The first time I ever saw The Nutcracker, I was about 8 years old. It was part of a school trip to give the kids from a one-road town in outskirts of Houston some culture. I remember entering the grandious Performance Arts Theatre and justing gawking at the decorations they put together for Christmas. It was quite the spectacle to behold. Then, the lights flickered on and off and it was time to file into the theatre to watch the performance. I remember sitting in that dark, bustling row on the edge of my seat, eager to experience this thing called The Nutcracker my mom had always told me about. Then, it began and much like Peter Griffin would in that situation, I yelled, “Why is no one talking?! What’s going on?!”. After some snoody, disapproving looks, I realized a couple of important lessons, “Don’t yell in a theatre” and “Ballet is about letting the story be told through dance”.
This brings us to the teaser that Disney released today. In 2018, they will release a film adaptation of The Nutcracker, and as Morgan Freeman‘s sultry voice suggests, this will have plenty of dialogue.
All Clara (Mackenzie Foy) 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 (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.
It’s highly likely that the story of The Nutcracker and the Four Realms will be vastly different from the ballet version I ended up appreciating, but there’s one thing that they’ve adapted perfectly, the music. As soon as The Dance of the Sugarplum Fairy hit, I was immediately transported back to that Performance Theatre in Houston. I have no doubt that those nostalgic moments will be throughout this Nutcracker experience. After all, this is from the same studio that brought us the live-action Beauty and the Beast and it was chalk-full of nostalgic moments, while still putting a new spin on an old classic.
Disney’s The Nutcracker and the Four Realms releases November 2, 2018 starring Keira Knightley, Mackenzie Foy, Helen Mirren, and Morgan Freeman.