Noelle is a brand new Disney+ Original movie starring Anna Kendrick as Kris Kringle’s daughter, Noelle, who sets off on a mission to find and bring back her brother (Bill Hader), after he gets cold feet when it’s his turn to take over as Santa.
It’s a great fun family film for the holiday season, with a beautiful North Pole setting, along with a rather boring looking outlet mall in Phoenix, Arizona. Which provides the movie with a few hot jokes and two locations that look very different.
Noelle offers plenty of humor, I found myself chuckling multiple times, which is all down to Anna Kendrick, who does her best to do something with the script and the rest of the cast feel underutilized, both Bill Nader and Billy Eichner are comedians, but they barely got any laughs in. And that’s the biggest issue with this movie, it’s all very bland. The script feels like it went through a list of recent Christmas movies, stole a bit from Elf, a bit from Fred Claus and Arthur Christmas, mixing it all together to make an average holiday movie.
It just felt very lazy, very predictable and ultimately there was nothing about this movie that felt special, it’s fine to watch once and you’ll probably enjoy it, but I can’t see it becoming a holiday tradition like Home Alone or Elf. The movie does have a positive outlook and a strong message that anyone can be Santa, since traditions can be misinterpreted over time.
Years ago, we would have called this a “Straight To Video” movie, but nowadays it falls perfectly into that “Netflix” or “Hallmark” Christmas movie category, which is the reason it was pulled from its theatrical release and moved to Disney+. And it’s easy to see where the budget was cut, while the North Pole set looks stunning, the CGI reindeer and sleigh ride scene just looked bad. The white reindeer sidekick character just looked awful.
Noelle is a perfect Disney+ movie for the holiday season, the type of movie where you can chill out on the couch with the family and enjoy a cheesy Christmas movie. It’s not amazing, but it’s still enjoyable.
Rating – 2.5 out of 5