We’re still more than three weeks out from Halloween, so now is clearly a great time to get that Christmas movie blitz underway. Netflix has stormed out of the gates with the first footage below for the truly goofy looking A Boy Called Christmas, a rollicking family adventure that essentially functions as an origin story for Father Christmas/Saint Nikolas, who in the U.S. has become more or less synonymous with Santa Claus. The official synopsis says only that the young Nikolas “sets off into the snowy white north in search of his father.”
Now, in the hands of the Hallmark Channel, such a premise would likely function as a family comedy with light drama, in which Nikolas’ single mother would meet a scruffy handyman and fall in love as they work together to put on the annual town Christmas pageant. A Boy Called Christmas, on the other hand, looks to have been made in Studio Blockbuster Mode, with a CGI budget to match. The result can’t help but call to mind Harry Potter thanks to several prominent Wizarding World cast members making an appearance, but there also seem to be twists of Dr. Seuss, Rankin Bass and The Chronicles of Narnia as well.
If there is one thing that is genuinely impressive about A Boy Called Christmas, though, it’s the depth of the cast. In addition to Harry Potter stalwarts Maggie Smith and Jim Broadbent, it’s also got Sally Hawkins, Michiel Huisman, Toby Jones, Stephen Merchant and Kristen Wiig, among others. Hopefully, they manage to make these proceedings at least watchable, even if they descend into a treacly morass.
A Boy Called Christmas hits Netflix on Nov. 24, 2021. Check out the first trailer below.