At the beginning of the ballet telling the story of the Four Realms, the conductor mounts the podium and conducts an orchestra appearing in silhouette. This is a reference to the Disney classic 'Fantasia,' which included a segment based on "The Nutcracker Suite."
Clara's name comes from Alexandre Dumas' book, on which the ballet was inspired, while her mother's name, Marie, comes from E. T. A. Hoffmann's story.
It is a retelling of E. T. A. Hoffmann's short story "The Nutcracker and the Mouse King" and Marius Petipa's "The Nutcracker", about a young girl who finds a nutcracker doll among the family's gifts and is charged by her parents to take special care of it.
Lasse Hallström completed principal photography, but due to him being unavailable Joe Johnston took charge for 32 days of reshoots. Hallström returned to oversee post-production.
The Nutcracker and Drosslemeyer are played by black actors for the first time in any filmed version of the story.
According to Mackenzie Foy, as soon as she saw the mass of rats completed in post, she said, "I wanted to throw up" as the sight of rats terrified her.
Took over the original release date for Mulan (2020), pushing that film's release back to December 20 2019, then finally to March 27 2020, when Star Wars: Episode IX (2019) took over for a December release.
The Nutcracker's name, Hoffmann, comes from the author of the first story: E. T. A. Hoffmann.
Third collaboration between Keira Knightley and Matthew Macfadyen since Pride & Prejudice (2005) and Anna Karenina (2012).
The film features Jack Whitehall as a guard of the palace. Whitehall has a history of publicly stating his love for Disney and his wishes to be cast in any role for one of their films.
The music was adapted in part from Tchaikovsky's "The Nutcracker Suite" from 1892 by James Newton Howard, updating the original and adding new tracks as well. For the recording, Gustavo Dudamel conducted the London Philharmonic, while Lang Lang was the piano soloist. Andrea Bocelli and his son Matteo contributed the original duet "Fall on Me" for the film, which premiered on Dancing with the Stars' "Disney Night" on October 22, 2018.
This is the first live action Disney film since Alice Through the Looking Glass (2016) to be shot in the taller 1.85:1 aspect ratio and the first Disney branded film since Cinderella (2015) to be shot primarily on 35mm film.
This is the second film based on the Nutcracker that Richard E. Grant has starred in, this and The Nutcracker in 3D (2010).
Helen Mirren's fourth feature film with Disney after National Treasure: Book of Secrets (2007), Monsters University (2013) (where she provided a voiceover) and The Hundred-Foot Journey (2014).
Along with Morgan Freeman, Christian Bale, Robert De Niro, and Robert Redford were considered for Drosselmeyer.
Matthew Macfadyen is 26 years older then Mackenzie Foy. They play father and daughter.
Released exactly six years after "Wreck-It Ralph" as well as 19 days before "Ralph Breaks the Internet".
Morgan Freeman's character "Drosselmeyer," nearly mirrors "Lucius Fox"a character he played in the Christopher Nolan's Batman Trilogy. As Drosselmeyer the toy maker and mentor to Clara, herself a technical genius, works in his workshop 'down below' just like Lucius Fox in Applied Sciences department at 'Wayne Enterprises,' for Bruce Wayne. A clock work swan Drosselmeyer was working on failed to work properly as it turned backwards. Clara fixed it for Drosselmeyer by fixing the drive gears idler wheel. In Batman's DarkNight Rises, 'the Bat' flying vehicle that Fox did not get to fix was repaired by. Bruce Wayne, who repaired a program patch in the flight software.