When Noelle Kringle was a little girl, her father, Kris Kringle, would return to the North Pole every Christmas night to happily celebrate with the family. He reminds Noelle's older brother Nick that he must begin his Santa training to take over for him one day. Years later, Kris passes away five months before Christmas and Nick has yet to perfect his training. Noelle continues to give him her Christmas spirit support while also making her famous Christmas cards. With the pressure too much to handle, Noelle tells Nick to get away for the weekend so that he can relax before the big day. Seven days later, the reindeer return to the North Pole, but Nick is nowhere to be found. When Noelle admits that she told her brother to get away, all the elves turn on her for essentially ruining Christmas. The elves have no choice, but to appoint Noelle's cousin Gabriel, the Kringle's tech support, to fill in for the year.
While moping in her room, Noelle discovers that Nick has been looking through her magazines (her only window to outside the North Pole) and realizes that he must be in Phoenix, Arizona. She takes the sleigh and reindeer with her childhood nanny, Elf Polly, unintentionally coming along and they end up in Phoenix in the middle of a mall. The manager, Helen Rojas, plans to have her evicted, but when the customers all appreciate the presence of the reindeer, especially a Petco employee she has a crush on named Dan, she allows her to stay as long as they tend to the reindeer. Polly stays while Noelle continues her search for Nick. After running into so many "naughty" people, she finds an ad and meets with a private investigator named Jake Hapman. Jake, a single dad who has just divorced, decides to help Noelle despite her strange apparel.
Meanwhile, in the North Pole, Gabriel uses statistics for gift giving and reasons that there are only 2,738 nice children in the world and plans to give all the naughty ones a notice telling them to do better next year, much to the horror of the elves and Mrs. Claus. Noelle meets Jake's son Alex who expresses a desire to cook, but is afraid of telling his dad who is terrible at it. Noelle promises that if he is nice he will get his Christmas wish, which is to spend Christmas with his whole family. While out searching, Noelle discovers that she has an inherent ability to decipher if somebody is naughty or nice and can pick up any language including American Sign Language after speaking with a homeless deaf girl. A brief interaction with a woman about her yoga pants has Alex decipher that Nick is working at the local yoga studio. Noelle and Nick happily reunite, but get into an argument about being Santa, ending with Noelle storming out.
Noelle's favorite reindeer, a small white one named Snowcone, arrives with a letter from Mrs. Claus, telling her about what is happening at the North Pole. Noelle has Snowcone sniff out Nick to a yoga retreat at the Desert Botanical Garden. While he refuses to talk to her, she leaves him the letter. Nick meets up with her and Polly at the mall the next day and Noelle has him continue to train by being a mall Santa. While Nick discovers the text message being sent to children from Gabriel, Jake discovers that Noelle told Alex about his Christmas wish, something that is awkward for him as his ex-wife remarried. Noelle breaks down and reveals that she is Santa's daughter, causing him to leave. When Nick is accosted by the actual mall Santa, Noelle intervenes and accidentally hurts a police officer, resulting in her getting arrested and later hospitalized for psychological evaluation.
Polly meets with Jake who reveals that she is, in fact, an elf and asks for his help in getting Noelle released. They successfully do so with Jake seeing the sleigh and reindeer fly and Noelle, Nick and Polly return to the North Pole before Christmas Eve. While meeting with the elders, Nick reveals that he has decided that Noelle should be the next Santa, as the Santa Covenant technically does not mention gender, and the elves agree after Noelle gives an impassioned speech. Noelle takes off for the night to deliver presents where she encounters numerous mishaps. She begins to feel down, but after returning to the homeless shelter and meeting the deaf girl again, Noelle feels empowered and her Santa uniform (which previously was too big for her) conforms to her. She finishes her entire route before giving Helen tickets to Hawaii for her and Dan and dropping Jake off at his ex-wife's house to be with Alex.
Noelle is celebrated at the North Pole as Gabriel happily returns to tech support, Nick opens up a yoga studio and Polly becomes an elf elder (something Noelle "slightly" regrets). Noelle admits that she is proud to continue her father's legacy for being the 24th generational Santa.
- Anna Kendrick as Noelle Kringle, Santa's daughter
- Bill Hader as Nick Kringle, Santa's son
- Billy Eichner as Gabriel Kringle
- Shirley MacLaine as Polly, Noelle's childhood nanny
- Julie Hagerty as Mrs. Claus
- Brayan Brendle as Santa Claus/Kris Kringle
- Maceo Smedley as Alex
- Michael Gross as Elder Elf Abe
- Kingsley Ben-Adir as Jake Hapman
- Chelah Horsdal as Dr. Shelley Sussman
- Anna Van Hooft as Elf Mary
- Anthony Konechny as Elf Ted
On January 11, 2017, it was announced that Anna Kendrick would play the titular role of Santa Claus's daughter, Noelle, and that the movie would be written and directed by Marc Lawrence, and produced by Suzanne Todd for Walt Disney Pictures. In July 2017, Bill Hader joined the cast. In September 2017, Billy Eichner and Shirley MacLaine joined the cast. In October 2017, Julie Hagerty and Maceo Smedley joined the cast. In November 2017, Michael Gross joined the cast.
Principal photography for the film began in late-October 2017 in Vancouver, British Columbia, and later moved to Whistler Olympic Park in early-January 2018, where filming continued until January 19, 2018. Additional photography also took place in Phoenix, Arizona. Cody Fitzgerald and Clyde Lawrence will compose the film's score.
Noelle was originally scheduled to be theatrically released on November 8, 2019 by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures. In February 2018, it was revealed that the film would instead be released on Disney+. It was released on November 12, 2019.
Review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes reports an approval rating of 53% based on 36 reviews, with an average rating of 5.27/10. The site's critics consensus reads: "The always charming Anna Kendrick does her best, but Noelle's progressive take on a timeless tale is unfortunately subdued." Metacritic, which uses a weighted average, assigned the film a score of 48 out of 100, based on 9 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews".
Nick Allen of RogerEbert.com gave the film 3 out of 4 stars, writing that "Noelle has more going for it than just being one of the easiest ways for Disney+ to make a good first impression," and that it "has plenty of charm."
- Not counting the direct-to-video live-action films or the Disneynature films, this is the first Disney live-action film to be rated G by the MPAA since Hannah Montana: The Movie.
- This is one of the first two Disney+ original films alongside Lady and the Tramp.
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- "Billy Eichner in Talks to Join Anna Kendrick's Female Santa Claus Film (EXCLUSIVE)", Variety (September 22, 2017). Retrieved on September 22, 2017.
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- "Julie Hagerty To Play Mrs. Claus In Disney's 'Nicole'; Maceo Smedley Also Cast", Deadline (October 12, 2017). Retrieved on October 27, 2017.
- "Michael Gross Joins Disney's 'Noelle', Michael Hyatt Cast In 'Foster Boy'; Ray Wise In 'For Entertainment Purposes Only'" (15 November 2017).
- "Nicole: Disney's Female Santa Claus Movie with Anna Kendrick Starts Filming", What's Filming? (October 23, 2017). Retrieved on October 27, 2017.
- "Anna Kendrick suits up as Santa Claus' daughter Nicole in Vancouver", Mail Online (October 25, 2017). Retrieved on October 27, 2017.
- "Nicole: Anna Kendrick Posts First Look Pic of Nicole Claus", ComingSoon.net (October 26, 2017). Retrieved on October 27, 2017.
- "Filming in Vancouver: Anna Kendrick, You Me Her, and an official Dwayne Johnson Day?", Inside Vancouver (October 23, 2017). Retrieved on October 27, 2017.
- Gittins, Susan (January 11, 2018). "BIG MOVIE: Disney Christmas Comedy NOELLE With Anna Kendrick at its Snowy Village Set in Whistler Olympic Park". hollywoodnorth.buzz. “Disney Christmas comedy Noelle has found a snowy spot for Santa’s village in Whistler Olympic Park. Starring Anna Kendrick as Santa’s daughter, Noelle is filming on this set until mid-January.”
- "Cody Fitzgerald & Clyde Lawrence to Score Disney's 'Noelle'". FilmMusicReporter (March 19, 2018). Retrieved on November 8, 2018.
- "Disney Swaps Release Dates for 'Star Wars: Episode IX' and 'Aladdin'" (in en), The Hollywood Reporter (September 12, 2017). Retrieved on September 13, 2017.
- "Disney Sets Release Dates for Aladdin, Artemis Fowl, & More", ComingSoon.net (September 12, 2017). Retrieved on September 13, 2017.
- Fleming Jr., Mike (February 8, 2018). "Disney Unveils Inaugural Streaming Service Launch Slate To Town; No R-Rated Fare". Deadline. Retrieved on February 8, 2018.
- Burkett, Becky (August 23, 2019). "Disney+ announces new Christmas film starring Anna Kendrick". insidethemagic.net. Retrieved on August 23, 2019.
- "Noelle (2019)". Rotten Tomatoes.
- "Noelle Reviews". Metacritic.
- Allen, Nick. "Noelle movie review & film summary (2019) | Roger Ebert" (en). www.rogerebert.com.
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