It’s season! And you know what it means. It’s time to crack the first window on the advent calendar, pour hot chocolate, and enjoy hours of Christmas classics. One of the standouts to add to this year’s must-see list is ‘A Boy Called Christmas’, Sky’s screen adaptation of the bestselling author Matt Haig’s novel of the same name.
The first in Haig’s series of five fictional stories, A Boy Called Christmas is brought to life in this feel-good, heartwarming adventure film for the whole family. Sky’s much-anticipated Christmas movie benefits from an all-star cast, stunning animation, and a plot that captures all the hidden meanings of Christmas – joy, gratitude, faith, and love.
Here’s what you need to know about the film:
What Is A Boy Called Christmas About?
A Boy Called Christmas is about the beginning of Santa Claus, from a young boy going on a wild adventure to bring hope back to his village, and to find his father.
The boy, named Nikolas, embarks on an adventure through the snow and makes many unlikely friends along the way, including a stubborn reindeer named Blitzen and a loyal mouse named Miika, who helps him in search of the legendary elven village of Elfheim.
The search is not easy when many people do not believe in the village, but it exists when you find the true belief. Upon arrival, he discovers that he is not wanted because the humans were outcasts from the magical land.
He’s thrown into a dungeon with a hungry troll and a truth pixie who can’t lie. Nikolas soon meets his destiny in this magical, comic, and endearing story that proves nothing is impossible.
A Boy Called Christmas Cast
A Boy Called Christmas’s lead actor was Henry Lawfull, who met the producers when they started looking for the actor, who then cast him as Nikolas a few months later.
Other young actors in the lineup are Indica Watson (The Missing, Sherlock) as Little Noosh and Zoe Margaret Colletti (Fear The Walking Dead, Rubicon) as The Truth Pixie.
In addition to his acting talent, The Office star Stephen Merchant (Extras, Jojo Rabbit) also voices Miika, the mouse that faithfully follows Nikolas on his perilous journey.
Other familiar faces in main roles include Michiel Huisman (The Age of Adaline, Angela Black) as Joel and Sally Hawkins (Maudie, Paddington) in her second cinematic release of the month, as she’s also in the Spencer family. Hawkins plays Mother Something.
Dame Maggie Smith comes back to our screens for this Christmas classic, best known for her role in Harry Potter, Downton Abbey and Sister Act. In A Boy Called Christmas, she plays Aunt Ruth.
Kristen Wiig (Bridesmaids, The Martian, Ghostbusters) also plays Aunt Carlotta, and Toby Jones (Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, Marvelous) joins as Father Topo.
Completing the lineup is Jim Broadbent (Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Chronicles of Narnia) as Father Vodol.
‘A Boy Called Christmas’ locations
A Boy Called Christmas was filmed in Lapland, Czech Republic, Slovakia and London. The film is directed by Academy Award nominee Gil Kenan (Monster House).
“We flew to the edge of the Arctic Circle to a town called Tromsø in Norway, and as we got out of the plane, I felt the breath in my lungs start to freeze. It was minus-40 degrees,” says the film’s director, Gil Kenan.
The magical settlement of Elfhelm is equally breathtaking, with a bustling elven village of stilt houses and colorful windmills built on the backlot of a Prague studio.
“It was really inspiring,” says Toby Jones, who plays elf Father Topo. “No one becomes an actor to stand in front of a green-screen and here, we had a concrete world, with snow being blasted in. It was such a pleasure to work there.”
A Boy Called Christmas Review
The excellence of the Dario Marianelli score and the range of images and details from production designer Gary Williamson give “A Boy Called Christmas” a real sense of enchantment. The movie also has subtle animation that illustrates Joel’s bedtime story about Elfhelm and the gentle transitions from Aunt Ruth and the kids to Nikolas’ adventures.
There are a few mentions of familiar issues with a group called The Resistance to challenge Mother Vodal’s panicking autocracy. And there was the king’s rhetorical question to his subjects about what would give them a better life. They make some tentative proposals like “health care” and “a living wage”, but he insists that the answer is a quest for “hope”, even one place where “most of you will die.”
Lawfull brings conviction and sweetness to his interaction with various CGI creatures, but he’s at his best with Zoe Margaret Colletti, who has an intriguing sparkle as the mischievous Truth Pixie. There are some sad moments, including a redemptive sacrifice, in keeping with the fairy tale tradition of real pilers that make the joyful moments meaningful. Children will enjoy discovering the origins of many Christmas traditions, but what will stay with them are messages of kindness, courage, and, as Aunt Ruth explains, stories that unite the universe together.
Christmas Gifts For Your Whole Family
Are you looking for a unique Christmas gift for your loved ones? Look no further! Here we have tons of cool gifts for all ages and all budgets. Pick one of the items below or head to our Christmas gift collection.
Most Likely To Be On The Naughty List Shirt Christmas$15.99
I Sure Do Like Those Christmas Cookie Shirt$15.99
Monica Monica Have A Happy Hanukkah Mug$16.95
Gnomes Love Christmas With My Tribe Shirt$15.99
Book Christmas Tree Shirt Booked Up For The Holiday$15.99
Let’s Get Lit Christmas T Shirt Red Buffalo Plaid Reindeer$15.99
A Boy Called Christmas is available on Sky Cinema and NOW from 26 November, as well as in cinemas across the UK. It is also available on Netflix US and other countries, but not on Netflix UK.
So, have you watched A Boy Called Christmas yet? Let us know your thoughts in the comment below.