Santa's daughter, Noelle, has always loved Christmas. Her older brother Nick was trained to take their father's place one day, and Noelle hopes that she too would one day find something important to do with her life. When Nick disappears in December, Noelle sets out to bring him home and save Christmas.
Shirley MacLaine as Elf Polly in the sleigh with Noelle.
Noelle is a wholesome family Christmas movie, starring Anna Kendrick as the title character. It also features the legendary Shirley MacLaine as Noelle's nanny, Elf Polly, and the very handsome Kingsley Ben-Adir (The OA, High Fidelity) as Jake, a detective Noelle hires to find her missing brother.
For fun, I played Christmas Movie Bingo once again, using a card from here. To my surprise, I didn't quite get bingo with this one, although I did fill in plenty of squares.
This movie is super cute, with Anna Kendrick in a variety of adorable elf outfits (I want them all!), accompanied by her animal friend, the baby reindeer, Snowcone. However, it manages not to be too unbearably saccharine, remaining watchable for adults as well as children. It makes a refreshing change that there is no unnecessary romantic subplot (at least, not involving Noelle). Instead, it was mainly about Noelle and her brother each finding their place in the world and working out what they want to do with their lives.
There is no mention of Christianity at all in this movie, (the elves even 'swear' by saying things like "thank garland!"), which might please secular viewers. I was going to say there was no mention of religion, but there is a character who responds to Noelle's Christmas greeting by saying that he is a Buddhist. There is no actual swearing, and only a tiny amount of violence (a brief dust-up between rival mall Santas).
Since I am compelled to overthink things, I have some questions about how things work in the North Pole, such as what happened to Snowcone's parents (apparently he is the "last flying reindeer" they had, so are there no other baby reindeer, or just none that can fly?) but these go unanswered. I was also quietly horrified that Noelle thought that unexpectedly bringing Jake to his ex's house to spend Christmas with her and her new family was a good idea, but let's just assume she called his ex and asked her permission first.
Noelle is a jolly, feel-good Christmas movie suitable for all ages. It is currently streaming on Disney+.