THE CHRISTMAS CHRONICLES is a TV movie on Netflix about two children who interrupt Santa’s trip delivering presents and spreading joy on Christmas Eve. Teddy and his younger sister, Kate, chase Santa and dive into his sleigh. This wreaks havoc in the sleigh, causing Santa to lose his magical bag, his magical hat, and his reindeer. Now, they must help Santa save Christmas, but when they steal a stolen car in Chicago, the police arrest Santa and put him in jail. How will Teddy and Kate get Santa out of jail, so he can finish his rounds?
THE CHRISTMAS CHRONICLES is very funny and action-packed. It’s a fast-paced mashup of HOME ALONE, GREMLINS, and a lot of Santa Claus movies. THE CHRISTMAS CHRONICLES has a lot of heartwarming, pro-family, redemptive content. However, it’s mixed with Santa Claus magic about Christmas and strange moments when children refuse to enter a church, when Santa rationalizes breaking the law, and when elves turn into gremlins. MOVIEGUIDE® recommends exercising some caution and talking to your children about the good and the bad in THE CHRISTMAS CHRONICLES.
(CC, BB, Ab, FR, LL, VV, M):
Dominant Worldview and Other Worldview Content/Elements:
Strong redemptive storyline mixed with Santa Claus magic about Christmas with some strange moments when children refuse to enter church, when Santa rationalizes breaking the law, when boys’ auto theft is dismissed, but other good moments when fireman father gives up his life for people he doesn’t know, and boy and girl are willing to give up their lives to help Santa, and some strange elves that sometimes act like gremlins;
Five obscenities and six light exclamatory profanities;
Lots of comic slapstick violence such as girl falls from sleigh almost to the Earth, girl falls through Santa’s red bag into the North Pole, elves attack girl and attack robbers, policeman forces Santa to the ground and handcuffs him, bartender threatens to beat people with a baseball bat, etc.;
Alcohol in the bar, and girl says she shouldn’t be there;
Smoking and/or Drug Use and Abuse:
Smoking content and/or level of drug use or abuse; and,
Brother and sister fight but they learn how to love one another, protagonists steal a stolen car and Santa makes excuses, and Santa tells some fibs.
THE CHRISTMAS CHRONICLES are naughty and nice. Even Santa admits to being a little bit naughty. That said, the movie has a lot of heartwarming, pro-family, redemptive content mixed with unfortunate stealing, pratfalls and cute elves that turn into gremlins.
The movie opens with a video montage of the Pierce family’s Christmases starting in 2007. Teddy is the older brother of Kate. After years of great Christmases, their fireman father dies saving others. This makes Teddy resentful that his father left him when he needed him, just to save a stranger.
Kate is still a true believer in Santa Claus, however. Looking back at the old videos of Christmas, she sees an arm put a Christmas present under the tree. She talks Teddy into staying up all night on Christmas Eve to videotape Santa. Sure enough, they do so, chase Santa and then jump into his sleigh. This wreaks havoc with the sleigh, causing Santa to lose his magical bag, his magical hat and his reindeer.
Santa says they only have a few hours to save Christmas. After first banishing Teddy and Kate, he agrees to let them help him. In trying to find his reindeer, they steal a stolen car after comical interactions in a bar where Santa is asking everyone to help him get to Downtown Chicago.
The police chase after Santa, Teddy and Kate in the car, and Santa tells Kate to find the reindeer while distracts the police. Two policemen capture Santa. Everything Santa says adds to his arrest record. He says you can’t accuse me of stealing the car because it was already stolen. Then the police ask Santa what he’s doing with Teddy, and they accuse him of kidnapping Teddy when they find out Teddy’s home is in Massachusetts. The police also accuse Santa of breaking and entering when he says he climbed down the chimney. Very funny dialogue, but sketchy moral values.
Kate is able to find the reindeer, and Santa tells Teddy and Kate to get his elves by finding his big red gift bag. When they find the bag, Kate crawls into it and finds herself falling into the North Pole. After being tied up by the elves, she convinces him they have to come help Santa.
While Kate’s gone, a group of thieves grabs Teddy with the red bag and take them to their hideout, where the mastermind is collecting all the stolen Christmas goods from Chicago. The master thief tries to throw the red bag into the furnace. Teddy says that his sister is in the bag, so he saves the bag. The elves come out of the bag, turn into gremlins and attack the thieves.
Meanwhile, Santa’s in jail trying to bring some Christmas cheer by magically producing some musical instruments so his jailmates and the women in the next cell can launch into some pop Christmas songs. So, the question is, how to get Santa out of jail, how to deliver all the presents by sunrise and how to save Christmas.
THE CHRISTMAS CHRONICLES is a fast-paced, comical mashup of HOME ALONE, GREMLINS and a lot of Santa Claus movies. Its message is about loving your brother or sister, being willing to risk your life to save others and being a true believer.
This redemptive message is compromised a little bit, however, when Teddy and Kate are looking for the elves and hear people singing “Old Tanenbaum” in a church and consider going into the church but decide not to do that. It’s also compromised by Santa being a little bit naughty, which he admits, by stealing a stolen car and telling some fibs. Also, Teddy and his friends in the beginning of the movie steal a car. Good eventually triumphs in THE CHRISTMAS CHRONICLES, but the moral lapses are never completely refuted.
Again, this is reminiscent of several Santa Claus movies and Christmas movies. So, MOVIEGUIDE® recommends exercising some caution and talking to your children about the good and the bad in THE CHRISTMAS CHRONICLES. All of that said, it’s a very funny, action-packed television movie.
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