Is Netflix’s The Christmas Chronicles (2018) the best Christmas movie ever? The short answer is no, absolutely not. And if you paid close attention to the title of this article, the question is whether it is the best Santa Claus movie yet, and the answer to this is a definite yes, but not for the reasons you may be thinking. Or if that reason happens to be the casting of Kurt Russell as Santa Claus, then you are correct in your assumption. Furthermore, even though it may not be the best or most original Christmas film, it still makes for an entertaining watch, bringing great humour to adults and children alike. It features some interesting Santa Claus lore, beautiful landscapes, and effects that bring it together to give it a classic Christmassy feel. But what is it that makes these films so good?
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Since the first film’s release in 2018, Netflix’s The Christmas Chronicles franchise has gained a large fanbase, with audiences wanting a third instalment two years later. However, the second film was probably made better because it was released during the COVID-19 pandemic and was a great distraction from everybody’s harsh realities. If you are curious to know why these films were so good and whether a third film will be added to the current two, then read ahead to find out.
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The Casting Was Fantastic
One of the most significant pieces of praise the film receives is for the casting of Kurt Russell and Goldie Hawn as Mr and Mrs Claus. They brought a refreshing twist to their respective characters and breathed new life into the classic take on the couple. In addition, Russell is praised for giving Santa a cool and endearing personality, which made for one of the best takes on the character. This is further backed up by the high 7/10 rating on IMDb, followed by 87% of users liking it on Google, leaving largely positive reviews.
Now to further expand on this, Kurt Russell is also praised for carrying the film with his Santa Claus personality. And once people see a big name such as Russell’s attached to a movie, it is hard not to give it a chance as most people have the mentality that a film cannot be bad if it has a great actor starring in it. And while this is not entirely accurate, it is somewhat true. Because many reviews have stated that if not for Russell’s starring in the film, it would not have been as good as it was. And this is besides the depravity that is social media, praising Kurt Russell’s Santa Claus for his good looks too (and that is putting it mildly).
But this is not to say that the other performances weren’t good. Because Darby Camp, as Katie, does a fantastic job of portraying her character, especially at the young age of 11. Furthermore, Judah Lewis’ portrayal of Teddy as the older, broody brother hanging with the wrong crowd is compelling and well done.
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The Christmas Lore Brought a Spark of Originality
This was arguably one of the film’s best parts outside of Russell’s reinvention of Santa Claus. The movies took a deep dive into the history of Santa Clause and revealed more about how his powers work. One such revelation was that he could not deliver Christmas presents if he did not have his Santa Claus hat. His hat allows him to fit into tight spaces and move extremely quickly when delivering gifts (even though he reveals that he did not need it at the end, and it is replaceable, as seen when one of his elves brings him another hat).
Furthermore, this is the case with his gift bag and the elves. Katie finds out that the bag is a means of teleportation that would allow the user to transport themselves to the North Pole upon entering. This is how she can save Santa from prison when she returns with his elves to fix his sleigh. And yes, the elves are real! This is another aspect of the film largely enjoyed by audiences as they spoke their own language, somewhat reminiscent of the Minions for Despicable Me (2010). They bring a new flavour of humour that was aimed at the younger viewing audiences specifically.
The second film details Santa Claus and his origins, making for a more informative watch. This is executed intelligently, which Katie and her possible stepbrother, Jack, discover when they end up at the North Pole as they attempt to escape home. Santa and his wife give the kids a tour of the village and then provide some background on how he saved the elves from extinction in Turkey. As a reward, he received the Star of Bethlehem, which powered the North Pole and stopped time, so no one aged. There is also the exciting background of the elves who turn into humans when they are bad.
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Will There Be A Third Christmas Chronicle Netflix Film?
Netflix is notorious for cancelling popular movies and tv shows if they do not hit a specific number of views or gain a particular amount of money. And since The Christmas Chronicles is a Netflix original, fans are naturally curious as to whether Kurt Russell’s Santa will suffer the same fate as so many other works. And while both films were hits on Netflix, with the sequel hitting 61 million views within its first month, this does not mean the films are safe from being cut.
Unfortunately, there has not been any confirmation for a third film to be made. And when you consider the large time gap between the last movie’s release, it seems unlikely. The last audiences got to see Russell’s Santa was back in 2020, and if Netflix plans to release another film, they would have confirmed this soon so it can be ready for Christmas this year.
But again, this seems unlikely. This is primarily because of the lack of communication concerning the film but also partially because the ending of the sequel film left no room for a further story to be told. Again though, the writing team behind the franchise might surprise fans with the direction the story will go. But only time will tell whether Russell’s Santa will be hitting fans’ screens again.
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Do you agree, is Netflix’s Christmas Chronicles the best Santa Clause movie ever?