A Gil Kenan directorial, ‘A Boy Called Christmas’ is a Christmas fantasy film based on the eponymous 2015 book by Matt Haig. A magical reimagination of the tale of Father Christmas, it follows the adventures of Nikolas (Henry Lawfull), a young boy who sets out to search for the mystical village of Elfhelm to find his missing father. Accompanying him are his talking mouse Miika and a reindeer named Blitzen.
Nikolas embarks on an extraordinary journey to look for his father and also ends up fulfilling his destiny while tackling his scheming aunt. If you have enjoyed watching this snow-filled adventure film, we have curated a list of recommendations you will relish. You can watch most of these movies similar to ‘A Boy Called Christmas’ on Netflix, Hulu, or Amazon Prime.
7. The Polar Express (2004)
Known for its live-action-style animation and magical plot, ‘The Polar Express‘ is indeed intriguing to watch. Directed by Robert Zemeckis, this critically acclaimed film not just sits among the best animated films of all time, but is also one of the best Christmas fantasy/adventure films ever made. It is the tale of a young boy who boards a mysterious train on Christmas Eve to fulfill his desire to meet Santa Claus. In his journey to the North Pole, he meets various other kids on the train, and their escapades form the rest of the story.
‘A Boy Called Christmas’ and ‘The Polar Express’ both speak of adventurous travels of young boys to the snowy North and the friends they make along the way. Also, both have an element of mystery and surrealism which calls out to one’s imagination.
6. Klaus (2019)
‘Klaus‘ is an animated Christmas movie directed by Sergio Pablos and boasts of a stellar voiceover cast and skilled animation style. The loveable characters and heartwarming narrative of the award-winning film are much loved by the audience. The film revolves around Jesper, a flamboyant postman stationed in a remote island town in the Far North. Sent there by his father to mend his ways, he befriends a reclusive toymaker called Klaus.
The story depicts how Jesper and Klaus bring peace between two feuding clans and save Christmas. Both ‘A Boy Called Christmas’ and ‘Klaus’ are retellings of the origin story of St. Nikolas AKA Santa Claus. While ‘Klaus’ has a more humorous approach, both films are tied together by the history of Christmas traditions.
5. Disney’s A Christmas Carol (2009)
Another Robert Zemeckis directorial, ‘A Christmas Carol’ is Disney’s adaptation of Charles Dickens’ eponymous 1843 novel. This animated dark fantasy film has a prestigious cast list, and it has also garnered praise for its musical score and brooding atmosphere. The movie is about the life of Ebenezar Scrooge, a miserly old man who resents Christmas. One fine Christmas Eve, he is visited by three ghosts representing his past, present, and future who compel him to mend his ways.
This otherworldly experience impacts Scrooge and allows him to embrace the spirit of Christmas. Akin to ‘A Boy Called Christmas’, this movie is also a Christmas adventure with a touch of fantasy and talks about how this holiday thaws the coldest of hearts and makes one reflect within.
4. Arthur Christmas (2011)
Directed by Sarah Smith and Barry Cook, ‘Arthur Christmas’ is yet another holiday-themed animation in the science fantasy genre. James McAvoy is the voice behind Arthur Claus, the clumsy yet kind-hearted younger son of Santa Claus. When he discovers that his father’s ship has forgotten to deliver a little girl’s present, Arthur sets out to correct the error with the help of his traditional grandfather, a cheerful elf Byrony, and a team of reindeer.
The themes of Santa’s history and the changing dynamics of a father-son relationship are touched upon in ‘A Boy Called Christmas’ and ‘Arthur Christmas.’ Moreover, the reindeer are loyal companions to both the protagonists, as they both go about accomplishing their respective goals.
3. The Christmas Chronicles (2018)
‘The Christmas Chronicles‘ is a holiday adventure film directed by Clay Kaytis. Kurt Russell stars as Santa Claus in this story of a brother-sister duo, which secretly slips into Santa’s sleigh when he visits their home. This causes the reindeer to run amuck, and the sleigh crashes and loses the presents. The children then team up with Santa on a mission to retrieve the presents, deliver them on time, and ultimately save Christmas.
Like ‘A Boy Called Christmas,’ this movie also portrays a thrilling escapade with a touch of magic and sheds light on how kids and their pure hearts can achieve the impossible. Both the movies aptly represent the spirit of Christmas. In case you have already decided to give this one a go, you would be delighted to know that there’s also a sequel, titled ‘The Christmas Chronicles 2,’ starring most of the main cast members reprising their respective roles from the 2018 film.
2. Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey (2020)
A Christmas musical fantasy written and directed by David E. Talbert, ‘Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey’ won several awards for the compelling performances of the cast and production and costume design. It features Forest Whitaker as Jeronicus, a skilled toymaker on the verge of losing his factory. His granddaughter Journey comes to stay with him and helps him save his store by bringing a new invention to life, much to the chagrin of his rival Gustafson.
Similar to ‘A Boy Called Christmas’, this movie also explores the theme of family relations and a conflict with old associations as Gustafson is the scorned ex-apprentice of Jeronicus. Also, Diego the talking doll adds a fun element to the film, much like Miika the mouse in the Gil Kenan directorial.
1. The Nutcracker and The Four Realms (2018)
Based on the world-famous ballet The Nutcracker, this fantasy adventure starring Keira Knightley, Mackenzie Foy, and Helen Mirren, is a Lasse Hallström and Joe Johnston directorial. It tells the story of Clara Stahlbaum, a young girl who is gifted a magical locked egg by her late mother. Soon, she sets out on a journey across the four realms to find its key.
Along the way, Clara has to battle the evil Sugar Plum Fairy to claim her rightful place as the ruler of the realms. The themes of both ‘A Boy Called Christmas’ and ‘The Nutcracker and The Four Realms’ are rooted in traditional Christmas stories, as well as an escape into a magical land to find what’s lost.
Read More: Where Was A Boy Called Christmas Filmed?