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Film / The Naughty Nine

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The Naughty Nine is a Christmas heist television film starring Winslow Fegley, Camila Rodriguez, Derek Theler, Deric McCabe, Clara Stack, Anthony Joo, Ayden Elijah, Imogen Cohen, Madilyn Kellam, and Danny Glover as Santa Claus.

The story goes as follows: Andy Steele (Fegley) is a mischievous fifth-grader who is constantly getting in trouble. On Christmas Day, he finds out that he didn't get the present he wanted, and neither did his best friend Dulce Gutierrez (Rodriguez). They soon discover they're both on Santa's naughty list due to their mischief. Feeling that Santa has gone too far, Andy recruits six other kids that are on the naughty list to help him get to the North Pole and recover the presents they never received. But when one of the kids bails, Andy reluctantly recruits his sister Laurel (Kellem) to help them. Enlisting the help of a pilot named Bruno (Theler) to fly them to the North Pole, the kids will soon learn to use their unique talents for good instead of mischief.

The film premiered on Disney Channel on November 22, 2023, and was soon released the following day on Disney+ on Thanksgiving.

This film contains the following tropes:

  • Advertised Extra: Even though he is shown in the trailers and the promotional poster, Santa doesn't show up until near the end of the film.
  • Book Ends: The film begins and ends with Andy being called to the principal's office, only this time, Santa is sitting at the principal's desk in Andy's new school.
  • The Caper: Eight kids and an adult pilot burglarize Santa‚Äôs workshop, intending to take the toys that were denied them.
  • Good Is Not Nice: Santa isn't as holly and jolly as he is depicted in most media involving him.
  • Heel Realization: Andy gets this when he sees his sister, previously a "goody two-shoes", take the cell phone phone that was meant for Bethany, echoing the justifications he had given her for the caper.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Rather than jump onto the plane with his friends, Andy chooses to stay behind in the North Pole to face his consequences.
  • LGBT Representation in Media: Dulce has two dads.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Andy gets a Heel Realization when he sees his sister, previously a "goody two-shoes", take the cell phone that was meant for Bethany, echoing the justifications he had given her for the caper.
  • No Antagonist: The film doesn't have any antagonistic character and is more about a bunch of kids trying to overcome obstacles.
  • Race Against the Clock: The kids have two hours to get to Santa's workshop before Bruno's plane gets fixed.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: While a firm figure, Santa is willing to listen to Andy apologize and beg for him to not let the other kids stay on the naughty list. He even considers to give them all another chance, on the condition they use their talents for good. In fact, he allows Bruno to take a selfie with him.
  • Sequel Hook: At the end of the film, Santa shows up at Andy's new school and tells him that he needs him and the rest of the Naughty Nine for an unknown purpose.
  • Shout-Out: During Andy's heist at school, there is a showing of Miracle on 34th Street (specifically the one from 1947).
  • Title Drop: Santa says the film's title at the end.
Santa: I need the Naughty Nine.
  • Token Adult: Bruno is the only adult member of the Naughty Nine, and the only one who isn't on the naughty list besides Laurel and Lewis.