These days, Disney is all about sure things. Star Wars movies, Marvel movies, live-action adaptations of classic Disney animated films, and endless Pixar sequels are all pretty much guaranteed to make the Mouse House boatloads of money at the box office. But once in a while, the studio still churns out something original and unexpected, like The Nutcracker and the Four Realms, out Nov. 2. The upcoming holiday adventure is a brand new — and risky — venture for Disney, but they're pulling out all the stops to ensure its success; and that includes an impressive Nutcracker and the Four Realms soundtrack.
Although The Nutcracker and the Four Realms is technically an original story, it's still an adaptation of the 200-year-old E.T.A. Hoffmann story The Nutcracker and the Mouse King, along with Tchaikovsky's ballet The Nutcracker. Because of its famous musical roots, the movie isn't looking to reinvent the wheel with its soundtrack, which is available now. Instead, it's updating some of Tchaikovsky's iconic holiday tracks from the ballet to go along with some new tracks. By combining the old and the new, the film is setting out to create a new holiday soundtrack for modern audiences. The film was scored by James Newton Howard, who has created the music for a wide range of films including Pretty Woman, The Dark Knight, The Hunger Games films, and Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. Chinese pianist Lang Lang also performs a song for the soundtrack, while singer Andrea Bocelli and his son, Matteo Bocelli, perform the original song "Fall on Me."
You can check out the full 17 song track list below.
- "The Nutcracker and the Four Realms"
- "Presents from Mother"
- "Clara's New World"
- "Just a Few Questions"
- "Sugar Plum and Clara"
- "The Fourth Realm"
- "The Polichinelles"
- "Clara Finds the Key"
- "The Waterfall"
- "The Bridge Fight"
- "Clockwork Mice"
- "The Machine Room Fight"
- "Queen Clara"
- "The Nutcracker Suite" by Lang Lang
- "Fall On Me" by Andrea Bocelli & Matteo Bocelli
Fans of the original ballet will no doubt recognize "The Nutcracker Suite," which is arguably the most iconic track from the original production. Here is a piano version of it, performed by Lang Lang, which is pretty similar to what you'll hear on the film's soundtrack.
"Fall on Me," the new original song for the film, has also been released ahead of the movie's release date. The father-son duet is quite haunting, and it definitely fits in with Disney's long tradition of crafting beautiful, tearjerking songs for their films. You can give it a listen below.
The bulk of the music featured in the film is instrumental, which makes sense given that it's based in part on a ballet. And speaking of ballet, the dance form makes an appearance in the film as well, with professional dancer Misty Copeland portraying the Ballerina Princess.
The music of The Nutcracker and the Four Realms aims to take the classic holiday soundtrack and update it for a new generation, and given Disney's long history of success with musicals, you shouldn't be too surprised if they pull it off.