Am I the only one that’s a bit scared about the current economic and artful state of cinema right now? After the major 20th Century Fox Deal with Disney, the rules of the market immediately changed forever. It’s almost as if two power hungry gods, wearing normal office apparel, were sitting at a lunch meet, playing chess, with each pawn being there next move. This is where the sudden realization of our doomed cinema future comes in. One wrong chess move can lead to major idiotic consequences, for example, re-adapting previous material into kid friendly schlock.
Disney is without a doubt the biggest offender of this problem. Not only do they produce a mass amount of content per year, but their overall production costs versus box office profit is unbelievably high, in which even if any of their films turned out to be a flop, the product would still manage to be economically sustainable. How did they get here? This high up in the food chain? Well, it’s simple. Nostalgia. They milk it, rinse it, and repeat the cycle, no matter what the quality of the milk, until the cow eventually perishes.
Proof of this can easily be seen in their recent filmography . Alice in Wonderland (2010) was a strange unsettling acid trip of disturbing and unparalleled behavior. Maleficent was a failed attempt at an anti-hero origin story. Cinderella (2015) was laughably hilarious and stilted picture that somehow made Queen Cate look like a bitter soccer mom. The Jungle Book (2016) was a boring, poorly performed CGI manifest, in which it’s only plus side was some of its technical achievements. Alice Through The Looking Glass (2016) was a pitiful mockery on mental health and the spiritual connection with time. Beauty and the Beast (2017) was the same old story, retold without much class or character. A Wrinkle In Time (2018) was an insufferable convoluted nightmare. Even Pete’s Dragon (2016) and Christopher Robin, albeit said films inventive storytelling devices, suffered from these same constraints.
The constraints are simply the studio’s tampering the artist’s work, when dealing with themes outside of the ordinary. There’s a reason why most of Disney’s films feel incredibly formulated. The re-adaptations are the biggest offender of this, because they do the exact opposite of what a remake/re-adaptation should do, which is to improve on the original material in a different perspective.
Here we are with The Nutcracker and the Four Realms, which feels oddly distributed due to the fact that it’s both released on the same day which No-Nut November commences, and the fact that it’s a goddamn Christmas movie being released into cinemas just merely one day after All Hallows Eve. This especially doesn’t help Morgan Freeman in his list of accusations, with lines of dialogue such as “Keep an Eye On Her.”
The Nutcracker and the Four Realms is yet another predictable, unfitting product from Walt Disney Studios. The strangest thing of it all, is unlike their previous projects, this film had the potential to be the new Fantasia. With small glimpses and homages to The Wizard Of Oz, and as stated previously, Fantasia, they could have easily used suave ballet pieces as the backbone to ground a fairly simple story. But that would have taken to much effort, would it?
On a technical level, the film is fine. It’s just that there’s nothing here substance wise. It’s more porridge than eggnog. It’s a present that you don’t want on Christmas morning from Santa Claus. Not saying it’s worse than getting coal, but to be frank, it’s the same emotional connection either way.
Although Disney has won the game, the one thing we should all still be worried about is there further course of action. There’s no predicting where their going to attack next, feeding off the market with their own needs. However, the only thing that’s certain is that they will continue to produce adaptations until the day they die. I’m genuinely scared of this, and the fact that this may be the end for original big budget Hollywood productions is an even bigger concern….
Time’s now up.
The other player place their pawn,
With the timer being set,
While we wait patiently, awaiting their next move.
The Nutcracker And The Four Realms is now playing in theaters nationwide.