Netflix's latest big-budget holiday fantasy romp is proving to be a major hit among subscribers. Taking viewers into the mystical world of elves, magic, and talking animals, the Gil Kenan-directed 2021 holiday film A Boy Called Christmas has earned a spot among the most popular titles on the streaming platform, even sleighing to the top of the streaming charts on Netflix Kids.
Adapted from the bestselling book by Matt Haig and having premiered on the streamer on Wednesday, Nov. 24, A Boy Called Christmas centers around Nikolas, an ordinary boy who meet his destiny when he sets out into the snowy north alongside his headstrong reindeer Blitzen and his loyal pet mouse in search of his father, who is on a quest to discover Elfhelm, the fabled village of the elves. As he ventures into the north, Nikolas discovers his true destiny, with Netflix describing the film as a "magical, comic and endearing story." The film stars Henry Lawfull, Toby Jones, Sally Hawkins, Kristen Wiig, Michiel Huisman, Zoe Colletti, Stephen Merchant (voice), Joel Fry, Rune Temte, Jim Broadbent and Maggie Smith, with Kenan also serving as co-writer in addition to director.
Less than a week out from its premiere, the movie cracked into the streaming charts, reaching No. 9 overall, just behind titles including Cowboy Bebop, A Castle for Christmas, and True Story, on Monday, Nov. 29. Among movies, it was No. 4 of the streamer's U.S. platform ahead of fellow holiday titles like The Holiday, The Christmas Chronicles, and The Christmas Chronicles: Part 2. While its rankings have faltered, A Boy Called Christmas is still enjoying plenty of success on Netflix, sitting as the No. 9 most-popular title on Netflix. U.S. as of Tuesday, Nov. 30 and securing a spot as the No. 1 most-popular title on Netflix Kids, outranking the likes of Cocomelon, The Thundermans, The Christmas Chronicles and Extinct.
Speaking with PopCulture.com of the film, Kenan said his hope with A Boy Called Christmas was "to show an audience that we can still be telling pure fairy tales in our modern cinematic world, that there is a way to bring in all the great tools of filmmaking to tell something that is simple and beautiful and human and emotional." Kenan added that "it just so happens that this is a Christmas story that allows us to pull in all of those elements."
In addition to A Boy Called Christmas, Kenan also helmed 2006's Monster House, also available on Netflix, and co-wrote Ghostbusters: Afterlife, which is now in theaters. Meanwhile, for those looking for more holiday titles to stream, Netflix has released its annual Here for the Holidays streaming lineup, with fresh content set to rollout through the end of December. You can view the full lineup by clicking here.