Noelle (2019 film)

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Promotional poster
Directed byMarc Lawrence
Written byMarc Lawrence
Produced bySuzanne Todd
CinematographyRussell Carpenter
Edited byHughes Winborne
Music by
  • Cody Fitzgerald
  • Clyde Lawrence
Distributed byWalt Disney Studios Motion Pictures
Release date
  • November 12, 2019 (2019-11-12) (Disney+)
Running time
100 minutes
CountryUnited States

Noelle is a 2019 American Christmas fantasy comedy film written and directed by Marc Lawrence, produced by Walt Disney Pictures and distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures. The film stars Anna Kendrick as Noelle Kringle, the daughter of Kris Kringle. It also stars Bill Hader, Kingsley Ben-Adir, Billy Eichner, Julie Hagerty, and Shirley MacLaine. In the film, when Noelle's brother Nick is stressed from all the pressure of taking over for their father, he leaves and does not return. She must find her brother and bring him back in time for Christmas. It was filmed from October 2017 to January 2018 in British Columbia and Woodstock, Georgia.

Noelle was released on November 12, 2019 on Disney+. It received generally mixed reviews from critics.


At the North Pole, preparations for the upcoming Christmas are quickly taking place. After the current Santa Claus's death five months prior, his son, Nick Kringle, is having difficulties trying to complete his training to become the next Santa. His younger sister, Noelle, who has been placed in charge of distributing and maintaining Christmas spirit, continues to support him, and even suggests taking the weekend off to avoid the stress and relax before the big day. Complying, Nick takes off overnight with the reindeer, and does not return following the weekend.

When the reindeer return without Nick and Noelle admits to giving him controversial advice, the elves get angry at her. The elf elders forcibly appoint her cousin Gabriel, the Kringles' tech support, to fill in as the new Santa. Guilt-stricken and forlorn, Noelle deduces that Nick fled to Phoenix, Arizona, and takes off with the Sleigh and reindeer with her childhood nanny Polly.

They set down in a mall. With the permission of manager Helen Rojas and the customers' support and belief that it was a Christmas exhibit, Noelle sets out into the city to find Nick, leaving Polly to tend to the sleigh and reindeer. She meets and hires Jake Hapman, a private investigator as well as a recently divorced dad, to track down Nick. Noelle also interacts with Jake's enthusiastic son Alex and several other people, discovering that she can understand and communicate in other languages (including American Sign Language), as well as tell the naughty from the nice.

Jake tracks Nick down to a yoga studio, where Nick is enthusiastic to see Noelle yet refuses to return north and become Santa. After a heated argument, Noelle leaves the building. She returns to the mall, where her reindeer friend Snowcone arrives with a letter from Mrs. Claus informing her about the situation back home and ordering her to find and bring Nick back home. During Noelle's time away, Gabriel had used an algorithm to determine that there were only 2,837 "nice" children in the world, much to the horror of the elves and Mrs. Claus.

With help from Snowcone, Noelle tracks down Nick to a yoga retreat at the Desert Botanical Garden, and convinces him to return. Meeting up with her and Polly at the mall the next day, Noelle has him continue to train by being a mall Santa. While Nick sees the text message being sent to children from Gabriel, Jake discovers that Noelle told Alex about his Christmas wish, something that he finds awkward as his ex-wife remarried. Noelle reveals that she is Santa's daughter, causing him to leave. When Nick is accosted by the actual mall Santa, Noelle intervenes and accidentally hurts a police officer, resulting in her arrest and later hospitalization for psychological evaluation.

After a visit from Polly, who reveals her identity as an elf, Jake removes Noelle from the hospital and she makes her way back to the North Pole with Nick, Polly, and the reindeer before Christmas Eve. Back home after a meeting with the elders, Nick nominates Noelle as the next Santa, which stirs up controversy throughout the town but unanimously gains agreement from the elders when they determine that there is no rule against a female Santa and they are convinced she naturally has the skills. After a few mishaps, Noelle successfully delivers the presents across the world and drops Jake off at his ex-wife's house to spend time with Alex.

Noelle is celebrated at the North Pole as Gabriel happily returns to tech support while Nick opens up a yoga studio and Polly becomes an elf elder. Noelle admits that she is proud to continue her father's legacy for being the 24th-generation Santa and that Christmas will go on.



On January 11, 2017, it was announced that Anna Kendrick would play the titular role of Santa Claus's daughter, Noelle, and that the movie would be written and directed by Marc Lawrence, and produced by Suzanne Todd for Walt Disney Pictures.[1] In July 2017, Bill Hader joined the cast.[2] In September 2017, Billy Eichner and Shirley MacLaine joined the cast.[3][4] In October 2017, Julie Hagerty and Maceo Smedley joined the cast.[5] In November 2017, Michael Gross joined the cast.[6]

Principal photography for the film began in late-October 2017 in Vancouver, British Columbia, and later moved to Whistler Olympic Park in early-January 2018, where filming continued until January 19, 2018. The exterior for the shelter in Phoenix was St. James Anglican Church—the church's name can be seen in the Christmas Eve shot. Additional photography also took place in Woodstock, Georgia.[7][8][9] Cody Fitzgerald and Clyde Lawrence composed the film's score.[10]


Noelle was originally scheduled to be theatrically released on November 8, 2019, by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures.[11][12] On February 8, 2018, it was revealed that the film would be released on Disney+ instead.[13] It was released on November 12, 2019, four days after its original theatrical release date.[14] It was released in the United Kingdom and Latin America on November 27, 2020.[15]


Critical response[edit]

The Review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes reports an approval rating of 55% based on 42 reviews with an average rating of 5.2/10. The site's critics consensus reads: "The always charming Anna Kendrick does her best, but Noelle's progressive take on a timeless tale is unfortunately subdued."[16] Metacritic, which uses a weighted average, assigned the film a score of 48 out of 100, based on 11 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews".[17]

Nick Allen of Roger gave the film a grade of three out of four stars, writing, "Noelle has more going for it than just being one of the easiest ways for Disney+ to make a good first impression. [...] Noelle has plenty of charm—the kind that makes a Christmas story not just simply amiable, but worth a look."[18] Jennifer Green of Common Sense Media rated the movie a three out of five stars and wrote, "Noelle is appropriate for the whole family but will likely appeal most to grade-schoolers, who are likely to feel the most connection with its holiday-spirit messages, storylines, and humor, as well as with star Anna Kendrick. [...] The subplots of kids being deemed naughty or nice and families seeking togetherness and well-being over material possessions offer positive messages for all ages."[19] Tim Robey of The Telegraph gave the film three out of five stars and stated, "It isn't exactly cinema's salvation, with a story that's a near-shameless retread of Jon Favreau's Elf, this time sticking Anna Kendrick in Will Ferrell's pointy shoes. But it's likeable stay-at-home fluff – the kind of thing you could stick on as mood music while you get the decorations out."[20]

Matt Fowler of IGN rated the film 6.7 out of 10, indicating, "Noelle is a bouncy-yet-benign Christmas caper that, despite fun performances, falls short of instant greatness."[21] Gwen Ihnat of The A.V Club rated the movie C+ and said: "Noelle has a few of those peppermint hot chocolate moments, but thanks to its bizarre warm-weather detour and wasting of a stellar cast, it just barely makes the nice list."[22]

Emily St. James of Vox graded the movie 2.5 out of 5, stating, "Noelle frequently feels like it's running in place, frantically throwing shiny objects in your face in the hope you don't lose interest. But for fans of movie depictions of Christmas, there are worse options. The production design and costumes are sprightly and colorful, and Lawrence is terrific at keeping the story moving, even when it doesn't seem like it has any reason to keep going."[23] Kate Erbland of IndieWire gave the film a C- rating and claimed, "Kendrick is delightful, but this Christmas comedy is a cheap holiday tchotchke with no staying power."[24]


Year Award Category Nominee(s) Result Ref.
2021 BMI Film & TV Awards BMI Streaming Film Award Cody Fitzgerald, Clyde Lawrence Won [25][26]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Kroll, Justin (January 11, 2017). "Anna Kendrick Eyeing Female Santa Claus Tale for Disney and Marc Lawrence (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety. Archived from the original on September 13, 2017. Retrieved September 13, 2017.
  2. ^ Kroll, Justin (July 20, 2017). "Bill Hader Eyeing Disney's Female Santa Claus Film With Anna Kendrick (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety. Archived from the original on September 16, 2017. Retrieved September 13, 2017.
  3. ^ Kroll, Justin (September 22, 2017). "Billy Eichner in Talks to Join Anna Kendrick's Female Santa Claus Film (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety. Archived from the original on September 22, 2017. Retrieved September 22, 2017.
  4. ^ Lee, Ashley (September 25, 2017). "Shirley MacLaine Joins Anna Kendrick in Disney's Female Santa Claus Movie". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on September 27, 2017. Retrieved September 27, 2017.
  5. ^ N'Duka, Amanda (October 12, 2017). "Julie Hagerty To Play Mrs. Claus In Disney's 'Nicole'; Maceo Smedley Also Cast". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on October 27, 2017. Retrieved October 27, 2017.
  6. ^ N'Duka, Amanda (15 November 2017). "Michael Gross Joins Disney's 'Noelle', Michael Hyatt Cast In 'Foster Boy'; Ray Wise In 'For Entertainment Purposes Only'". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on 11 April 2021. Retrieved 21 January 2019.
  7. ^ "Nicole: Disney's Female Santa Claus Movie with Anna Kendrick Starts Filming". What's Filming?. October 23, 2017. Archived from the original on October 31, 2017. Retrieved October 27, 2017.
  8. ^ Busch, Jenna (October 26, 2017). "Nicole: Anna Kendrick Posts First Look Pic of Nicole Claus". Archived from the original on October 30, 2017. Retrieved October 27, 2017.
  9. ^ Takeuchi, Craig (October 23, 2017). "Filming in Vancouver: Anna Kendrick, You Me Her, and an official Dwayne Johnson Day?". Inside Vancouver. Archived from the original on October 29, 2017. Retrieved October 27, 2017.
  10. ^ "Cody Fitzgerald & Clyde Lawrence to Score Disney's 'Noelle'". FilmMusicReporter. March 19, 2018. Archived from the original on November 9, 2018. Retrieved November 8, 2018.
  11. ^ McClintock, Pamela (September 12, 2017). "Disney Swaps Release Dates for 'Star Wars: Episode IX' and 'Aladdin'". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on November 11, 2020. Retrieved September 13, 2017.
  12. ^ Perry, Spencer (September 12, 2017). "Disney Sets Release Dates for Aladdin, Artemis Fowl, & More". Archived from the original on April 8, 2019. Retrieved September 13, 2017.
  13. ^ Fleming, Mike Jr. (February 8, 2018). "Disney Unveils Inaugural Streaming Service Launch Slate To Town; No R-Rated Fare". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on February 26, 2018. Retrieved February 8, 2018.
  14. ^ Burkett, Becky (August 23, 2019). "Disney+ announces new Christmas film starring Anna Kendrick". Archived from the original on January 11, 2021. Retrieved August 23, 2019.
  15. ^ Alexander, Susannah (2020-10-15). "Disney+ confirms November UK releases including Star Wars". Digital Spy. Archived from the original on 2022-04-06. Retrieved 2022-04-06.
  16. ^ "Noelle (2019)". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango. Archived from the original on 2019-11-12. Retrieved October 10, 2021. Edit this at Wikidata
  17. ^ "Noelle Reviews". Metacritic. Archived from the original on September 11, 2020. Retrieved April 28, 2020.
  18. ^ Allen, Nick. "Noelle movie review & film summary (2019) | Roger Ebert". Roger Archived from the original on November 12, 2019. Retrieved November 12, 2019.
  19. ^ Green, Jennifer. "Noelle Movie Review | Common Sense Media". Common Sense Media. Archived from the original on 2022-05-22. Retrieved 2022-05-22.
  20. ^ Robey, Tim (2020-11-26). "Noelle, Disney+ review: Anna Kendrick's cutesy window into a Christmas before Covid". The Telegraph. ISSN 0307-1235. Archived from the original on 2022-06-06. Retrieved 2022-06-06.
  21. ^ Fowler, Matt (2019-11-12). "Noelle Review: Anna Kendrick's Fun Performance Can't Save This Disney+ Christmas Caper". IGN. Archived from the original on 2022-04-04. Retrieved 2022-04-04.
  22. ^ Ihnat, Gwen (November 12, 2019). "Even with Anna Kendrick and Bill Hader in the sleigh, Disney's Noelle is no Christmas miracle". The A.V. Club. Archived from the original on 2022-04-04. Retrieved 2022-04-04.
  23. ^ James, Emily St (2019-11-12). "Noelle, starring Anna Kendrick, doesn't bode well for Disney+'s holly jolly future". Vox. Archived from the original on 2022-05-25. Retrieved 2022-06-06.
  24. ^ Erbland, Kate (2019-11-12). "'Noelle' Review: Disney+'s Anna Kendrick Holiday Comedy Is a Sloppy Hallmark Channel Ripoff". IndieWire. Archived from the original on 2022-04-04. Retrieved 2022-04-04.
  25. ^ "2021 BMI Film, TV & Visual Media Awards". Broadcast Music, Inc. Archived from the original on 2023-04-13. Retrieved 2022-04-04.
  26. ^ "BMI Celebrates its 37th Annual BMI Film, TV & Visual Media Awards". July 12, 2021. Retrieved 2023-08-25.

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