The Nutcracker and the Four Realms ★½

Watching a visually spectacular but virtually soulless new family movie like “The Nutcracker and the Four Realms,” it’s tempting to wonder if such eye-popping dreck has any hope of sticking with impressionable young audiences. Is there any chance that the kids of today might be nostalgic for this hyper-saturated nonsense tomorrow?

It’s a sincere question about a film that often seems like it was only made or Disney shareholders. Is this really that much worse than the stuff that millennials were raised on, and read about on Buzzfeed lists, and flock to see at semi-ironic repertory screenings? In a world where “Hocus Pocus” has become something of a genuine holiday classic, is it actually possible to gauge how good the studio offerings of 2018 might look 20 years from now? Judging by “The Nutcracker and the Four Realms,” the answer to both of those queries is a resounding “yes.”

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