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A Boy Called Christmas (2021)


Netflix has a fire hose of Christmas films. Despite my best efforts to increase the popularity of the Netflix Cinematic Christmas Universe, Netflix is releasing plenty of Christmas films that occur outside of the NCCU. I love snow-dusted pine forests. A Boy Called Christmas is set in Norway and filled with snow-covered bucolic scenes. Much like 8 Bit Christmas, we have a narrator for the film. This time it is Maggie Smith, Professor McGonagall for Harry Potter fans, or the Dowager Countess for Downton Abbey fans. Her recognizable voice is a wonderful complement to the film.

The main star of the film is Nikolas, Henry Lawful, as he seeks out his father and only living parent on a quest to Elfhelm. Elfhelm is a magical place described to him by his mother before her passing and recounted nightly by his father before he departs on his journey. What hero's journey is complete without a sidekick? Fortunately, Nikolas is joined by his talking mouse, Miika, voiced by Stephen Merchant, and a reindeer. His quest is to bring joy back to a sad kingdom. Nikolas’ mother also called him Christmas, but he isn’t sure why, as Christmas is not an existing holiday. Can you see where this story is heading?

Christmas origin stories are generally the ones that turn into holiday classics. Netflix has tried multiple times and has a good track record. Christmas Chronicles and Klaus are two good examples. A Boy Called Christmas falls into this camp for me. It is approachable for the youngest viewers as the dark scenes are never really that dark and good always triumphs. Bad people are changed as they learn to forgive past indiscretions and joy is restored. This is a fun, light-hearted romp through a beautiful northern Scandinavian winter that should stand up to a yearly rewatching.

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