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Film / Noelle

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Noelle is a 2019 Disney live-action family Christmas movie directed and written by Marc Lawrence. It stars Anna Kendrick, Bill Hader and Billy Eichner.

The storyline revolves around Santa Claus's son Nick Kringle (Hader), who's about to take over the role. However, as the stress of his future role begins to get to Nick, his sister Noelle (Kendrick) suggests that he take a weekend off. When Nick does not return, Noelle travels to the world outside the North Pole for the first time to find him so he can return to work. Meanwhile, their ill-prepared cousin Gabriel (Eichner) steps up and prepares to turn Santa's workshop into an online delivery service.

It was originally scheduled for a theatrical release on November 8, 2019; but then the studio decided to make it one of the launch titles for Disney+.


  • Amicable Exes: Jake's hesitant to spend Christmas with his ex-wife and her new husband for fear of it being too awkward, despite it meaning a lot to Alex. However his ex-wife looks more than okay with the idea when Jake shows up, suggesting this on her end.
  • Alliterative Family: Siblings Nick and Noelle.
  • Arc Words: "It will fit you when you fit it." This comes up in regards to the Santa suit. When Noelle first puts it on, it's far too big on her. But it magically shifts to something more appropriate for her when the residents of the Phoenix homeless shelter recognize her as Santa.
  • As You Know: The elder elves explaining the Santa Covenant after Nick disappears. Though Polly's comments during the scene provide a bit of foreshadowing.
  • Bait-and-Switch: The film opens up with what appears to be two children sleeping in their living room hoping to catch a glimpse of Santa. It's then revealed that Santa is the kids' father and they were waiting for him to return home after making his deliveries.
  • Brick Joke: Around the time Noelle first walks around Phoenix, a woman in the streets has an ice cream cone. Later, that same woman encounters Noelle's reindeer, who takes a bite out of her ice cream cone.
  • Exact Words: The Santa Covenant never actually says that the title and responsibilities of Santa is passed down from father to son. Just that they must inspire holiday cheer.
  • Family Theme Naming: The Kringle siblings are named after terms for Santa (Saint Nicholas and Papa Noel).
  • Foreshadowing: When Kris Kringle announces that it's time for young Nick to begin his training to take over as Santa Claus, the boy is more stunned than excited. Later on, his older self confesses to Noelle that, while he was the heir apparent, he never actually wanted to be Santa.
  • Fun with Acronyms: Gabriel develops a computer program that determines whether someone is naughty or nice: FALALA, the Forensic Algorithm for Lateral Analysis of Latent Altruism
  • Gosh Dang It to Heck!: The recurring phrase "Oh my garland" serves as both a G-rated version of "Oh my God," along with being a case of Hold Your Hippogriffs.
  • Greek Chorus: The group of acapella-singing elves.
  • Heir Club for Men: Per the ancient Santa Covenant, the role of Santa Claus gets handed down from father to son. Except it turns out the original document never actually specified gender, so everyone agrees to let Nick pass the role to Noelle.
  • Hold Your Hippogriffs: There are several Santa-themed phrases.
    • "Oh my garland" serves as a replacement for "Oh my God/gosh."
    • Noelle says "put yourself in my boots" instead of "put yourself in my shoes."
    • Noelle once remarks that that's a "stocking half empty" attitude.
  • In-Series Nickname: Nick sometimes calls his sister "Ellie."
  • Invisible Parents: Gabriel is Noelle and Nick's cousin and, as far as everybody knew, the last viable option for Santa after Nick disappears. However, we never hear anything about his parents, even though one of them must have been Kris' sibling.
  • Killed Offscreen: "Killed" is too strong a word, however, Kris Kringle died a few months before the movie takes place. It's never said what happened, if anything happened, just that he passed away.
  • Mrs. Claus: Nick and Noelle's mother. Noelle even once told her father that he was Santa Claus, and her mother Mrs. Claus, leaving Noelle wondering what her official title can be.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Noelle gets it from everyone in town for suggesting to Nick that he should leave, which inadvertently lead to him deciding not to come back and vacating the position of Santa so close to Christmas. It's honestly a little callous.
  • No Antagonist: The closest thing is Nick and Noelle's cousin Gabriel. He's a bit too strict with what counts as naughty and nice, relies on the internet to do the present delivery, and refuses to see what's the problem with this. He's not really treated as the bad guy, just someone horribly ill-prepared and way too set in his ways as the North Pole's tech guy. Sure enough, he hardly makes a fuss when Nick vouches for Noelle as Santa.
  • No Social Skills: By his own admission, Nick's not a people person. Which becomes an issue as the next Santa.
  • Omniglot: Santa inherently knows every language in the world. While Nick struggles with this Noelle speaks with a deaf girl in ASL despite having never learned it in the past, understands a little boy speaking Punjabi, then understands and speaks French.
  • Parental Favoritism: Downplayed. Noelle was by no means The Unfavorite to Kris, but as Nick was his heir apparent, he had given Nick a bit more attention.
  • The Peter Principle: Gabriel is a whiz at computers and thrives in his role as head of Santa's tech support. However, when he's forced to sub in for Nick as Santa, it's shown that his expertise doesn't translate to the role as he thinks only in terms of technology, efficiency, and data analysis. Once Noelle takes over, he happily returns to his old job.
  • Product Placement:
    • The running gag that everyone wants an iPad for Christmas. Gabriel's team is also shown prominently in one scene to use iMac computers.
    • The mall is one big product placement, with store signs being carefully included in the shots.
  • Protagonist Title: First name style.
  • Ridiculously Cute Critter: Snowcone, Noelle's baby reindeer.
  • Running Gag: Everyone wants an iPad for Christmas.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here: Nick after he struggles to fulfill Santa's duties and fails miserably. The plot of the movie kicks off when Noelle suggests he take a weekend off to relax before Christmas Eve and Nick decides not to come back.
  • She Is the King:
    • Not quite royalty, but close enough. The movie ends with Noelle being the first female Santa as the Santa Covenant never actually specified gender, so long as they inspire Christmas joy.
    • In the epilogue Noelle makes her old nanny, Polly, the first female Elder Elf. Which she "slightly" regrets.
  • Stay in the Kitchen: An unintentional example, in-universe. Noelle, who as a child expressed to her father a desire to do what he does for everyone every Christmas, is just told to keep Nick's spirits up with her crafts and cheer. She's subtly disappointed to be told this and in the present has it so internalized that it doesn't occur to her to be Santa in spite of increasingly obvious signs.
  • Trailers Always Spoil: Even in pre-production, entertainment websites were referring to it as "the female Santa movie."
  • Your Tradition Is Not Mine: Nick confesses to Noelle that he never particularly wanted to inherit the role of Santa Claus and only trained for it because it was expected of him.