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Disney's Nutcracker and the Four Realms Trailer Reimagines a Classic

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Disney's The Nutcracker and the Four Realms has gotten its first trailer. The live-action adaptation of The Nutcracker fairy tale and ballet stars Mackenzie Foy (Interstellar) as Clara, a young girl who is whisked away one magical Christmas Eve for an adventure involving daring nutcracker princes, scheming rat kings, dancing sugar plum fairies, and much more.

The Nutcracker fairy tale originated in 1816, with E.T.A. Hoffmann's story The Nutcracker and the Mouse King. It was then turned into a ballet written by Pyotr Illyich Tchaikovsky in 1892 and has since become a staple of the winter holiday season. There have also been countless movie and TV adaptations of the story over the years, ranging from filmed versions of the ballet performed live to cartoon renditions with characters like Tom and Jerry (see 2007's Tom and Jerry: A Nutcracker Tale). One of the segments from Disney's animated 1940 classic Fantasia reimagines The Nutcracker Suite, but Nutcracker and the Four Realms is the Mouse House's first proper feature length live-action retelling of the tale.

Related: Joe Johnston to Oversee Disney's Nutcracker Reshoots

A trailer for Nutcracker and the Four Realms has now been released online, nearly a year ahead of the film's scheduled theatrical release in 2018. With this year's winter holiday season already well underway, Disney - which announced the Nutcracker trailer's impending arrival yesterday - presumably decided that this winter holiday season would be as fitting a time as any to get the film's marketing machine up and running. You can watch The Nutcracker and the Four Realms teaser trailer in the space above.

Nutcracker and the Four Realms was directed by Lasse Hallström (Chocolat, The Cider House RulesThe Hundred-Foot Journey) from a script by relative newcomer Ashleigh Powell. The cast includes Oscar-winners Morgan Freeman and Helen Mirren as, respectively, Clara's godfather Drosselmeyer and the villainous Mother Ginger. Keira Knightley plays a sugar plum fairy in the movie too, while the supporting cast includes Knightley's Pride and Prejudice and Anna Karenina costar Matthew Macfadyen amongst its ranks. You can read the official synopsis for Nutcracker and the Four Realms, below:

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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.

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The Nutcracker and the Four Realms trailer is very much a teaser, focusing on how Clara first makes her way to the mysterious "parallel world" of the Four Realms and what she finds when she gets there. Powell's screen story draws primarily from Hoffman's version of the classic fairy tale, judging by the teaser trailer and the movie's synopsis. At the same time, the film's production design and set pieces appear to take heavy inspiration from the Nutcracker ballet, in terms of their aesthetic. Ballet in general looks to play a large role in this retelling of The Nutcracker, with famed American dancer Misty Copeland also playing a role here.

All things considered, The Nutcracker and the Four Realms is shaping up to be another pleasant piece of family-friendly entertainment from the Mouse House. It's unlikely to enjoy the same level of box office success as recent Disney live-action fairy tale retellings like The Jungle Book and Beauty and the Beast (both of which are name-dropped in the trailer), but Nutcracker and the Four Realms should be able to draw a sizable crowd in the mood for some magical winter holiday cheer.

MORE: Disney's Live-Action Mulan & Dumbo Set New Release Dates

Source: Walt Disney Pictures

Key Release Dates
  • The Nutcracker and the Four Realms (2018) release date: Nov 02, 2018
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