Noelle (2020) Review

Anna Kendrick as a Jolly Female Santa and an adorable Baby Reindeer Sidekick.  This is exactly how I envisioned a Disney Christmas would be.

Certificate: U

Director: Marc Lawrence

Screenwriter: Marc Lawrence

Starring: Anna Kendrick, Shirley MacLaine, Bill Hader

Genre: Comedy, Family

Runtime: 100 Minutes

Rating: 3.5 Stars

Reviewed by: Pearl

Noelle, Santa’s daughter has always had to support and encourage her brother Nick, who was ordained to take over as the next Santa Claus. When Nick disappears right before Christmas, Noelle goes on a funny and heartfelt journey to find him and, ultimately, what Christmas is really about before her Cousin ruins Christmas for children all over the world.  While away from the North Pole she discovers that the life she thought was all planned out for her, may now be the one she was destined for at all.

In true Christmas fashion, this film is a great mix of humour and heart felt emotional story telling.  Sure so the story isn’t the best, and it is as predictable as all Christmas movies always are, but that isn’t why we watch them is it.  We watch them for the warm, fuzzy feelings they give us, and there is plenty of that to go around here.  With some of the most Chrismassy costume and set design I have ever seen, and second this year only to ‘Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey’ this film just oozes Christmas cheer.  And with that added Disney sparkle, it is bound to be a family crowd pleaser this year.

Anna Kendrick is as charming as ever, though these kinds of quirky, humorous role are kind of her signature thing by this point.  So, I wouldn’t have expected anything else.  But although these roles are right in her wheelhouse, it would be nice to see her try something a little different every now and then.  You know just about everything you need to know about a character, just because they are being played by Anna Kendrick, so no big character development is going to happen there really, nithing will take you by surprise.

Bill Hader I feel was criminally underused in this film.  I know it isn’t technically meant to be about him, but I love him in just about everything he is in, and to give us hints of what a crazy character he had, but not do anything with it just seemed like a waste of great talent. 

Disney just isn’t Disney without an adorable animal sidekick, and of course what is Santa without her cute, white, baby reindeer companion.  That I feel was feeding a little too much into the ‘Disney Princess’ trope, even going as far as to call Noelle ‘Princess’ once or twice throughout the film.  No No Disney.  Lets keep Santa and Fairytale princesses as two distinct separate entities OK.

Just about how I thought it would be, this wasn’t exactly a let down, but it didn’t blow my socks off either, Noelle is going to be a hit with families, but an average, if beautiful Christmas offering overall.

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