The Christmas Chronicles is a new Netflix original that offers a fresh take on a classic story. Every year, Christmas movies reuse the same plot line, where a child takes it upon themselves to prove that Santa is real but ends up almost ruining Christmas when Santa gets caught in the trap the child laid for them. Then, the child has to right their wrongs to save Christmas. Even today this is a popular story that is still used by filmmakers. This plot was used recently in the 2014 movie “Santa Hunters” as well as the animated film “Gotta Catch Santa.” However, Netflix has added a new flare to this old tale by presenting a different take on how people view Santa Claus.

    This movie tells the story of siblings Kate (Darby Camp) and Teddy Pierce (Judah Lewis), who have recently lost their father, who was a firefighter, in the line of duty. The children’s mother, Claire Pierce (Kimberly Williams-Parsley), is forced to work extra hours in order to keep the family’s home. With a lack of parental guidance, Teddy turns to stealing cars as a way to get attention and begins to ignore his sister. Kate focuses her attention on Christmas as a way to cope by writing letters and making videos to Santa Claus in hopes that she can get in contact with him.

    On Christmas Eve, Claire has to fill in for a coworker, leaving Teddy to look after Kate. After Kate demands her brother’s help in setting up an elaborate plan to catch Santa, they are surprised when the trap is set off by the real Santa Claus. Santa manages to escape, but not before Kate and Teddy sneak into his sleigh. When they make their presence known to Santa, he crashes the sleigh and loses his reindeer.

    The Santa in this movie is a lot different than the ones in many other Christmas movies. He is younger and more fit compared to the Santa that we are used to seeing. This version of Santa is not as jolly as the others, either. He constantly berates Kate for believing in all the myths that people have spread about him, such as believing that he actually says “ho ho ho.” In one part of the movie, Santa assists Teddy in stealing a car and distracting the police in an effort to find his lost reindeer. His helpers also have a whole new attitude in this movie, as there is a scene where Santa’s elves beat up a group of thugs who captures Teddy.

    The movie also stands out by not having the traditional happy ending. In the end, Teddy reveals to Santa that his only Christmas wish is to talk to his father one last time. Santa tells him that he cannot grant that wish, but he does give him an old ornament that allows him to see his father’s reflection. This is different from most endings, where every character’s wish is granted and they all live happily ever after. Netflix gives this a pleasant twist at the end where Santa compromises.

    Overall, this is a great movie that would be fun to watch before Christmas. It is funny, yet also serious and heartwarming when it needs to be. It gives a phenomenal twist to a Christmas cliche and has an amazing ending that wraps up the movie beautifully.