The Flight Before Christmas (2008)

Fly Niko

Young Niko the reindeer has never met his father but still idolises him as he is part of Santa's Flying Forces. Desperate to follow in his father's footsteps Niko with the help of Julius the flying squirrel spends his days trying to fly which leads him to head up to Antlers Hill despite Julius telling him it would be a bad idea. It is whilst there that a wolf spots Niko and follows him back home where upon he attacks the herd. Feeling responsible for the tragedy Niko leaves the herd and goes looking for his father. But the wolves are on Niko's tail who plan to attack Santa and his reindeer and so it will be up to Niko and his friends to find some self belief in order to save Christmas.

I am at a bit of a loss as to what to say about "The Flight Before Christmas" not because it is good or terrible but because it is ordinary and I don't mean ordinary in a nasty way as it is entertaining enough especially for its intended audience. Take Niko the reindeer for a second, here is the classic kid who makes a mistake and feels really bad, so bad that he leaves home and whilst making a few more mistakes along the way gets to be a hero by saving the day. I have lost track of the number of movies I have watched which use the same basic theme but it is a theme which for young children works especially for those kids who are not the cool kids in the class.

Then there are the animated characters and we have the familiar stereotypes to match up with the familiar story from the playful but mishap prone Niko who doesn't yet think about the consequences of his actions through to Julius the side kick who offers him words of wisdom. They are traditional and with this being set in the snow reminded me quite a bit of "Ice Age" especially when it came to Julius the flying squirrel.

Now I could keep going on mentioning how "The Flight Before Christmas" was familiar and stereotypical but the most important thing is that it works. It is cute fun for young audiences and has a message to get across along the way and for grown ups the cuteness of it is surprisingly appealing whilst offering up just enough subtle humour as not to be bored.

What this all boils down to is that "The Flight Before Christmas" is in truth nothing special and is comparable in so many ways to a lot of other animations which is in fact a compliment as this is not a Pixar or Disney movie and not made on a mega budget.

Tags: Christmas Movies