What the heck is The Nutcracker and the Four Realms? | Gaming News

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As Polygon’s entertainment team geared up for our screening of The Nutcracker and the Four Realms — re-reading the Nutcracker story, rewatching the better Fantasia segments — we discovered that many of our coworkers had no idea what The Nutcracker and the Four Realms was all about.

They had been struck, some might say dumb, by posters and trailers for Four Realms. They were intrigued by the combination of a 126-year-old ballet, stunt casting and the promise of a CGI extravaganza the likes that only a modern Hollywood fantasy film can provide.

We took down their questions and now provide you with the fruits — sugar plums, specifically — of our research. You might need it, too.

So The Nutcracker and the Four Realms is a real movie?

Yes. Directed by Lasse Hallström and Joe Johnston, The Nutcracker and the Four Realms is Disney Studios’ big Holiday-themed of the year, based on Tschaikovsky’s The Nutcracker ballet.

It stars Mackenzie Foy as Clara, Kiera Knightley as the Sugar Plum Fairy, Morgan Freeman as Drosselmeyer, Helen Mirren as Mother Ginger, Jayden Fowora-Knight as the Nutcracker and ballerina Misty Copeland as the Ballerina Princess. The movie runs around 99 minutes, which is around the length of a performance of the ballet. Faithful!

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.



Laurie Sparham/Disney


Why does it have two director credits?

Hallström (What’s Eating Gilbert Grape?, Chocolat) wrapped initial production in January of 2017. But almost a year later, in December of 2017, Disney announced that Joe Johnston (Captain America: The First Avenger, The Rocketeer) would oversee a “significant shoot of additional photography” based on new script material written by a new screenwriter, and lasting 32 days.

There didn’t seem to be any blood over the reshoots. Hallström was unavailable to direct due to scheduling issues, and planned to oversee postproduction. But enough changed that both men share a co-directing credit in the final billing.

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