Continuing its Christmas programming, Netflix now includes Angela’s Christmas in its catalog, to the delight of those who love to feel this year-end Christmas mood (watch here).
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The animation earns the screens at an opportune moment, when this type of production is on the rise. But more than that, it is an absolutely competent production that is able to warm even the coldest of hearts with its simple story and very kind characters.
That was only possible because of Frank McCourt. The writer, who died in 2009, created this warm and friendly story that now wins the world through Netflix. It was his dream to make this adaptation, which was eventually completed by his wife, the film’s executive producer. This special is therefore a tribute to the writer and Pulitzer-winning intellectual for “Angela’s Ashes” while having the potential to become a must-watch movie for Christmas dinner.
Simple and humble
Angela’s Christmas tells the story of this girl, who decides to “kidnap” the Baby Jesus from a crib for a good cause: he is naked, and she intends to warm him from the harsh winter. This narrative line, simple and humble, drives the film on an uplifting journey. Angela is a poor girl, who is very well raised by her parents and has an odd sensitivity. When she sees in the manger the figure of the baby Jesus without clothes, and realizing how cold it was – as it always is at this time of the year in the Northern Hemisphere – she decides to take him so he doesn’t feel cold anymore. This feeling is what motivates her, and also all who end up getting involved with her during her path, full of adventures, affection and love.
This special, which has only half an hour, leaves a feeling of “I can’t get enough of it” at the end. The production is very successful in having us, with so little time, attached to little Angela and her mission. There was an opportunity to “stretch” the story a bit more so we could take better advantage of all the empathy the characters created. The choice to make it so short, however, can be justified in keeping that aura around the work, preventing it from falling into repetitions and thereby losing its magic.
The dubbing work is also fascinating. We have names like Ruth Negga (nominated to an Oscar for Best Actress for “Loving” in 2016) as the mother and Lucy O’Connell, who had already demonstrated her talent for emotional voice acting in “Song of the Sea”, from 2014, as the main character. The two are able to pass through their voice the strongest feelings. That, by itself, is quite a feat.
Angela’s Christmas also has s superb animation. In such specials it is rare to have such a well-finished production that often resembles Robert Zemeckis’ work in “A Christmas Carol”, in 2009. However, while in that movie the director used motion capture to give life to characters, here is the pure and simple animation that makes the production excellent.
For those who love this kind of story that brings comfort and excitement to the holiday season, Angela’s Christmas is one of the best things you can find on Netflix. It is the ideal special to cause tears of emotion to pour down one’s face, and that also makes us reflect on the goodness and the feeling of compassion that, although it sometimes seems to no longer exist, still inhabits human beings.
Images and additional information about Angela’s Christmas Netflix
Synopsis 1: A big-hearted girl. A baby in a manger. And a special Christmas her family will never forget.
Synopsis 2: A trip to church with her family on Christmas Eve gives young Angela an extraordinary idea. A heartwarming tale based on a story by Frank McCourt.