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Fairy tale: "A boy named Christmas"

A little magic, a little imagination and a lot of courage: Niklas travels alone to northern Lapland in search of his father. He’s had a lot of adventure.

Munich – Where does Santa Claus come from? British author Matt Haig came up with this. In his novel “A Boy Called Christmas” he tells how the motherless Niklas travels to the North Pole in search of his father in order to find the legendary town of Wichtelgrund.

Now the children’s book is also available as a film. On November 18, “A Boy Called Christmas” starts in the cinema – a wonderful, warm-hearted and lovingly told fairy tale for children from 6 years with Maggie Smith (“Downton Abbey”), Michiel Huisman (“Game of Thrones”) and young actor Henry Lawful in the main role of Niklas.

Gil Kenan stages the literary film adaptation in a very child-friendly manner. Niklas needs a bit of magic, a bit of imagination and a lot of courage to get to northern Lapland alone, on foot. His companion: a mouse that shows undreamt-of abilities on the journey. It also deals with important issues such as friendship and hope, but also grief and disappointment. And about the fact that belief in something can make a big difference. “If you can’t see things, it doesn’t mean they aren’t there,” says the idiosyncratic aunt Ruth (Maggie Smith), who tells the story of Niklas to three children in the evening before bed.

The film is worth seeing not only because of the actors, especially Maggie Smith and Henry Lawful, who plays the boy Niklas wonderfully. It is also the magical world of gnomes and elves, which Kenan describes very imaginatively – and without pink glitter and icing. “A boy named Christmas” is not softened and maudlin like so many other stripes around the big festival. But its rough edges give the film what it takes to become a Christmas classic.

– A boy named Christmas, Great Britain 2021, 103 min., Age group 6+, by Gil Kenan, with Maggie Smith, Henry Lawfull and Toby Jones. dpa

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