HomeEntertainmentMoviesREVIEW: ‘The Nutcracker and...

REVIEW: ‘The Nutcracker and the Four Realms’ is a movie with a great message for kids

The best family movies do more than entertain. They also include a positive message or two that children will easily catch — and that mom and dad can discuss on the ride home from the theater.

Finding Dory (2016) did this with its theme of overcoming disabilities. Storks (2016) did, too, with its message to parents about workaholism and childrearing. And what about Up (2009), which included lessons about keeping promises and not treasuring worldly things?

The movie is an entertaining, visual delight, with a plot that’s simple enough for the youngsters and a message that is sure to please mom and dad. That message is: Be yourself. Don’t copy the actions of others. Learn to appreciate your unique talents. And use them!

This weekend another movie with a message — Disney’s The Nutcracker and the Four Realms (PG) — hits theaters. It includes the typical messages about overcoming fear and avoiding selfishness but it also has a much-needed lesson for children about discovering and using your talents … and not comparing yourself to others.

The story was inspired by E.T.A. Hoffmann’s 1816 story The Nutcracker and the Mouse King and follows a teen girl — Clara — as she searches for meaning in life after the death of her mother. Clara is knowledgeable in science and “mechanics” but too often compares herself to her sister, who fits in better in this male-dominated Victorian era.

Clara’s life changes when she is given a present — a silver egg-shaped box — from her mother. There’s just one problem: Her mother didn’t include the key, although she did include a note with the mysterious message, “Everything you need is inside.” This leads Clara to hunt for the key and — eventually — to her crossing through a magic-like passageway into another world, where she finds and then loses the key again. (A mouse snatches it away.) She soon learns that this fantasy world once was ruled by her mom and that it is divided into four realms — three of which are good. The key has been taken to the evil Fourth Realm.

The Nutcracker and the Four Realms stars Mackenzie Foy (Interstellar) as Clara; Morgan Freeman (Million Dollar Baby) as her godfather, Drosselmeyer; and Helen Mirren (The Queen) as Mother Ginger.

The movie is an entertaining, visual delight, with a plot that’s simple enough for the youngsters and a message that is sure to please mom and dad. That message is: Be yourself. Don’t copy the actions of others. Learn to appreciate your unique talents. And use them!

Guess what? It’s a message that has its origins in Scripture (1 Peter 4:10-11, Matthew 25:14-30). God wants us to use our gifts for his glory.

Of course, The Nutcracker isn’t a faith-based film. But as a father of four children who often engage in sibling rivalries, I appreciated its theme.

Of course, The Nutcracker isn’t a faith-based film. But as a father of four children who often engage in sibling rivalries, I appreciated its theme.

The movie is mostly family-friendly, too, with only one coarse word (an unnecessary “d–n”) and minimal violence and disturbing content. Clara is a positive role model.

Oh yeah, it’s also a film that boys will enjoy — even if they hate ballet. My 10-year-old son loved it. And I did, too.   

Entertainment rating: 4 out of 5 stars. Family-friendly rating: 4 out of 5 stars.

Rated PG for some mild peril.

- A word from our sponsors -

spot_img

Most Popular

Subscribe to our newsletter

To be the first to.know what's happening in the Christian community

More from Author

MercyMe hopes new album can help heal divisions: ‘We’ve got a divided body of Christ’ 

Bart Millard and his MercyMe bandmates began writing some of the...

Matthew West: Silly song ‘Gobble Gobble’ has served as a bridge to the Gospel

Christian musician Matthew West has won multiple Dove Awards, an American...

Frustrated with Hallmark? Try Great American Family

My family was vacationing at a condo a while back when...

‘Lifemark,’ the Kendricks’ latest movie, perfectly captures the emotions of adoption 

Editor’s note: This monthly series, “5 Family-Friendly Things,” spotlights five family-friendly...

- A word from our sponsors -

spot_img

Prayer, Faith Can Help Teens with Mental Health Issues

A study on teens and young adults confirmed that those who pray and have a relationship with God were more likely to flourish in life more than their peers.

Count Your Blessings Daily, Not Just Once a Year

I heard about a family seated around their table looking at the beautiful golden-brown turkey. Dressing and gravy, sweet potatoes, cranberry sauce, various vegetables, and casseroles complemented the turkey. From the oldest to the youngest, they went around and expressed their praise.

More than 7,000 Kids Decide to Follow Jesus –YFC

The Youth for Christ announced that 7,323 kids and teens decided to follow Jesus Christ this year, twice the record reported in 2021.

Billy Graham Archive & Research Center is Now Open

The new Billy Graham Archive and Research Center opened in Charlotte, North Carolina on November 7, the birthday of the late evangelist.

MercyMe hopes new album can help heal divisions: ‘We’ve got a divided body of Christ’ 

Bart Millard and his MercyMe bandmates began writing some of the songs on their latest album in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic, long before the nation was divided over issues that now dominate the headlines.  Millard, though, believes the album’s release in 2022 had been God’s plan...

‘Praise the Lord!’ Ukrainian Christians Cheer Kherson Liberation

Ukrainian Christians celebrate the liberation of Kherson with cheers of praise and thanksgiving, seven months after Russia occupied the city.

JESUS Film Makes History, Now Translated in 2,000 Languages

The JESUS film makes history as it is now translated into its 2,000th language making it the most translated film of all time.

U.S. Renews Calls Against Blasphemy Laws

The United States joined 15 countries in expressing concern over international blasphemy laws.

Franklin Graham Attracts Record-breaking Audience in Italy

More than 13,200 people gathered for an evangelical outreach led by Franklin Graham in Milan, Italy on October 29.

A Hindu PM Marks a Historic Moment in the UK

Rishi Sunak becomes Britain's first Hindu prime minister. He is also the first person of color to hold the highest office in the UK.

A New Biblical Worldview Study Series is Now Available Online

Family Research Council and Summit Ministries announced a partnership launching a new biblical worldview series called Now We Live.

Gen Z Could Change the Faith Landscape in Australia

Two recent surveys on Christianity and the church in Australia found that Gen Zs are generally open to conversations about faith and spirituality.