A Boy Called Christmas, directed by Gil Kenan, is a Christmas fantasy film based on the 2015 book of the same name by Matt Haig. The magical reinterpretation of the story of Santa Claus follows the adventures of Nikolas (Henry Lawfull), a little boy who goes in search of the mystical village of Elfhelm in order to find his missing father. He is accompanied by his talking mouse Miika and a reindeer named Blitzen.
Nikolas embarks on an extraordinary journey in search of his father, and in the end he also fulfills his destiny while he messes with his scheming aunt. If you enjoyed this snowy adventure movie, we’ve put together a list of recommendations that you’ll love. Most of these films, similar to A Boy Called Christmas, can be seen on Netflix, Hulu, or Amazon Prime.
7. The Polar Express (2004)
Known for its live action animation and magical plot, the film The Polar Express is truly fascinating. Director Robert Zemeckis’ critically acclaimed film is not only one of the best animated films of all time, but is also one of the best Christmas fantasy / adventure films of all time. It is the story of a little boy who boards a mysterious train on Christmas Eve to fulfill his wish to meet Santa Claus. On his trip to the North Pole, he meets various other children on the train, and their antics form the rest of the story.
A Boy Called Christmas and Der Polarexpress are both about the adventurous journeys of little boys to the snowy north and the friends they make along the way. Plus, both have a mysterious and surrealistic element that stimulates the imagination.
6. Klaus (2019)
‘Klaus’ is an animated Christmas film directed by Sergio Pablos and impresses with its outstanding speakers and a skillful animation style. The adorable characters and heartwarming story of the award-winning film are hugely popular with viewers. The film revolves around Jesper, an extravagant postman who is stationed in a remote island town in the far north. Sent there by his father to mend himself, he befriends the reclusive toy maker Klaus.
The story shows how Jesper and Klaus bring peace between two warring clans and save Christmas. Both A Boy Called Christmas and Klaus are retellings of the origin story of Saint Nicholas aka Santa Claus. While Klaus takes a more humorous approach, both films are linked through the history of Christmas traditions.
5.Disney’s A Christmas Carol (2009)
Another directorial work by Robert Zemeckis, A Christmas Carol, is Disney’s adaptation of the novel of the same name by Charles Dickens from 1843. The animated dark fantasy film is top-class and has been praised for its background music and gloomy atmosphere. The film is about the life of Ebenezar Scrooge, a stingy old man who doesn’t like Christmas. One fine Christmas Eve he is visited by three ghosts who represent his past, present and future and force him to reform.
This otherworldly experience affects Scrooge and makes him accept the spirit of Christmas. Similar to A Boy Called Christmas, this film is a Christmas adventure with a touch of fantasy and tells of how this festival thaws and brings the coldest hearts to their senses.
4. Arthur Christmas (2011)
Directed by Sarah Smith and Barry Cook, Arthur Christmas is another Christmas animated film from the science fantasy genre. James McAvoy is the voice of Arthur Claus, the clumsy but good-hearted younger son of Santa Claus. When he discovers that his father’s ship forgot to deliver the gift for a little girl, Arthur sets out to correct the mistake with the help of his traditional grandfather, the cheerful elf Byrony, and a team of reindeer.
The story of Santa Claus and the changing dynamics of a father-son relationship are themed in A Boy Called Christmas and Arthur Christmas. In addition, the reindeer are loyal companions of the two protagonists when they want to achieve their respective goals.
3. The Christmas Chronicles (2018)
‘The Christmas Chronicles’ is a Christmas adventure film directed by Clay Kaytis. Kurt Russell plays Santa in this story of a brother-sister duo who secretly sneaks into Santa’s sleigh when he visits their house. As a result, the reindeer run amok, the sleigh crashes and the presents are lost. The children go on a hunt for the presents together with Santa Claus so that they can be delivered on time and ultimately save Christmas.
Like A Boy Called Christmas, this film also portrays an exciting escapade with a touch of magic and shows how children can achieve the impossible with their pure hearts. Both films embody the spirit of Christmas very aptly. If you’ve already decided to watch this movie, you’ll be happy to hear that there is also a sequel called The Christmas Chronicles 2, in which most of the main characters will revisit their roles from the 2018 film.
2. Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey (2020)
A Christmas musical fantasy, written and staged by David E. Talbert, Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey received several awards for the convincing achievements of the actors and the production and costume design. Forest Whitaker stars as Jeronicus, a trained toy maker who is about to lose his factory. His granddaughter Journey comes to him and helps him save his shop by bringing a new invention to life, much to the chagrin of his rival Gustafson.
Similar to A Boy Called Christmas, this film is about family relationships and a conflict with old associations, because Gustafson is Jeronicus’ scorned ex-apprentice. Also, Diego, the talking doll, brings a fun element to the film, similarly like Miika the mouse in the Gil Kenan film adaptation.
1. The Nutcracker and the Four Realms (2018)
Image Credit: Laurie Sparham / Disney
This fantasy adventure starring Keira Knightley, Mackenzie Foy and Helen Mirren is based on the world famous ballet The Nutcracker and is directed by Lasse Hallström and Joe Johnston. It tells the story of Clara Stahlbaum, a young girl who receives a magical sealed egg from her deceased mother. Soon she will go on a journey through the four realms to find the key.
On the way, Clara has to fight the evil Sugar Plum Fairy to take her rightful place as ruler of the empires. The themes of A Boy Called Christmas and The Nutcracker and the Four Realms are rooted in traditional Christmas stories, as is escaping to a magical land to find what has been lost.