As a special gift given by her mother before she passed away, Clara must obtain a key to open the box. Her godfather gifts her the key, and just as she is about to grab the key, a mouse takes it instead, and this is where her journey begins. Alongside the Nutcracker, they embark into the four realm.
The movie does not entirely follow the original Nutcracker. It starts with Clara and her brother setting a trap to catch a mouse in their attic. The children’s mother has died, and their father is left to take care of his three children. Clara receives a very decorative egg-shaped gift, in which she needs a key to unlock.
Clara’s godfather hosts a Christmas party, in which each child is presented with their gift. Their gifts are obtained by following a string that contains their name, which leads Clara to the land of four realms.
Upon entering the fourth realm through the Christmas tree, Clara Silberhaus learns she is princess and her mother was a queen, and she meets the Nutcracker. Mice do not fill the room nor does the Christmas tree grow to an enormous height.
In the movie, she does go through a Christmas tree to get to the other realm. The battle between an army of gingerbread men and mice lead by the mouse king does not occur in the movie, a battle occurs though it is sugar plum who is trying to take over the kingdom, by making tin soldiers life-size.
The nutcracker in the movie is not transformed into a prince as in the original, though he becomes friends with the mouse. In the original a final waltz is performed,but in the movie she returns to her world, and Clara and her father have a father-daughter dance to music from a music box, which is the gift her mother gave her, and her sister and brother join the both to dance.
The movie takes a child into a different world, it holds that “Disney” touch, in animation.
When “The Nutcracker” comes to mind, I picture ballet dancers coming together to perform a fantastic production. The movie lacked much of ballet dancing, some scenes where incorporated but not what “The Nutcracker” is known for. In the original Nutcracker, godfather brings the children four life-like dolls who can dance, in the movie no life-size dolls are brought to the children, and it would have been an amazing opportunity for a choreographed ballet scene in which the dolls come to life.