A Boy Called Christmas (2021)

boy called christmas poster 2021 movie
7.5 Overall Score
Story: 7/10
Acting: 7/10
Visuals: 8/10

Clever and different

Sometimes too shiny

Movie Info

Movie Name:  A Boy Called Christmas

Studio:  StudioCanal/Netflix/Canal+

Genre(s):  Seasonal/Action/Adventure/Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Family

Release Date(s):  November 18, 2021 (Germany)/November 24, 2021 (US)

MPAA Rating:  PG

boy called christmas nikolas miika mouse henry lawfull

Time to help some of the worst people!!!

The land to the North is at its lowest, and Nikolas aka “Christmas” (Henry Lawfull) is also suffering after the loss of his mother.  When the king (Jim Broadbent) offers a ransom for people of the kingdom to seek out the legendary Elfhelm and bring back the magic from it, Nikolas’s father Joel (Michiel Huisman) leaves Nikolas to find it.  The party is lost, and Nikolas sets out on an adventure to find his father using a secret map…no matter what it takes…and in his search, a tradition that could change the world will begin.

Directed by Gil Kenan (who penned the screenplay with Ol Parker), A Boy Called Christmas is a fantasy family adventure.  The film is based on 2015 Matt Haig children’s novel.  The movie premiered on Netflix on and received positive reviews.

boy called christmas little kip reindeer henry lawfull rishi kuppa

Sorry my dad kidnapped you and tried to turn you into a slave…but hey…Happy Holidays!

A Boy Called Christmas suffers from its advertising and title.  From the name, I was expecting a saccharine sweet family picture that was just crammed to the brim with family holiday fun.  I was pleasantly surprised to find that the movie had a bit more bite than expected (but it still was family friendly).

The film is a decent adventure.  It is framed almost like The Princess Bride (with Maggie Smith telling her niece and nephews the tale). Like a lot of “origins of Christmas” stories, you have Christmas lore mixed into the story which has characters learning the true meaning of Christmas.  The movie has a lot of loss and death but even that is played in a rather harmless and light way.

The cast is led by Henry Lawfull who plays the optimistic and titled “Boy” with a heart that carries the movie.  His shiny, clean look that fits the character and the style of the film.  Sally Hawkins, Toby Jones, Kristen Wiig, and Stephen Merchant (as the mouse Stephen Merchant) provide some of his back-up.  Maggie Smith (as mentioned) is the controller of the story as the storyteller and provides a nice voice.

boy called christmas toby jones father topo elves

So…want to start a tradition?

The movie is a fantasy and has a good whimsical look.  It goes to the roots of Christmas as a holiday (non-Christian) and blends the seasonal events of winter holidays in Scandinavian countries.  The movie is so “shiny” that it almost looks animated at points…and the high fantasy works as a result.

I was pleasantly surprised by A Boy Called Christmas simply because I expected it a little cleaner and even more family friendly movie.  There was enough edge to the movie, and though you can kind of predict the movie’s path, there are enough twists in it that it raises it above the typical kids’ holiday movie.  Celebrate Christmas!

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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