Mother Ginger is a major character in The Nutcracker and the Four Realms. She is portrayed by Helen Mirren.
She is the kind and wise ruler of the Fourth Realm, known as the Land of Amusement, who was manipulated into carrying out the evil schemes of the sinister and deranged Sugar Plum Fairy. In the end, Clara Stahlbaum and Phillip the Nutcracker realize the kindness within Mother Ginger and help Mother Ginger defeat the Sugar Plum Fairy.
Mother Ginger is based on the character of the same name from the story by E.T.A. Hoffman and the ballet by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky.
Mother Ginger started off as a lifeless toy owned by Marie Stahlbaum when she was a child, but was later brought to life by a machine Marie created after she created the Four Realms as its first Queen. Ginger was assigned by Marie to rule over the Land of amusement while three others were assigned to rule the remaining realms: the Sugar Plum Fairy was given control of the Land of Sweats, Hawthorne was given the Land of Flowers, and Shivers was given the Land of Snowflakes. However, as the years went by, Marie decided to leave the Four Realms for her family, so she left the four regents in complete charge of the Four Realms. Though Ginger and the Male Regents accepted this new change in leadership and took control of their realms as agreed, Sugarplum was the only one who disapproved this as she felt betrayed and abandoned by Marie and decided that it was time to take over the Four Realms as its new Queen and rebuild them in her own image, something no ruler is ever meant to do.
Sugar Plum framed Ginger and convinced the male regents and their people that she Ginger was evil, getting most of her inhabitants to flee and join the others. The only inhabitants that still stayed with Mother Ginger were an assortment of mice and 6-7 clowns who defended her giant moving palace (shaped like her).
When Clara Stahlbaum entered the world her mother had created, the first thing that she had done was venture into the Land of Amusement to find the key, which one of Mother Ginger's mice had stolen. Once entering Mother Ginger's realm, she encountered The Mouse King, whom she successfully evaded from. From the recluse of Mother Ginger's palace, she tried to call upon Clara to warn her about Sugar Plum, but she fled from her.
When Clara ventures back into her realm to reclaim the key, Clara is grabbed by Mother Ginger's giant palace and thrown inside, in which she is then greeted by a bunch of clowns known as the Polichinelles. The Polichinelles tease and torment her before sending her up to Mother Ginger's chambers, in which Clara tricks Mother Ginger, snatching the key to return it to Sugar Plum. During their confrontation, Clara informs Mother Ginger of Marie’s death, which genuinely saddens her, hinting that she truly wasn’t evil. In fear of what Sugar Plum has planned for the realms, Mother Ginger sends her trusted mouse advisor to chase after Clara.
After Clara's confrontation with Sugar Plum, [./https://disney.fandom.com/wiki/Phillip_the_Nutcracker Phillip the Nutcracker] and Mother Ginger make an agreement that Phillip will distract Sugar Plum's troops while Mother Ginger navigates through passageways to find Clara. This mission proves successful, as she helps aid Clara, who alters her mother's machine, which results in the death of Sugar Plum, in which she is turned back into a toy.
Mother Ginger then takes Sugar Plum's spot on The Regent Council, returning to her former regal-ware, and making some passive aggressive comments about nobody listening to her before her banishment. She tells Phillip that he is now the General of the Soldiers, and bids Clara farewell on her journey back home.
She was advertised as the main antagonist of the film in order to conceal the reveal that The Sugar Plum Fairy was the true villain.