‘The Christmas Chronicles’: A Modern Take on a Classic Story

It’s the week before Christmas, and we all need to make sure the spirit of the holiday doesn’t fade in this last dash to finish your final preparations. I have just the movie that will remind you of the true spirit of Christmas. I recently watched The Christmas Chronicles on Netflix, and I have to say, I loved it. It’s the perfect reimagining of the classic tale of Santa.

When I first heard that Kurt Russell was playing Santa, I was skeptical. However, my mind is blown at how perfect he was in this reimagined version. He even uses the term “fake news” to state he doesn’t do “ho, ho, ho”. However, by the end he gives out one “ho, ho, ho” just for Kate.


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Also, a cameo by Goldie Hawn at the end of the film as Mrs. Claus was perfect.

This new version of Santa is unexpected, and yet I am loving him so much. I was never expecting a leather clad version of Santa that sings Elvis and makes his opinions of the traditional image of Santa well known, and yet here he is.

It Pulls At The Heart

The part of the story that really touches you and pulls on your heart is of the two children, Kate and Teddy, who have lost their father within the past year. You can see the toll his death has brought and if you’ve ever lost a person close to you, you know that Christmastime is the time you REALLY miss them the most. After all, Christmas is time for family and togetherness. It’s something that Kate and Teddy learn on this Christmas Eve night spent with Santa while their mother was at work.

In the midst of her grief over her father, Kate looks back at old family movies of him at Christmas. During this, Kate notices Santa’s hand on one of the videos and is determined to catch him on camera. You may say it sounds similar to something you’ve seen before, but it’s not. They did such an amazing job with this new take on an old tale that I promise you won’t be disappointed.

Determined to get a full image of Santa, Kate coaxes Teddy into a stake out to stay up looking for him. When they are alerted that Santa is in the house, they run to capture his image and end up having a night they will never forget full of reindeer, some Christmas magic, an epic car chase, some thugs, a jail break from Santa, elves, and a lesson learned along the way.

The Christmas Chronicles is the perfect film to watch with your family with a warm blanket and a steaming cup of hot chocolate. Oh, add some mini marshmallows and a hint of peppermint to it. Go all out! This movie deserves that.

Keep reading as I discuss my favorite moments from the movie.

Santa Holds a Christmas Concert Behind Bars

You are probably asking WTF to the screen when you read that caption and see the gif above, but the Santa that Kurt Russell gives us is not the traditional Santa you are used to. Like I noted, it’s a reimagining of a classic to a more modern feel, and it’s a success.

However, when Santa gets locked up for stealing a car after his reindeer have deserted him and he’s lost his Christmas magic, he finds a way to bring Christmas spirit to the other prisoners and the officers who arrested him during a jailhouse performance of Elvis’ “Santa Claus is Back in Town”. There’s even a piano solo and some black shades thrown into the mix.

After the performance, there’s so much Christmas spirit that the arresting officers say nothing to him when the elves come to collect him, and they escape through the air vent.

The Car Chase

What would you say when you see Santa riding on top of a red Dodge Challenger? In this movie, he does just that – and he does it with style! This is NOT your normal Santa, and I really love it. Kurt Russell just really did a fantastic job.

After losing his hat and reindeer, Santa and Teddy take off in an already stolen Dodge Challenger – stating that afterwards they will turn it over to the police, so the thief gets justice and the rightful owner gets their car back. The police don’t buy it and Santa ends up in jail, but not until Teddy makes a run for it to find Kate, who is searching for the reindeer all over Chicago.

The scene itself reminds me of something from The Fast and the Furious franchise, and it doesn’t fail one bit to provide the film with action and humor along the way. Santa even tells Teddy to never tell Mrs. Claus he got arrested.

A highlight of the car chase scene is the Star Wars reference. Teddy asks Santa to do a Jedi mind trick on the police, so they can escape, and Santa’s brilliant comeback – “I’m not Yoda.”. I love a Christmas movie that fills me with spirit and makes me laugh – this one accomplished that!

The Elves

The elves in The Christmas Chronicles are different. They only speak Elvish, which requires the use of subtitles for us to understand them. However, Santa and Mrs. Claus understand them just fine, and by the end of the film so does Kate.

They are fully animated and were not what I was expecting when I started watching. It takes almost half the film to meet them, but when we do, we go on a wild ride with Kate and the elves to free Santa from jail. Kate thinks he must be crushed to be in jail, but as we know he had one hell of party before he made his jail break, and in the midst, spread some Christmas cheer.

By end of the movie, I found the elves to be one of my favorite aspects of the film.

The First Glimpse of Santa

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After Kate hatches an elaborate plan to get a glimpse of Santa on camera, she convinces Teddy to help her with it. When Santa is too fast for them, they run outside with the camera and finally get their glimpse of Santa and the reindeer. The look on their faces is pure astonishment.

However, Kate convinces Teddy to hide in the back of Santa’s sleigh and off they go for a Christmas Eve they will never forget.

The Reindeer

The reindeer are also an aspect of this film that are completely animated, but they did an amazing job with it. They looked very realistic. I honestly couldn’t tell that were animated and until I read it online that they were, I really thought they had used the real deal.

A lot of Kate’s part of the film revolves around her finding the eight reindeer after they escaped Santa’s sleigh. Once found, she and Teddy even rode them back to Santa, so they could help save Christmas.

Santa Explains What Happens When He Is Unable to Deliver All His Packages

When explaining to Teddy and Kate about why it is so important that he delivers all his packages before sunrise on Christmas Day, he reveals what happened when he didn’t accomplish it in the past.

He notes that the darker times in history were caused by a lack of Christmas spirit, which inevitably caused him to not be able to deliver his packages.

I really loved this aspect of the film. I loved that, at least in the aspect of the film, Santa didn’t gloss over true terrors of the world.

When there’s not Christmas spirit, the world is just a bit bleaker. This movie definitely accomplishes making you feel happy and full by the end of it, which is what any good Christmas movie’s main goal is.

The Bar Fight

If you thought the car chase was the only action sequence in this film, you were wrong! Santa ends up strolling into a pub called “Nick’s Place” and ends up in a bar fight.

It was pretty epic. That’s all I have to say. Hey, I’m writing this to convince you to watch the movie. I can’t give it all away, can I? Just watch it! You won’t be disappointed.

The Feeling of Hope

At the end of the movie, as you probably predicted, you fill full of Christmas spirit and hope. They saved Christmas.

However, it’s not before Santa almost forgot a little girl in Mexico City – who ended up catching him eating his cookies. The look of glee on the little girl’s face was amazing and it’s what you see when you look into the eyes of a child this time of year. To see Christmas through the eyes of a child is a truly remarkable thing, and this movie accomplishes that.

Kate and Teddy’s Mom

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For most of the movie, the mom is absent. She is a nurse who gets called in on Christmas Eve. With her being the sole bread winner, she takes the shift reluctantly and leaves Teddy in charge.

You can tell the loss of her husband is wearing on her. She works a lot and they didn’t even have the tree up on Christmas Eve. It took some of Santa’s Christmas magic to accomplish the goal, but by the time she returned home from work on Christmas morning she was in tears because the house was decorated just as her husband used to do it.

She was also very pleased her children were not fighting anymore. What a better gift for her than this? I’m not a mother, but I can bet that any mother would be pleased that her children were not at each other’s throats on Christmas morning.

I loved seeing Kimberly Williams-Paisley in this movie as well. She was terrific in the short amount of time she had.

Mrs. Claus

As I noted above, Goldie Hawn makes a cameo as Mrs. Claus at the end of the movie and it’s absolutely fantastic. She even speaks a bit of Elvish!

Kurt and Goldie really made it a family affair.

Other Highlights

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• “Does my butt really look that big to you?” – Santa
• The scene at the church. Just watch it. You’ll know what I mean.
• “A Pierce always sees it through.” – Kate and Teddy’s dad
• Santa’s gift to Teddy so he can remember his dad. The tears are real.
• The look on the police officer’s face when Santa tells him that his ex-wife wants to reconcile. And yes, she called him to talk.

It accomplishes the main goal of any Christmas movie. It fills you full of Christmas cheer. Christmas is saved. It also entertains you. It makes you laugh. It tugs at your heart. It’s the kind of movie that ends up on your must-see list. It proves that the traditional image we have of Santa doesn’t have to be.

Kurt Russell pulled off Santa in a very unexpected way. In this, we get a leather-clad, pop culture knowledgeable Santa who rocks out to Elvis in jail. I’m totally loving it! It’s the perfect family friendly movie.

The man who directed it is the same man who brought us Home Alone and the first two Harry Potter movies. When I found that out, it explained why I loved this movie so much!

The Christmas Chronicles is now on Netflix.

Agree? Disagree? Let us know in the comments below!

Currently a writer for The Resident, but I have many interests that include country music, fantasy and science fiction movies. I'm just your typical southern girl who was raised by a single dad. A Chris Wood and Matt Czuchry fangirl forever.