By Jaqueline Olivo
Don’t stop believing, for magic exists. These two comedies, starring Kurt Russell, can be found on Netflix, offering a delightful Christmas option for the whole family.
But let’s be clear: the second movie is not a continuation of the first, and it falls short in comparison. So, let’s start with the first one.
A Magical Adventure Begins
In the first movie, we meet a widow who lives with her teenage son and 10-year-old daughter. As Christmas approaches, the family faces the challenge of commemorating the one-year anniversary of their father’s death. The son, especially, struggles with the loss and becomes rebellious. You see, Christmas was their father’s favorite occasion; he loved the decorations and the festivities.
However, the mother, a nurse, has to work on Christmas Eve, leaving the children home alone. Enticed by her sister, the little girl manages to convince her brother to stay awake that night and catch Santa Claus in the act. She knows he exists and is determined to prove it.
And what happens next? Well, as expected, Santa Claus is indeed real and is discovered by these adventurous kids, who find themselves aboard his sleigh, embarking on a magical journey.
Saving Christmas, One Adventure at a Time
There are no real villains in this story, except perhaps for “time” itself. Santa has been through some challenges that prevent him from reaching every corner of the world. That’s where our young friends come in. They must help Santa and save Christmas.
The message of the movie is typical of this genre: the magic of believing. It reminds us that during these festive times, the magic is within each of us. By doing good not only for others but also for ourselves, we create the holiday spirit.
With a simple and charming script, endearing actors and actresses, this film is a pleasant and family-friendly watch.
Now, let’s move on to the sequel: The Chronicles of Christmas 2.
New Faces, New Challenges
In the second movie, we reunite with the same characters: Santa, the mother, and the children. However, Mrs. Claus now plays a more significant role. Additionally, two new characters are introduced: a young African-American boy who becomes the children’s stepbrother, and an antagonist—a former elf turned human—portrayed by Julián Denison, who, personally, leaves something to be desired. I would have preferred a different actor for the role.
The plot revolves around the little girl, who no longer feels the Christmas spirit as she used to. Her mother is about to marry someone new, and the girl feels that her mother has forgotten about her father. She wants to escape and distance herself from it all. It is in this vulnerable moment that the elf seizes the opportunity to seek revenge and destroy Christmas, primarily at the North Pole.
The adventure unfolds mostly at the North Pole, with a combination of vibrant and subdued colors, visually representing joy and loss.
The Power of Togetherness
The underlying message of this sequel is that no one is ever alone. We must give people a chance, and the unity and strength of family should never be overlooked.
However, this sequel is more forgettable and not entirely necessary. Yet, both films offer contagious colors, catchy music, and an entertaining watch.
It’s a pleasure to see Kurt Russell portray Santa in such a charming, witty, and contemporary manner. It’s a testament to his versatility as an actor.
Although both movies have some flaws in their CGI and the portrayal of the antagonist in the second film, they are worth watching for the charismatic performances and the Christmas spirit they bring to the screen.
The Christmas Chronicles
- Original Title: The Christmas Chronicles
- Year: 2018
- Duration: 103 min
- Country: United States
- Director: Clay Kaytis
- Screenplay: Matt Lieberman
- Music: Christophe Beck
- Cinematography: Don Burgess
- Genre: Comedy, Christmas, Family
- Cast: Kurt Russell as Santa Claus, Judah Lewis as Teddy Pierce, Darby Camp as Kate Pierce, Kimberly Williams-Paisley as Claire Pierce (Teddy and Kate’s mother)
The Christmas Chronicles 2
- Original Title: The Christmas Chronicles 2
- Year: 2020
- Duration: 112 min
- Country: Canada
- Director: Chris Columbus
- Screenplay: Chris Columbus and Matt Lieberman
- Genre: Comedy, Fantasy, Christmas, Sequel
- Cast: Kurt Russell as Santa Claus, Goldie Hawn as Mrs. Claus, Darby Camp as Kate, Jahir Bruno as Jack, Julián Denison as Belsnickel
Sociated and Secretary of SIGNIS Chile
This article was originally published on the SIGNIS Chile website.
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