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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.
Disney officially announced the film in 2016, positioning it as their latest live-action fairy tale reimagining. Mackenzie Foy was cast as the lead later that year, with key supporting players like Morgan Freeman and Kiera Knightley signing on at various points in 2016. Production started in October 2016 and ran until January 2017. Joe Johnston came in to oversee an extended period of reshoots in December 2017, since director Lasse Hallström was unavailable. The two filmmakers will receive co-directing credit on the movie.
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