Noelle (2019): Parent Review

Noelle | G | 1 hour 40 minute | Christmas, Comedy, Family, Fantasy | November 12, 2019

Noelle (2019) Synopsis

When Santa Nick Claus passes away, the mantle of Santa is set to pass on to his son. But when the new Santa goes missing mere weeks before Christmas, on what was supposed to be a weekend get away, his sister must find him and discover her true calling to help prevent a Christmas disaster.

Yes, it’s as delightfully or painfully saccharine as it sounds. Though if I had to rank it, it is easier to sit through this movie than the new Grinch movie. Dear God that sh*t was terrible. But it definitely does not top a movie like Home Alone.

Noelle (2019): Parent Review
Noelle (2019)

Movie title: Noelle

Movie description: When Santa Nick Claus passes away, the mantle of Santa is set to pass on to his son. But when the new Santa goes missing mere weeks before Christmas, on what was supposed to be a weekend get away, his sister must find him and discover her true calling to help prevent a Christmas disaster.

Date published: November 12, 2019

Country: USA

Duration: 1 hour 40 minutes

Director(s): Marc Lawrence

Actor(s): Anna Kendrick -Noelle Kringle, Shirley MacLaine - Elf Polly, Bill Hader - Nick Kringle, Kingsley Ben-Adir - Jake Hapman, Julie Hagerty - Mrs. Claus, Billy Eichner - Gabriel Kringle, Maceo Smedley - Alex Hapman

Genre: Christmas, Comedy, Adventure

Overall
3.6
  • Plot
    (3.5)
  • Characters
    (3.5)
  • Watchability
    (4)
  • Gets you in Christmas Spirit
    (3.5)
User Review
  • Plot
    Sending
  • Characters
    Sending
  • Watchability
    Sending
  • Gets you in Christmas Spirit
    Sending

Dad's Take

Noelle (2019) is Disney Plus’ first, made for streaming Christmas movie that is as saccharine as any Hallmark Christmas movie. In fact, the only real difference between Noelle and any one of the several dozen Hallmark movies is: there is no major love story and the movie felt the need to beat the sh*t out of you with the morals. But hey, it’s a family movie, that’s to be expected.

And just like Hallmark movies, you have to approach it with the right attitude. No one is winning best actor or actress. The plot is predictable. And of course, morals smack you over the head. 

A real critic, and not some half-ass parent reviewer like myself, might say that it adds nothing new to the Christmas genre. And this is correct, and part of the reason why it works overall. Honestly, do you really want to see a Christmas movie where the poor family doesn’t get a good Christmas? Or where the Christmas wish of saint like child doesn’t get his or her Christmas wish?

Exactly. If you did, you wouldn’t be watching any Christmas movie because that is what is expected. The formula works. Hallmark has made at least two full networks out of the formula (and my wife tells me a streaming service, too, that she wants to get).

And Noelle definitely did not rock the boat. Like a Hallmark movie, you may even learn the true meaning of Christmas. And as a fun game, try to guess what meaning of Christmas you will learn from watching Noelle:

  1. being with friends and family is the most important thing
  2. giving is better than getting
  3. some guy named Jesus was born that day or something
  4. there’s no better time than Christmas to ditch your well-employed, corporate boyfriend for some down home boy who already knows the meaning of Christmas and can show you the light
  5. everyone has flaws, and it’s OK you’re still good in Santa’s eyes
  6. if you stay true to you, it doesn’t matter how worthless you’re talents are, you can still make a meaningful impact somewhere, you just need to follow your heart

If you guessed 3 or 4, you are clearly naive or watch too much Hallmark. But pretty much every other meaning was at least hinted at in Noelle.

You’re kids will probably like Noelle enough. I mean it features a crisis revolving around Christmas that could impact the toys they get, so there’s a hook right there.

My five year old played along nicely with the movie, pretending to be Noelle or Santa or something holiday. Honestly, half the time, I can’t tell…

As for story, Noelle really didn’t go too edgy. There is a crisis because the new Santa is missing. Noelle needs to find him, but of course in doing so, she realizes who she is supposed to be. And while she was on this journey of self-discovery, the interim Santa determined that only 2000 some odd kids were deserving of presents, which felt oddly reminiscent of Santa Claus II: The Mrs. Claus.

And guess what. It all worked out in the end. It was as saccharine and sweet as any Hallmark movie. Any less perfect, and Noelle would have sucked ass.

Granted, it was a bit strange there really wasn’t much of a romance, but Disney has other priorities and has to do something different from Hallmark, who pretty much dominates the sappy Christmas market. Better watch out Hallmark. Disney might find it appropriate to buy your company out if it continues to try to compete in the sappy Christmas movie genre.

Needless to say, if you don’t like sappy Christmas movies with morals out the ass, you will pretty much hate Noelle. You may want to get your phone or i-pad ready to zone out to, it’s going to be a long hour and a half. But if you love the sappy Christmas movie genre, prepare to be pleased in your little Christmas bubble of happy.

Pros

pretty much stays true to sappy Christmas movies and does not try to be too edgy

there are some amusing parts

kids seem to like it

if you like Hallmark Christmas movies, you’ll probably like this one

Cons

if you don’t like Hallmark Christmas movies, this is going to be a long, long ride

these movies never have great plots

Nathan

Nathan is not a published author, professional movie critic, or avid fan of most children shows. He is a caring father (when he's not banging his head against the wall), a movie connoisseur of sorts literally able to have full conversations in movie and TV quotes, and dedicated to helping other parents avoid starting a show with their small children that they will soon regret. In his free time, he does nothing. He has two small children. Free time does not exist.

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