With Christmas just around the corner, its time to dive back into holiday-themed movies. Nadia Angel took a look at a few Netflix movies that came out before the start of December this year.
Now don’t get me mistaken, I am no Grinch or Ebenezer, but I am a firm believer that the Christmas period should stay under the constraints of the December month. Instead of that, we end up cringing through mid-November supermarket Christmas decorations (Although, I love a good John Lewis advert!) and Mariah Carey’s inevitable top of the chart’s countdown.
With that in mind, Netflix started their Christmas movies release quite early for my suitable Christmas celebrations timescale, with prominent named features being released throughout November. I decided to give the movies a go and see if they would convert me as the Christmas holidays continue to approach us.
Dash and Lily
I started off with a limited series that I have to include because this absolutely snarky and cute, Joe Tracz creation hit the perfect balance of romance and evoking those Christmas feels. Perfect for anyone who considers themselves a book worm or a fan of penmanship, as it holds a romance story that many would love to claim as their own.
The series had Midori Francis represent the ever so common Christmas Angel, whose Christmas spirit was wavering due to elements beyond her control, including the relatable qualm of not so perfect familial relationships. On the other side, we have the modern-day Grinch, played by Austin Abrams who already has a formidable acting career behind him. The two embark on a marvellous Christmas Mystery, with the viewers involved every step of the way by offering differing perspectives which I loved. Be sure to watch out for those strikingly perfect “Dash and Lily moments”.
Not your average Christmas movie, in fact it could be argued that it is a movie that encompasses all holidays. However, I believe a lot of the focus surrounds the Christmas holidays. Fundamentally the idea of a ‘Holidate’ seems like it could be a dangerous course of blurred lines and mixed messages… and that is what the film ended up entailing. The Emma Roberts-led film was funny, due to its heavy use of bad jokes and it didn’t seem to represent reality at all, but when do Christmas romances ever do?
The film brushes on each holiday in toll and the growing pressures from family members to be on the way to the altar grew alongside. If you’re not someone that looks deeply at thematics or the logic behind the films you watch, then take a slice of the ‘Holidate’ cheese for that warm holiday love.
Operation Christmas Drop
Hafa Adai! The next entry will leave you with island envy, as we take a break from the traditional snowy cities for some beautiful Chamorro beaches.
Operation Christmas Drop begins with a fantastic intro song, partnered with the first glimpse of the movie’s black female lead Kat Graham who plays a headstrong political aid. The picture is based on a true story, concerning the American Air force providing Christmas drops to its colonised islands. Causing tension between the cargo pilot (played by Alexander Ludwig) and Graham’s character, who was to write a report to shut down operations, was ingenious as we waited for the inescapable feat of the two characters falling in love.
There were definitely inconsistencies around how two professionals would talk to each other, very unrealistic banter, which would probably result in someone’s swift dismissal in real life. Nonetheless, it was a beautiful story with beautiful scenery that went back to the core of Christmas which is sharing and spreading love.
Christmas chronicles 2
Now we’ve got the romance stuff out of our system, we can focus on the return of Belsnickel (don’t search that in google images – I warned you). This Christmas fun comes in the form of some animation with few human characters, giving it all the life needed. This is one to enjoy with the whole family, all the cousins, younger siblings, nieces and nephews, as everyone will be filled with laughs and content.
There is a connection to the first Christmas Chronicles, but it is not necessary to have watched it as it makes a coherent movie on its own. In fact, it left me appreciating St. Nicks moves and wanting to learn Elvish, which is something I’m not ashamed to admit.
For any Fast and Furious fans, it was hard seeing Tyrese Gibson play anyone but the right-hand man of the dearly departed Paul Walker, but he did a great job in showing the extent of characters he can bring to the screen. At this point, I am slowly turning into an early Christmas movie release fan!
Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey
Now, this was a fantastic film, with incredible casting and great representation. All the main characters had their lineage carefully explained without being considered boring details. It maintained a phenomenal fantasy world that many people of all ages would love to be immersed in.
A word of caution, it is a musical-filled film with Christmas music that is not strictly traditional but still quite catchy. The vocals are amazing and contained choreography which would humble anyone’s two steps. Alongside its music, it is a story filled with revenge, heartbreak and the power of Christmas spirit which is a recipe for any amazing story. It showed how being smart is a great trait, empowered its young girls and incorporated some light afrobeats, which finally brought me to a few tears.
The Princess Switch: Switched again
The last early Christmas film I watched with December around the corner, was The Princess Switch 2 with the beloved Vanessa Hudgens (although, the British accent could use some work). This film was a humbling watch with all the characters being astonishingly beautiful.
If you are a fan of costume design, this would be a great film to unpick. I personally thought the coronation dress worn by Vanessa Hudgens was outstanding. If you can keep up with the switches, this was not a bad watch at all!
All of these great films were found on Netflix UK and I can firmly say that I may have been converted to the Early Release groupies! As there is not much that can go wrong with the mix of laughs, drama, love and true Christmas spirit. Merry Christmas!