'The Nutcracker And The Four Realms' Soundtrack Will Put You In The Holiday Spirit

by Ani Bundel

The holidays bring certain traditions every year to families across the world. In the U.S., Thanksgiving means turkey. In the UK, Christmas means advent calendars. In Israel, Hanukkah means candles. And in theater, the end of Halloween means the opening strains of Tchaikovsky's "The Nutcracker Suite." The eight sections of Opus 71a are familiar to any wannabe ballet dancer and their parents. But Disney's newest take on the story brings a twist to the familiar refrains. The Nutcracker and The Four Realms soundtrack does have some tracks fans of the original will recognize, but just as many tracks are brand new.

Part of the reason for the new score is due to the risk Disney is taking in reinventing the story of The Nutcracker. The original was written in 1892 and has been performed non-stop for generations since. Rather than make a film of the story everyone knows, Disney chose to overlay a brand new adventure on top of the original tale, creating a sort of hybrid Nutcracker and sci-fi fantasy adventure pulled from stories like The Chronicles of Narnia and Lord of the Rings.

The resulting soundtrack has songs like the familiar "The Nutcracker Suite," but performed on piano instead of a full orchestra by Chinese concert pianist Lang Lang.

Here's the track to check out.

Here's the film's synopsis:

All Clara (Mackenzie Foy) wants is a key – a one-of-a-kind key that will unlock a box that holds a priceless gift. A golden thread, presented to her at godfather Drosselmeyer’s (Morgan Freeman) annual holiday party, leads her to the coveted key—which promptly disappears into a strange and mysterious parallel world. It’s there that Clara encounters a soldier named Phillip (Jayden Fowora-Knight), a gang of mice and the regents who preside over three Realms: Land of Snowflakes, Land of Flowers and Land of Sweets. Clara and Phillip must brave the ominous Fourth Realm, home to the tyrant Mother Ginger (Helen Mirren), to retrieve Clara’s key and hopefully return harmony to the unstable world. Starring Keira Knightley as the Sugar Plum Fairy, Disney’s new holiday feature film The Nutcracker and the Four Realms is directed by Lasse Hallström and Joe Johnston, and inspired by E.T.A. Hoffmann’s classic tale.

Though the movie has the original music as part of the soundtrack, just as many of the tracks are brand new ones scored by James Newton Howard, who is best known for his work on The Dark Knight, The Hunger Games, and Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. Howard also worked with opera singer Andrea Bocelli, who performs the original song "Fall on Me" as a duet with his son, Matteo Bocelli.

Here's the full track listing for the film:

  1. "The Nutcracker and the Four Realms"
  2. "Presents from Mother"
  3. "Drosselmeyer"
  4. "Clara's New World"
  5. "Mouserinks"
  6. "Just a Few Questions"
  7. "Sugar Plum and Clara"
  8. "The Fourth Realm"
  9. "The Polichinelles"
  10. "Clara Finds the Key"
  11. "The Waterfall"
  12. "The Bridge Fight"
  13. "Clockwork Mice"
  14. "The Machine Room Fight"
  15. "Queen Clara"
  16. "The Nutcracker Suite" by Lang Lang
  17. "Fall On Me" by Andrea Bocelli & Matteo Bocelli

The Nutcracker and the Four Realms arrives in theaters on Friday, Nov. 2, 2018. The soundtrack is available for streaming on Amazon now.