Disillusioned with the materialism of Christmas, Santa escapes as far from the North Pole as possible—to New Zealand! When his rocket sleigh crashes and sinks in the waters off an idyllic holiday beach, he is found washed up by Sam (8) and his sister Molly (12) and their newly separated parents. The family discovers who Santa really is and must unite to rescue him from the local authorities and convince Santa to return to the North Pole in time for Christmas Eve.
Here is a fun-filled Christmas movie, Kiwi style! A family of four, Pete and Liz, and their kids, Molly and Sam, need help, and they find it in an unexpected source—a man named Stan—Santa Claus himself. Pete and Liz are going through a trial separation. But when Pete shows up to take their two kids camping as planned, an accident destroys Liz’s car by fire, and she is unexpectedly thrust into accompanying her family along on the camping trip.
Santa, feeling that the kids like him only because of the presents he brings, takes off in his sleigh to get away from Christmas and winds up crashing into the river near the New Zealand family. He sees what is going on with Pete and Liz, and in his magical way he slyly tries to help them out. Young Sam wants his parents back together. But Molly will need some real convincing to believe in the power of Christmas miracles—and in Santa himself. There are plenty of laughs during their adventure. In one scene when Santa is preparing to land in New Zealand, an elf says he’s lost his marbles and another elf replies, “He won’t find them down there!”
The film features some touching scenes such as when Pete puts a “For Sale” sign on his boat, as he had to borrow money from Liz to keep it from being repossessed. But they grow close together on the camping trip once more, and she pulls the “For Sale” sign off the boat. Although parents should be aware of the content which is listed, there are no gratuitous scenes and a lot of the physical stunts are played for laughs. Viewers will enjoy the New Zealand scenes. The movie features a wonderful theme—the simple things in life are the best things. We are awarding this imaginative movie our Dove Seal for All Ages.
The Dove Take:
This movie is imaginative and nicely portrays the need to keep things simple; bottom line is that families everywhere will enjoy it.