Noelle (2019 film)
Official release poster
|Directed by||Marc Lawrence|
|Produced by||Suzanne Todd|
|Written by||Marc Lawrence|
|Edited by||Hughes Winborne|
Noelle is a 2019 American fantasy adventure Christmas comedy film produced by Walt Disney Pictures. It is directed and written by Marc Lawrence. The film stars Anna Kendrick as Noelle Kringle, the daughter of Santa Claus. It also stars Bill Hader, Kingsley Ben-Adir, Billy Eichner, Julie Hagerty, and Shirley MacLaine.
It was released on November 12, 2019, by Disney+, receiving mixed reviews from critics.
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In the North Pole, preparations for the upcoming Christmas are quickly taking place. After the current Santa Claus's untimely death 5 months prior, his son, Nick Kringle, is having difficulties trying to complete his training in order 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 as to avoid the stress and relax before the big day. Complying, Nick takes off overnight with the reindeer, and doesn't return following the weekend. When the reindeer return without Nick and Noelle admits to giving him controversial advice, the elves turn on her and forcibly appoint her cousin Gabrielle, the Kringle's 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 alongside her childhood nanny Polly, and set down into a mall. With the permission of manager Helen Rojas and the customer's 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 single father who had recently been divorced, 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 cannot make himself 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. After a falling out with Jake at the mall over identity, and an argument between Nick and the mall Santa, Noelle accidentally injures a police officer attempting to break up the argument, is injured, and later hospitalized 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 as she naturally has the skills and there is no rule against a female Santa. Noelle successfully delivers the presents across the world, as well as dropping Jake off at his ex-wife's house to spend time with Alex. The next morning, Gabe happily returns to tech support and Nick establishes a yoga studio in the North Pole. Noelle admits to the audience that she is proud to continue her father's legacy for being the 24th generational Santa, and that Christmas will go on.
- Anna Kendrick as Noelle Kringle, Kris's daughter.
- Bill Hader as Nick Kringle, Kris's son, Noelle's brother and the new Santa.
- Shirley MacLaine as Elf Polly, Noelle's childhood nanny.
- Kingsley Ben-Adir as Jake Hapman, a private detective Noelle befriends.
- Billy Eichner as Gabriel Kringle, Noelle and Nick's ill-prepared cousin.
- Julie Hagerty as Mrs. Kringle, Noelle and Nick's mother, and Kris's wife.
- Jay Brazeau as Kris Kringle, Noelle and Nick's father and the 23rd Santa.
- Maceo Smedley as Alex, Jake's son.
- Diana Maria Riva as Helen Rojas, the manager of the shopping center.
- Ron Funches as Elf Mortimer
- Michael Gross as Elder Elf Abe, the leader of the Elf Elders.
- Chelah Horsdal as Dr. Shelley Sussman
- Anna Van Hooft as Elf Mary
- Anthony Konechny as Elf Ted
- Burgess Jenkins as Dan
- Shaylee Mansfield as Michelle
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. In July 2017, Bill Hader joined the cast. In September 2017, Billy Eichner and Shirley MacLaine joined the cast. In October 2017, Julie Hagerty and Maceo Smedley joined the cast. In November 2017, Michael Gross joined the cast.
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. Cody Fitzgerald and Clyde Lawrence will compose the film's score.
Noelle was originally scheduled to be theatrically released on November 8, 2019 by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures. On February 8, 2018, it was revealed that the film would be released on Disney+ instead. It was released on November 12, 2019.
Review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes reports an approval rating of 53% based on 36 reviews, with an average rating of 5.28/10. 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." Metacritic, which uses a weighted average, assigned the film a score of 48 out of 100, based on 9 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews".
Nick Allen of RogerEbert.com gave the film 3 out of 4 stars, writing that "Noelle has more going for it than just being one of the easiest ways for Disney+ to make a good first impression," and that it "has plenty of charm."
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- Allen, Nick. "Noelle movie review & film summary (2019) | Roger Ebert". www.rogerebert.com. Retrieved 2019-11-12.