Story

The Nutcracker and the Four Realms begins as Clara (Mackenzie Foy) and her siblings are grieving the recent loss of their mother. They each receive a gift from their mother for Christmas. Clara’s present is an egg with a lock but no key. She tries everything she can think of to open it, believing that it will help her find herself and connect to her mother. But it seems hopeless when nothing she tries works.

Clara’s father takes them to a Christmas party. Here Clara’s godfather (Morgan Freeman) gives Clara the key to the gift from her mother. Unfortunately, just as she is about to reach out and take it, a mouse steals it away. Clara follows it and finds herself in another world. This is the Four Realms, a world that her mother created, a world that has begun to fall apart and turn on itself since her mother went away.

Clara meets Philip (Jayden Fowora-Knight), a Nutcracker soldier intent on protecting her, and Sugar Plum (Kiera Knightly), a toy that her mother made real, just like all the other creatures in the Four Realms. There’s also Mother Ginger (Helen Mirren), who seems to have been exiled for acting against Marie’s plans. But things are not all as they might first appear. The key to Clara’s egg is also the key to an invention far more powerful than Clara could ever have imagined. The invention has the power to give and take life. When Clara’s advisers betray her, she must save the Four Realms and set things right.

Themes

Death of a parent; grief and loss

Violence

The Nutcracker and the Four Realms has some violence. For example:

  • Clara and Philip must fight the clowns in Mother Ginger’s lair to escape. They have to shove and kick their way through and around them.
  • There are many fight scenes with the tin soldiers that Sugar Plum has created. These scenes show hitting, punching, kicking and so on.
  • The soldiers follow Sugar Plum’s orders to restrain, incarcerate and kill. They’re often overpowered and fall in heaps on the ground.
  • Philip is nearly killed by a soldier who is millimetres away from stabbing him through the heart.

Sexual references

The Nutcracker and the Four Realms has a mild sexual reference. Sugar Plum makes a suggestive remark about her tin soldiers, saying that ‘Boys in uniform send quivers right through me’.

Alcohol, drugs and other substances

Nothing of concern

Nudity and sexual activity

Nothing of concern

Product placement

Nothing of concern

Coarse language

The Nutcracker and the Four Realms has some mild coarse language and name-calling.

Ideas to discuss with your children

The Nutcracker and the Four Realms is a fantasy adventure with a new twist on the classic Christmas tale.

Filmed in true Disney style with lavish sets and costumes, the movie will generally appeal to families and pre-teen audiences. Because of scary scenes, it isn’t recommended for children under eight years, and some older children might also find parts of the movie scary.

The main messages from this movie are to believe in yourself, to have courage, and to realise that sometimes everything that you need to succeed has been within you all along.

Values in this movie that you could reinforce with your children include courage, loyalty, compassion, persistence, forgiveness and the ability to look at things in new ways.

This movie could also give you the chance to talk with your children about the importance of giving girls and boys equal opportunities and allowing them to fulfil their potential. Clara, like her mother, has a scientific mind. Despite the male-dominated society in which they live, both Clara and her mother are encouraged and celebrated for their scientific and engineering talents. Clara’s ability to look at things differently enables her to escape and save the Four Realms.