“People need Christmas to remind themselves of how good they can be!” — Kurt Russell as Santa Claus in Netflix’s The Christmas Chronicles.
I watched the Netflix Christmas movie released on Thanksgiving Day starring Kurt Russell and laughed or smiled all the way to the end. The Christmas Chronicles is full of computer-generated graphics that look so real as the kids believably ride the reindeer through downtown Chicago that the viewer feels like she is right there flying with them. So, Santa’s objective for the kids is to increase their confidence since their good behavior has been wobbling following their dad’s untimely death.
Early on Santa reminds Teddy, “People need Christmas to remind themselves of how good they can be.” I take this to be the crux of this Christmas tale, that is, to reveal to the children that they have the goodness inside them ready to be revealed.
The hour and forty-five-minute movie exudes caring energies throughout the ups and downs of the plot. Santa is the perfect teacher for these kiddos as he gets the Christmas feeling back with his rendition of “Santa is back in town.” The song is charged with half a century of rock-n-roll which gets viewers tapping to the rhythm and rooting for the youngsters to save the day.
As I watched the movie, I saw bits of The Polar Express, any Hallmark Christmas story, and Kurt Russell’s earlier movies like the Computer Wore Tennis Shoes and his role as Elvis. The magic of the season that I saw in Tom Hank’s animated journey seemed to repeat in the journey the two children take with Santa in the Christmas Chronicles. A bit of the angst from the locomotive racing the cracking ice is repeated in the car chase in the Chronicles as the police pursue Santa in a stolen red Dodge. The sweetness of the story without all the violence and nonsense of shoot-em-up movies is very much like the good-hearted stories on the Hallmark channel. Finally, the Chronicles is like the 1969 movie The Computer Wore Tennis Shoes because both showcase the adolescent saving the day. Movie goers also remember Russell in his role as Elvis and will see glimpses of that iconic singer again.
This movie, now showing on Netflix, will give everyone tuned in around the flat screen ample laughter and perhaps a push to string the popcorn for the tree, or sew those mittens, bake those cookies or start a sock-hop with grandma.
For these reasons and more, I recommend The Christmas Chronicles on Netflix for families, children and seniors!
—Nelda Curtiss is a retired college professor who enjoys writing and fine arts. Contact her at [email protected]