Disney’s newest live-action fantasy film, The Nutcracker and the Four Realms, is part fantasy, part action-adventure, and, appropriately, part ballet. Clara (Mackenzie Foy) is a girl who is grieving over the loss of her mother and just trying to get through Christmas. When her mother leaves her a cryptic present that she can’t open without a key, Clara is sent on a wild journey into the magical world of the “Four Realms” where she finds out — wait for it — she’s actually a princess! Her new kingdom is in trouble though and is threatened by Mother Ginger (Helen Mirren) and some dark forces. Along with her titular Nutcracker pal (Jayden Fowora-Knight), Clara has to save the Four Realms before it’s too late.
For certain dancy families, The Nutcracker and the Four Realms is a perfect day at the movies. If your kid likes dancing (and who doesn’t?) the film honors its ballet-ish roots. At 1 hour and 40 minutes, the movie isn’t super long, though weird plotting can make it drag its feet sometimes. The point is, time might freeze in Victorian England when you’re in the Four Realms, but it doesn’t in the 21st century. So, do parents need to stick around for a post-credits scene, which may or may not set up a sequel? Thankfully, the answer is no. You only need to stick around for the credits if you want to see more dancing.
The Nutcracker and the Four Realms is a stand-alone movie, so there’s no added bonus scene teasing you and your kids as to where it might go next. Clara certainly could go back into the realms and rule in this Narnia-esque world, but she probably isn’t going to. The Nutcracker story is finite, and so, the ending really just ends up being an evening at the ballet.
So, if you or your kids are into the ballet, sticking around and watching the credits is a great idea. Misty Copeland, who has a special dance sequence in the film and is currently one of America’s most famous ballet dancers, really gets to show off her stuff during the credits sequence. She pirouettes and leaps over the credits with a dance partner in some mesmerizing. It’s worth watching and might have your kid begging for some ballet shoes assuming they’re not already hooked.
Nutcracker and the Four Realms is in theaters on November 2.