You can always count on Disney for a more elevated Christmas movie. Not churned out by the dozen, instead all the focus goes into creating one decent watchable flick. And in this case that happens to be Noelle. Starring Anna Kendrick in the lead role, Noelle is based on Santa's family, the Kringle's, in the North Pole. With each generation, the Santa hat passes to the next in line to carry on the annual gift-giving and sadly now that Santa Snr has passed away, that honour goes to his son Nick.
The problem is that Nick (Bill Hader) isn't very good. He can't nail the roof landings with the sleigh, despite a huge amount of practice in the village. He can't automatically tell the naughty and nice children apart and his language skills are rusty at best. So with the pressure of his first Christmas mounting, it's up to his sister, Noelle to help him get to grips with the enormous task ahead of him.
When it all starts to get to be too much Noelle suggests a little weekend away so Nick can relax and come back refreshed. But when Nick doesn't return, the North Pole descends into chaos with everybody blaming Noelle. To set things right she commandeers the sleigh and the reindeer and with her elf Nanny Polly (Shirley MacLaine) in tow, heads off to Arizona in search of her brother. There's only one teeny issue. Noelle has never been outside of the North Pole. She has no idea how to find Nick or deal with normal people. Luckily she manages to get private investigator, Jake (Kingsley Ben-Adir, Soulmates) on the case.
So can Jake and Noelle find Nick? Will she be able to convince him to return to the North Pole? Will Christmas even go ahead if she can't? Soooo many questions. All of which get answered by the way. This is Disney so there are no cliffhangers, just everything wrapped up in a nice big Christmas bow. Basically what you get a cute and fun family Christmas movie. It's entertaining and light-hearted even if there is a little too much product placement peppered throughout. But other than that get the mulled wine and mince pies out and enjoy.