Noelle is a Disney+ Original film that follows the kids of the most recent Santa, as they scramble to take after their father since he’s recently died. With Christmas fast approaching, the next in line Nick Kringle (Bill Hader) heads to a warmer climate and it’s up to Noelle Kringle (Anna Kendrick) to find him. This really is her film specifically, she’s the lead and the entire journey revolves around her.
She is of course perfect for this role bringing high levels of almost crazy joy and generally being over the top jolly. It fits the role, and what I’ve seen of her film personality over the years. This is a very straight forward type of situation narrative wise, it’s just a slightly different setup leading towards the events of getting someone to take on the role.
There are some sappy and charming moments along the way as this out of place character from the North Pole gets used to the American society. She’s joined by a close protector, Elf Polly (Shirley MacLaine) who provides some guidance. There were some laughs to be had, and this is likely heartwarming to most which is of course the target here.
The CGI in this is shockingly poor at times, it’s not great to look at. They provided a neat North Pole area, but some of the smaller elements just looked awful. The reindeer were bad, disappointing as they don’t do much so actual creatures could have perhaps been used. The other animals at the North Pole were also bad to look at.
You could tell that this was lower budget. The costume work was spot on, and Anna Kendrick delivers on her role perfectly. I also found Bill Hader to be solid, but minimally used. This has an alright pacing to it, bit long in comparison to the actual events that take place. It’s just such a typical Christmas movie that it’s hard to really dive into quite honestly. I didn’t mind watching it, but it’s definitely nothing special.
Noelle is a very typical Christmas movie, come in with low expectations for what’s generally an ok time that’s highly driven by Anna Kendrick’s insane joy. She’s good in this role, matches what I expect from her acting. There’s definitely some heart to this one, and you’ll see that as she interacts with people. Some elements are slightly fresh, but for the most part it’s just another person from the North Pole tries to get used to regular life.
There are some gags about her not understanding things, and then a mix-up about how she might be a bit crazy. It just sort of goes along, I felt it could have been tightened up more length wise. It went by, I suppose I enjoyed it but likely won’t be revisiting it again. It won’t be a classic for my yearly Christmas watches, but I’m sure for some it will fill a gap being modern. There just wasn’t anything that truly elevated this film above other seasonal offerings.
Noelle Review at Home with Streamed Viewing