“There’s nothing that says I can’t” was the line that navigated this entire story that followed a young girl and her grandfather as they rediscovered their own magic. A musical extravaganza on the journey to becoming who you’re meant to be, this movie dazzles from the very first moment. It starts out a little slow, seemingly to give Forrest Whitaker his deserved time on screen. However, once it picks up it’s a really sweet and exciting movie!
The music and talent behind its execution is only slightly superior to the magnificent visuals in every scene. It’s colorful, magical, and sparks that Christmas joy we all crave from a classic Christmas film. The group numbers are incredible and the dancing is unparalleled. Keegan-Michael Key is a refreshing delight as a the villain and balances out the sugary sweet nature of the other characters.
A quick side tangent: I understand every good fairy tale needs a great tragedy but, why do the moms always have to die? I remember thinking as a kid that I would have to die young as a mother to be successful at it and that's just not cool. Can’t we please find a better, less devastating way to show a kid's strength instead of offing one or both of their parents? Moving on.
This Christmas tale demonstrates that when all hope is lost, there’s only one thing that remains; you. It’s apropos for the current state of the world and a kind reminder that we can make it through this tragic pandemic and we will always have each other to lean on when it gets too hard. We are never alone, even in isolation, we are isolated together. Alone, together.
The ending disappointed a bit for me but, it maintained the magic, makes sense for kids, and set itself up for a sequel. “It works because we believe ..and you’ll find the magic when you are ready, because the magic has been ready for you”. I suggest watching this one with older kids (6 and above) once you’ve run out of other Christmas movies to watch.