It was only a matter of time before Disney adapted Tchaikovsky’s classic Christmas ballet, The Nutcracker, into a screenplay. But, while the cinematography soared, The Nutcracker and the Four Realms may leave audiences confused about what exactly they just watched.

Think of The Nutcracker and the Four Realms like Tim Burton’s Edward Scissorhands meets C.S. Lewis’ The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe, sprinkled with a little Dickens-esque Victorian Christmas spirit.

We are first introduced to our clever protagonist, 14-year-old Clara Stahlbaum (Mackenzie Foy), and her family during a somber Christmas Eve in 18th century London.

Sadly, Clara has just lost her mother, who was quite the inventor. Meanwhile, her father, Mr. Stahlbaum (Matthew MacFadyen), is trying to keep the jovial Christmas spirit alive following their loss whilst trying to cope with his own grief and remain strong for Clara and her two siblings.

However, things seem to change for Clara when her father gives her a gift that her mother left her on the way to fellow toymaker and their godfather Drosselmeyer’s (Morgan Freeman) lavish Christmas party.

Alas, the gift requires a magical key to unlock it and Clara must crossover to a fantasyland (very much like The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe) that is divided into four realms to find the key that unlocks the priceless gift that will supposedly give Clara “everything she ever needs.”

Tchaikovsky’s influence on the story is highlighted by the rulers of the four realms, such as the an overly enthusiastic, cotton candy headed Sugar Plum (Keira Knightley), Shiver (Richard E. Grant), Hawthorne (Eugenio Derbez), and last but not lease, Mother Ginger played by a rough-looking Helen Mirren as you have never seen her before.

But, the first character Clara encounters in this dazzling Narnia-like, North Pole of fantasyland is Phillip (Jayden Fowora-Knight), a nutcracker guard for the realms. After Phillip informs Clara that her mother was once queen of the Four Realms, Clara commands Phillip to escort her to her palace and across the bridge to the forbidden Fourth Realm in search of the missing key. Together they face their first of many obstacles, the Mouse King, who has the allusive key Clara needs.

As the dynamic duo continue their epic journey, Phillip is constantly supporting Clara as she applies her mechanical engineering skills to solve problems and achieve their goal. But ultimately, it’s up to Clara to fill her mother’s great shoes and be the queen of this fantasyland and return it to the great place it once was before her mother’s passing. (Did someone say make the Four Realms great again?)

Accompanied by James Newton Howard’s music, directors Lasse Hallstrom (My Life as a Dog) and Joe Johnston (Jurassic Park III) even throw in ballet legend Misty Copeland as a welcome surprise dance cameo during the second-half.

Kudos to Disney for incorporating Russian architecture into the film by modeling the castle in the Land of the Sweets after St. Basil’s Cathedral in Moscow. And furthermore, for making our heroine, Clara, a mechanical engineer. The world could sure use more of those!

Granted, the studio blatantly overproduced the visual effects to compensate for a lacking storyline. Overall, Disney’s version of this classic fairytale can stand on its undeniable beauty and tradition while offering those wholesome Disney themes and providing fun-filled holiday entertainment for the right audience.