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The Christmas Chronicles 2 Movie Review - Lively Fun!

International holiday legends plus old friends equal cheer.

Reviewed by on Nov 23, 2020
Rating: 4 Star Rating

Kidzworld reviews The Christmas Chronicles 2 which weaves together a few ancient yuletide legends, some familiar faces, magic and great music to put you in the holiday mood. Check our our review of the fun holiday movie!

 

 

Kurt and Goldie play Mr. and Mrs. ClausKurt and Goldie play Mr. and Mrs. Claus

In The Christmas Chronicles 2, lead character from the first film, now 13-year-old Kate Pierce (Darby Camp) is unhappy when her mom (Kimbery Williams-Paisley) is dating Bob (Tyrese Gibson) only 2 years after her dad died. When the couple takes the kids for Christmas in Cancun, Mexico, Kate misses sledding and winter fun with pals while bro Teddy (Judah Lewis) enjoys himself. Unhappy, Kate plans on returning home on her own but Bob’s tween son Jack (Jahzir Bruno) follows and they are both sent to the North Pole by disgruntled ex-elf now human Belsnickel (Julian Dennison) who hopes to use them in his plan to destroy Santa (Kurt Russell) and Christmas forever.

Mr. and Mrs. Claus relax at homeMr. and Mrs. Claus relax at home

Belsnickel’s Plan

A tiny elf trudges through the snow to his master Belsnickel’s cave to bring him a videotape he stole from Santa. It shows younger Kate telling Santa she is a true believer. Belsnickel wants to bring her here to get him into Santa’s village. He, Santa and Mrs. Claus (Goldie Hawn) were once like family and Belsnickel like Santa’s apprentice but Santa ignored him and he was cursed to become a human. Meanwhile, on the beach in Cancun, Kate tells her bro Teddy how much she hates that her mom might marry Bob and forget her late dad and that she isn’t back home for true Christmas.

Kate's mom and Bob dance in CancunKate's mom and Bob dance in Cancun

Bob’s son Jack is sure his dad will propose to her. When Bob sings “Oh Christmas Tree”, dad’s fave song, Kate stalks away hurt and angry.

Kate is unhappy in Cancun while Teddy and Jack are notKate is unhappy in Cancun while Teddy and Jack are not

Escape

Kate decides to take an early plane home to Boston but Jack, who seems to be allergic to and afraid of everything, stows away on her airport shuttle which is driven by Belsnickel who creates a magical worm hole and tosses Kate and Jack through it! They land in a snowstorm and almost freeze when Santa, who was chasing a giant Yule Cat named Jola in his sleigh, spots them and takes them through a barrier of magical lights to Santa’s Village at the North Pole. Of course he didn’t see that Belsnickel has hitched a ride underneath and jumps off at the gates.

Belsnickel (Julian Dennison) plots his revengeBelsnickel plots his revenge

A New World

The elves recognize Kate but Jack is freaked by the whole place and Mr. and Mrs. Claus until he and Kate are taken by the couple on a tour of the village where they see that “Elf” is showing at the cinema and elves are busy all over town building new LEGO figures, inventing video games and making tons of candy canes. When Jack notices a giant star atop the village’s giant Christmas tree, Santa explains that it was created from the true Star of Bethlehem and it powers the village and the barrier that protects it. Only Santa and those he has with him can pass through. The kids are invited to dinner which consists of healthy foods that taste like sweets!

Kate and Jack get a tour of Santa's VillageKate and Jack get a tour of Santa's Village

Origins

Belsnickel has created a bunch of electronic toys. One soars into the village and spies on the kids.

Kate is asleep in the Claus homeKate is asleep in the Claus home

Mrs. Claus tells them about Santa’s origin in what is now Turkey. He was Saint Nicolas there and teamed with the local elves that were almost hunted to extinction for their magical powers. He led many of them to safety in the North Pole and became Santa Claus. She also tells them about Belsnickel who was once a beloved elf, Santa’s partner as a toy inventor until, as a teen, he rebelled when he wasn’t getting all the attention and caused so much mayhem that he was cursed to become a human and ran away. Mrs. Claus still misses him.

Mrs. Claus tells Kate and Jack stories from the ChroniclesMrs. Claus tells Kate and Jack stories from the Chronicles

A Lot of Trouble

Belsnickel uses his drones to fly a potion and dump it on the elves while his buddy the big Yule Cat Jola goes into the stables to keep Santa’s reindeer busy. He fights with Dasher who is badly hurt. The potion turns the elves into angry, destructive jerks while Belsnickel steals the star from atop the tree. He wants to start his own village at the South Pole so that Christmas and Santa will be forgotten. Mrs. Claus asks him to come home. Loving family can break his curse since he so hates being a human. He refuses. He and Santa magically fight over the star and it explodes, destroyed and all the lights go off, all the power gone.

Mrs. Claus loves Kate and kids in generalMrs. Claus loves Kate and kids in general

New Missions

Mrs. Claus and Jack will tend to injured Dasher and try to figure out a potion to reverse what has happened to the now angry elves while Santa and Kate fly the sleigh and remaining reindeer to Turkey to reunite with the original elves who can help Santa build a new star.

Santa's elves can't believe Christmas may be no moreSanta's elves can't believe Christmas may be no more

Only three days remain until Christmas. Mrs. Claus gives Jack some magic cookies as weapons and sends him to pick a rare flower that she needs for a potion to help her elves. He is terrified but goes. In a forest in Turkey, Santa reunites with the elves who help him build a container for a new star while magic connects with the original Star of Bethlehem and creates a new star.

Santa explains that they will be off to TurkeySanta explains that they will be off to Turkey

Sidetracked

Belsnickel has his own sleigh and, after a race, gets the new star, slaps a time travel device on Santa’s sleigh and sends it to Boston airport in 1990. Jack gets the plant, fights the Yule Cat and returns to Mrs. Claus. In the airport Kate has to find power for the time device. Santa’s reindeer are exhausted. They run on Christmas spirit and this airport has only angry travelers. Santa will just have to create some holiday cheer ASAP! Will Kate and Santa return with the new star? Can Mrs. Claus save Dasher and can she and Jack “cure” the North Pole elves? Will Kate learn to accept Bob and will Belsnickel ever learn his lesson and reform? Will Jack’s newfound bravery stick?

Wrapping Up

Although a bit slow getting started, running a bit long (almost 2 hours) and containing predictable outcomes, the film’s story offers a couple of unexpected twists and another and better feisty holiday musical number featuring Darlene Love and Kurt Russell that might get you off your couch singing and dancing.

Santa has to save Christmas...again!Santa has to save Christmas...again!
 

An apprentice turning into the lead villain is the same story device we saw in another Netflix holiday film Jingle Jangle and there are some logic problems (even in a fantasy film) like why does Santa risk taking Kate with him on his sleigh when he only has seven reindeer and is complaining that the weight of the sleigh might be too much for them?

Both Kurt and Goldie make us believe in their versions of Mr. and Mrs. Claus and Kurt’s feisty and manly Santa is still very likable. It’s fun to see this long time couple acting together.

Kurt Russell with his director Chris Columbus on setKurt Russell with his director on set

It’s nice that the filmmakers include Santa's Turkish origins, the Star of Bethlehem and the Icelandic legend of the Yule Cat Jólakötturinn (called Jola here). A little more humor might be more fun but there is enough movie magic, action and warmth to make this sequel a worthy watch over the holidays. We award four stars.

The Christmas Chronicles 2 Movie Rating: 4

 

See The Christmas Chronicles 2 streaming on Netflix starting November 25th