Clara, who’s desperate to find a special key that will unlock a gift from her late mother, finds herself on an extraordinary journey to a parallel world.

It’s there that she encounters a soldier named Phillip, a gang of mice and the regents who preside over three Realms: Land of Snowflakes, Land of Flowers and Land of Sweets. Clara must brave the ominous Fourth Realm, to hopefully return harmony to the unstable world.

100 Years in the making
The original Nutcracker story is now over 100 years old, deriving from E. T. A. Hoffmann’s 1816 German language “Nutcracker and Mouse King”. The story was later adapted, lightened and popularized by Alexandre Dumas, whose 1844 French adaptation became the basis of the famous Russian ballet first staged in 1892.

Two Directors
Lasse Hallstrom and Joe Johnston have a unique shared directing credit on the movie. Hallstrom began the film but was unable to return for extensive reshoots, allowing Johnston to step in. Typically, under the Directors Guild of America’s rules, only one filmmaker can be credited with directing a film (e.g: Bohemian Rhapsody).  That rule can be waived when filmmakers have a shared common vision.

Sugar Plum 

To transform Keira Knightly into the Sugar Plum Fairy took some serious commitment. Her wig was made from real Yak hair dyed to various sugary candy floss colours. Her dress was so huge that it couldn’t fit through doorways, it required 100 meters of fabric and took over 1,000 hours to make. The dress was so uncomfortable that Keira was unable to sit on regular chairs, she had to place a small stool inside the dress to sit down between takes.

Waltz of the Flowers
The soundtrack from ‘The Nutcracker’ features some of the most popular compositions ever written. The iconic music has featured in countless movies, stage shows, TV adverts & even video games (including Tetris, Lemmings, Bioshock & Grand Theft Auto V). For the new movie the legendary singer Andrea Bocelli adds to the Soundtrack. Duetting with his son Matteo to perform ‘Fall On Me’. The emotive track has already been listened to over 19 million times on Youtube.

Merry Go Round 
The scale of the movie is so big that film-makers built a life size carousel, requiring heavy engineering and special effects to work. Prop maker Craig Narramore said “We created 25 vintage-looking carousel animals, giraffes, dragons, ostriches, all carved out of foam. They look a bit scared, like they’re running for their lives.”

Helen Mirren, who plays Mother Ginger, had her wild red hair based on a famous Thomas Gainsborough painting dating from 1750.

Actress Misty Copeland (aged 36) originally appeared in the ballet stage version of ‘The Nutcracker’ when she was just 13 years old.

This is the 2nd Nutcracker film that Richard E. Grant has starred in, previously he appeared in 2010’s ‘The Nutcracker in 3D’

THE NUTCRACKER is at Irish cinemas from November 2nd