I’ll admit, I was shocked at how much I loved the debut teaser trailer for Disney’s The Nutcracker and the Four Realms. It was beautiful and weird and put Morgan Freeman in an eyepatch. The new trailer gives us a closer look at the plot, the world, and Keira Knightley’s weird-ass accent choice. It still seems interesting enough, but the magic looks like it could fizzle.
The Nutcracker and the Four Realms is Disney’s latest live-action adaptation of The Nutcracker ballet and E.T.A. Hoffmann’s fairy tale, starring Mackenzie Foy (Interstellar) as Clara. According to the trailer, Clara’s now-deceased mother was an amazing inventor who created a parallel world where she served as queen. Now, Clara is their princess and has to save the three Realms—Land of Snowflakes, Land of Flowers, and Land of Sweets—from Mother Ginger (Helen Mirren), the rat-controlling regent of the mysterious Fourth Realm.
I suppose this plot line is no different than The Wizard of Oz or The Chronicles of Narnia, but I’m still a little disappointed that something like The Nutcracker has been turned into a glorified Chosen One narrative. It takes away some of the magic and dulls the whimsy. However, this movie is for kids, and this is a storyline they understand. It may make the film less desirable for a general audience, but it doesn’t ruin it. Just makes it more generic.
However, there is something else I’m upset about. It’s not with the film, it’s with the trailer. It was a bad call turning No Doubt’s “Just a Girl” into their Slow Introspective Pop Cover™ of choice. Not only does the song not work in this format, but it also serves against the narrative of the film. Clara’s not “just a girl” who’s frustrated she doesn’t have any rights in a glorified patriarchy, which is what the song is about. She’s a mother-fucking princess, whose mom was a badass inventor, and she’s fighting a single enemy to save her kingdom—with her people’s full support. Movie people: Don’t pick a pop song cover just because it’ll sound pretty. Make sure it serves a purpose.
And again: What is up with Keira Knightley’s accent? It’s like Benicio del Toro in The Last Jedi-levels of what the hellery. Those scenes are going to be a chore to sit through. But at least Clara kicks some dude in the face, and Misty Copeland is the prima ballerina. I’m still pumped as hell for her dance number.
The Nutcracker and the Four Realms comes out November 2.