The Nutcracker and the Four Realms appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.85:1 on this 4K UHD Disc. Overall, the image satisfied.
Sharpness worked very well, with virtually no softness on display. Instead, the image offered nice delineation and accuracy, even in wider shots.
I saw no signs of jaggies or moiré effects, and edge haloes failed to appear. Print flaws also remained absent.
With its fantasy setting, I hoped for a broad, bold palette from Nutcracker. This didn’t happen, as I found a largely orange and teal affair.
While the disc replicated those tones as intended, they didn’t seem like a logical fit for the story. At least the reds used for soldiers’ costumes added some pep, and the disc’s HDR abilities gave us nice oomph to the tones.
Blacks showed nice depth, and shadows were fine, as they displayed appropriate clarity. This ended up as a pleasing presentation.
As for the movie’s Dolby Atmos soundtrack, it made pretty good use of the soundscape, especially in the film’s various action/fantasy moments. Downconverted to Dolby True HD 7.1, those placed material around the room in a logical manner and blended the material in a smooth way.
Music showed good stereo presence and spread to the surrounds naturally. Environmental material felt logical and well-located.
Audio quality matched expectations. Music appeared lush and full, with good clarity and range.
Dialogue came across as concise and distinctive, while effects appeared accurate and bold. Those components boasted deep low-end. This became a more than satisfactory mix.
How did the 4K UHD compare to the Blu-ray version? The 4K’s Atmos mix seemed a bit broader and more engaging than the Blu-ray’s DTS-HD MA 7.1 version, whereas visuals brought superior accuracy, colors and blacks. The 4K gave us the expected improvements.
The set’s extras appear on the included Blu-ray copy, and we open with On Pointe. In this four-minute, 36-second piece, dancer Misty Copeland discusses her participation in the film. Choreographer Liam Scarlett, actor Mackenzie Foy and dancer Sergei Polunin also appear.
Copeland gives us a few decent observations, mainly in terms of what it’s like to go from the ballet stage to the movie set. Not a lot of substance appears, but the featurette works reasonably well.
Unwrapping The Nutcracker and the Four Realms runs seven minutes, eight seconds and features Foy, Copeland, production designer Guy Hendrix Dyas, set decorator Lisa Chugg, costume designer Jenny Beavan, and actors Helen Mirren and Keira Knightley.
“Unwrapping” concentrates on the movie’s sets, costumes and production design. It becomes a frothy but informative reel.
Five Deleted Scenes fill a total of four minutes, five seconds. As one can infer from that running time, these tend toward minor tidbits. They expand a few situations and characters in a modest way but don’t offer much of value.
We also get music videos for Andrea Bocelli’s “Fall on Me” and Lang Lang’s “The Nutcracker Suite”. Both videos concentrate on movie footage, though “Suite” adds some special dance material. Neither video seems especially interesting.
The Blu-ray opens with an ad for Dumbo (2019). No trailer for Nutcracker appears here.
An attempt at a new holiday classic, The Nutcracker and the Four Realms falls flat. While often lovely to look at, the movie never develops engaging characters or a compelling story. The 4K UHD brings very good picture and audio along with a minor complement of supplements. Nutcracker never becomes anything interesting.
To rate this film, visit the prior review of NUTCRACKER AND THE FOUR REALMS