Disney’s Nutcracker just like the ballet?

No, it is not. There are elements that factor into the story, but it is not a full-on ballet production.

How much ballet is in Disney’s Nutcracker?

Not as much as I wish! But I knew that going in. I assumed there would be some nods to the ballet, but that the movie was not a rehash of the ballet itself.

I adore Misty Copeland, the stunning dancer who is featured in the movie.

Misty Copeland is the Ballerina Princess in Disney’s THE NUTCRACKER AND THE FOUR REALMS.
Misty Copeland is the Ballerina Princess in Disney’s THE NUTCRACKER AND THE FOUR REALMS.

Copeland a short but memorable appearance on the screen and she comes back for an “encore” so to speak during the credits. So be sure to stick around if you are a Misty fan!

I could probably watch a whole Misty Copeland movie. Her elegance is eclipsed only by her strength – and I could watch her all day. Her scene was by far my favorite part of the movie.

Is Disney’s Nutcracker scary?

There is a dark factor in the movie, for sure. Even for adults.

Mother Ginger is an impressive and dominating figure. I couldn’t stop staring at her makeup- it’s amazing!

Helen Mirren is Mother Ginger in Disney’s THE NUTCRACKER AND THE FOUR REALMS.

But she also makes you worried about Clara a few times and her Amusement Realm is pretty ominous in a creepy clown sort of way.

If you have any issues with clowns or mice (raises hand- I need to tell that story someday!) then you might flinch a few times. But nothing too scary that should have you or the kids fleeing the theater.

Is Disney’s Nutcracker family-friendly?

That’s always the question I’m asked when I review a new movie. Is this kid friendly? And what ages should my kids be to see Disney’s Nutcracker? Here’s my Disney’s Nutcracker and the Four Realms parental review.

For the most part, I’d say this is an entertaining movie and fun for the whole family.

Don’t go in thinking it’s a perfect movie, because it’s not. But it’s definitely worth watching in the movie theater because it’s GORGEOUS.

Keira Knightley is Sugar Plum in Disney’s THE NUTCRACKER AND THE FOUR REALMS.

I think it will be added to your annual Disney Christmas Movies list- it’s definitely on mine! Maybe not an all-time favorite, but it’s still wonderfully entertaining.

And the costumes? Swoon!

My youngest daughter is 7 and she was delighted by the entire film. There were times she was clapping, times she legit laughed out loud, and when it was finished, she asked to go see it again.

She was the most enthusiastic by far.

The older kids were entertained as well and even asked if we could go see the full ballet now!

I didn’t hear any inappropriate language, but the family in the movie is dealing with the recent death of the mother (I know, I know… Oh, Disney!).

So if your small child is sensitive to parental death, that could be an issue to consider before you see the movie.


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THE NUTCRACKER AND THE FOUR REALMS opens in theatres everywhere on November 2nd!

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