Movies

5 things you didn’t know about Disney’s new The Nutcracker movie

This year's most-anticipated Christmas flick!

By BTYB Disney's The Nutcracker

Anyone who's lucky enough to have seen Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker Ballet or read the original story knows that it doesn't come much more Christmassy than The Nutcracker.

And this festive season, Disney is releasing their own version of the story starring Keira Knightley, Mackenzie Foy and Morgan Freeman.

While all the magic of the classic tale is set to remain, Disney's teasers hint at it being a darker spin on the original. With an all-star cast, incredible costumes and an extra-enchanting storyline, we can't wait to see how the narrative plays out under the Disney treatment.

Here we've rounded up five things everyone needs to know about Disney's The Nutcracker and the Four Realms.

1. Misty Copeland stars as The Ballerina of the Realms

Misty Copeland — AKA one of the greatest ballerinas in the world — scored herself the role of The Ballerina of the Realms. Making her Hollywood debut in the movie, Copeland has spoken out about how excited she is about her inclusion in the film and what it will mean to young children watching.

"It's so exciting, specifically for the next generation, which is where we need to go in terms of moving the art form [of ballet] forward and diversifying it," she said. "I think it's going to influence even more young brown kids to feel like, "Oh, that's me, I can do that!"

2. There were approximately 1,500 outfits made for the movie

Costume designer Jenny Beavan was given the job of dressing the characters. With more than 1,500 outfits needed in total, Disney definitely required the skills of an expert and Beavan has previously won Oscars for her work on films A Room with a View and Mad Max: Fury Road — two movies with completely different styles, proving her incredible craftsmanship and versatility, and making her the perfect fit for Disney's magical remake.

Actress Mackenzie Foy was amazed by the intricate designs Beavan thought-up for her character. "All the detail in every little stitch — even things you won't necessarily even see on camera — it's there and it's beautiful."

Costume design included a 12-week prep time, with the movie's main cast [requiring around 150 costumes](http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/movies/la-ca-mn-sneaks-nutcracker-four-realms-costumes-20180830-story.html|target="_blank"|rel="nofollow"). *Image: Disney*
Costume design included a 12-week prep time, with the movie's main cast requiring around 150 costumes. Image: Disney

Helen Mirren — who plays the role of Mother Ginger — was also blown away by the detail that features within the film. "There is a very high level of craftsmanship in the film," the actress says. "From the costume designer, to the hair and makeup designer, to the props, to the set design; they've been allowed to completely use their imagination."

3. There's a hidden lightbulb moment within the set design

Needing to bring the four realms of Disney's The Nutcracker to life, Oscar-nominated production designer Guy Hendrix Dyas started his process by sketching. Wanting to accurately represent the 1879 London environment in which the film is set, Dyas undertook extensive research of the time period.

Those with a keen eye for detail will notice that while the film is lit by candles, there is one hand-blown light bulb within Drosselmeyer's (played by Morgan Freeman) workshop. This was Dyas' sneaky nod to Thomas Edison's invention of the light bulb, which also took place in 1879. Clever!

Taking inspiration from 16th century German villages, the [Land of Snowflakes](https://ew.com/movies/2018/08/17/nutcracker-and-the-four-realms-behind-the-scenes-images/|target="_blank"|rel="nofollow") was an incredibly fun realm for Dyas to create. *Image: Disney*
Taking inspiration from 16th century German villages, the Land of Snowflakes was an incredibly fun realm for Dyas to create. Image: Disney

4. Hints of the original ballet music will be used throughout the film

Despite injecting the fantasy treatment into the original, The Nutcracker of the Four Realms has kept the connection to the original ballet score (aka music) alive.

The musical director of the LA Philharmonic, Gustavo Dudamel, is the conductor for the movie. With a great history of conducting Tchaikovsky's holiday classic and a Grammy for best orchestral performance under his belt, there's no better choice for the movie.

The movie's trailer features the original score from the iconic 'Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy' giving fans hope that more of the original music will play during pinnacle points of the film. We've already got goosebumps.

5. The film holds a special meaning for each cast member

While the original story holds nostalgia for so many people, the film's cast members each had their own cherished connections to storyline.

"The Nutcracker was the very first ballet I ever performed in," revealed Misty Copeland. "I had just started dancing."

Keira Knightly also holds fond memories of it, recalling the time she first saw the ballet: "The first time I saw The Nutcracker I was three. It's an unbelievably beautiful ballet. It's so magical. When you go and see The Nutcracker and the Four Realms you get taken away with the beauty and the magic of the world."

Mackenzie Foy was "ridiculously excited" when she found out she'd scored the starring role of *The Nutcracker*. *Image: Disney*
Mackenzie Foy was "ridiculously excited" when she found out she'd scored the starring role of The Nutcracker. Image: Disney

Mackenzie Foy, the film's main character, was over the moon to be a part of a Disney film that featured a female lead.

"I'm a huge fan of all things Disney, especially their stories led by strong and smart female heroes," she explains. "So being able to join their ranks is simply a dream come true."

Brought to you by Disney's The Nutcracker and the Four Realms in cinemas 22 November