Noelle Kringle (Anna Kendrick) and Nick Kringle (Bill Hader) are the children of the jolly big guy himself- that’s right, Santa Claus. Unfortunately their father passes away with Christmas night not far away. The suit and the responsibility of being Santa Claus now falls on the oldest sibling, Nick (Bill Hader). But Nick expresses his lack of interest in being the new Santa, and he runs away from the North Pole. This leaves his younger sister, Noelle, to chase after him and try and convince him of his responsibilities as Santa.
This film is one of the two exclusive releases on the new streaming service Disney+ (the other is the live-action remake of Lady and the Tramp).
Noelle is a film aimed at young children and families. The film’s storyline is way too predictable for anything else. From the opening act of the film, the film’s ending is obvious. While this did bother me slightly, I reminded myself- it’s a Disney Movie.
Actress Anna Kendrick is terrific as Noelle. I enjoyed her enthusiasm and innocence, particularly when she decides to try and find her older brother. She’s just so fun as she interacts with those who are both naughty and nice- she is easily the highlight of this film.
The film Noelle also has other great actors, but I couldn’t help but feel they were merely underused given their resume and talent. Actors Bill Hader and Shirley MacLaine were fine here, but given what they did in this film it feels like any actor could have done the same job and that the director has simply not utilised them to their full capacity on screen.
I also had a minor issue with the film’s CGI work, particularly for one of the animal characters Noelle has interactions with throughout the film. Not only was this animal slightly annoying, but the CGI was rough, and it is evident that actress Anna Kendrick wasn’t looking at this character correctly (looking above, below, beside or through the animal). Once again, being a kids film, I doubt people will care as much.
Overall, Noelle is a jolly family film. Yes, I found some flaws with it, but because it’s aimed at families and young children, it’s hard to be a naughty boy and write a nasty review. It’s a light-hearted Christmas comedy with a positive message for all, plus the film has actress Anna Kendrick who is simply the biggest highlight and will bring joy to those who watch it.
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Review Written by Peter Walkden