Noelle on Disney+ is a millennial, hipster fever dream masquerading as a Christmas movie. It’s entertaining enough for kids, but it isn’t memorable or good.
It stars cartoon animal turned into real live girl Anna Kendrick as Noelle Kringle, the daughter of Santa Claus. Santa is not a single immortal person in this story. Instead, it is a superpowered moniker passed down through the generations for millennia as some sort of Christmas themed monarchy.
Her brother Nick (Bill Hader) is set to be the new Santa Claus, but he doesn’t want to do it and doesn’t have enough Christmas Spirit to be great at it so he bails to become a Yoga teacher in Phoenix. Noelle who is filled with Christmas Spirit is sent to bring him back with the help of an old, crotchety elf played by Shirley Maclaine.
Noelle has a bunch of zany adventures which include getting arrested for assaulting a mall Santa and dressing up a poorly animated (via CGI) baby reindeer as a puppy (my kids liked this part of the movie the best).
Halfway through the runtime, it is pretty obvious that Noelle is going to break the Santa Claus glass ceiling, but she still gets to look like her usual cute, cartoony self, unlike Tim Allen who ended up looking like Orson Welles in those movies from a couple of decades back.
The whole thing is okay for kids 10 and under, but with all the great programming on Disney+ there are much better viewing options available (such as The Imagineering Story).