Our family loves Christmas movies. Fridays in December are family movie night and each member of the family takes a turn choosing a Christmas movie.
Mom, Dad and both of our boys choose their favorites. We go through classics, such as Home Alone and Elf, every year.
We needed something new for family movie night, so we checked out what was available on Netflix. I used my choice on The Christmas Chronicles to go outside the Christmas movie "box."
The film starts by introducing the Pierce family through several Christmas home videos, taken each year with a 2005-era handheld camera. It’s clear Christmas is an important time of year for the family, and we are introduced to siblings Kate and Teddy.
Kate and Teddy have a loving set of parents and a happy family life. The home movies end in 2017, and we learn 2018 is going to be a very different Christmas for the family. Kate and Teddy’s Dad has passed away.
Mom works extremely hard to support the family. She gets called into the hospital to work on Christmas Eve, and Kate and Teddy are left on their own. Mom forces Teddy to stay inside with his sister on Christmas Eve.
Teddy has not adjusted well to the death of his father, and has been hanging out with a bad crowd. Kate is watching the old Christmas videos—longing for previous Christmas magic with her family.
After seeing something suspicious (Santa’s arm?) on an old Christmas video, Kate convinces Teddy to setup their camera and catch Santa Claus in the act. The kids eat a ton of junk food and fall asleep after setting up the camera and tripod in the closet.
Kate wakes up from a noise in the living room, and Teddy follows. Santa is in the living room! Teddy and Kate watch Santa as he leaves the house and they tail him to try to capture more footage. They end up sneaking into Santa’s sleigh just as he takes off for another city.
During the trip, Santa is startled by the pair, and Kate falls overboard. The Pierce children are saved in a dramatic rescue over Chicago, but Christmas is in big trouble. Santa’s sleigh is destroyed and Christmas spirit is going down by the minute!
The next hour is a fun ride of Christmas hi-jinks. There are car chases, reindeer rides, the elves workshop, and jailhouse rock.
The Christmas Chronicles is not a ‘heavy hitter’ classic like Home Alone or Elf, but it is a pretty fun movie.
The kids will enjoy it and it has some laughs for the parents. The flying scenes are well done, and Kurt Russell provides a much different take on Santa Claus than the classic Miracle on 34th Street Santa performance. The film concentrates a little too much on presents being delivered as a gauge on Christmas spirit, which I don’t like. Shouldn’t it be more about kindness?
I am giving it 3.5 Timmy the Elves out of five. This is worth a watch to change up your Christmas family movie night, but it shouldn’t bump a classic like Home Alone out of your lineup.