Kurt Russell takes the sleigh reigns again for Netflix’s Christmas Chronicles 2. Co-starring Goldie Hawn as Mrs. Claus, is the sequel the best?
After the huge success of the holiday adventure The Christmas Chronicles, it’s not too surprising that Netflix quickly got to work on a sequel. The Christmas Chronicles 2 has just been released in time for the holidays and sees Kurt Russell return as Santa Claus, joined by his real-life wife Goldie Hawn as Mrs. Claus.
Fans of the original will be pleased to find that the sequel offers the same holiday fun along with Russell’s winning performance as old Saint Nick. There are even some aspects in which the sequel is an improvement, while there are other ways it fails to top the first.
10 The Sequel: The Worldbuilding
It’s always interesting to see how different movies build their own stories about Santa and the origins of Christmas. While the original movie got into some of the details explaining Santa’s powers, the sequel really dives into the rich backstory.
There is a lot of fun stuff to explore here, from the creation of Santa’s village to the world of the elves. The sequel really expands the world that was only introduced in the first film and it opens the door for a lot of other stories to be told.
9 The Original: The Originality
The Christmas Chronicles was not a totally unique movie. It took a lot of enjoyable elements of different holiday movies, but also developed a solid premise and established a quick pace that made it a fun adventure for anyone looking for a holiday treat.
The sequel adds a lot of new stuff to the mythology of the world, but it doesn’t stray too far from the formula laid out in the first movie. It makes it feel a little repetitive at times as you can see the different story beats coming a mile away.
8 The Sequel: The Setting
The first movie finds Santa stranded with two kids who hitched a ride in his sleigh. Without his reindeer or magic hat, Santa is forced to navigate through the real world and save Christmas.
Seeing Santa interacting with real people was a cool twist, but the sequel has a lot more fun exploring the world of the North Pole and all of the magic there. It makes for a more exciting setting for the adventure.
7 The Original: The Comedy
Though he is mostly known for his dramatic and action roles, Russell brings a really strong comedic talent to the role of Santa. His performance delivers some genuine laughs in each of the movies. However, the first movie gives him some funnier material to work with.
The fish-out-of-water nature of the original provides Russell with a lot of comedic moments whereas the sequel is so fast-paced it doesn’t have as much time for quips and gags. And without Russell delivering them, a lot of the funny lines fall flat.
6 The Sequel: The Villain
Julian Dennison, star of Hunt for the Wilderpeople and Deadpool 2, is a welcoming casting addition to the sequel. He plays Belsnickel, a former elf in Santa’s village who wants to end Christmas forever. He makes for a fun and worthy villain for the story.
The original movie didn’t really have much need for an antagonist but that didn’t stop them from awkwardly cramming in some villainous characters. A strange subplot where a bunch of murderous thugs steal Santa’s bag really felt like it belonged in another movie. Belsnickel is a much more suitable villain.
5 The Original: The Family Story
Along with being a wild yuletide adventure with Santa, each of these movies has a story of family at its center. In the first movie, Kate and Teddy are dealing with celebrating Christmas without their father, who passed away. In the sequel, Kate is struggling with her mom dating a new man and how that would change her family.
While the sequel has touching moments in its storyline, the first movie is far more successful in this respect. It is a real emotional story with some bittersweet moments and a heartwarming conclusion.
4 The Sequel: The Stakes
Saving Christmas is what’s at stake for both of these movies and each of them attempts to find ways to make those stakes feel important. The sequel does a good job of this as Belsnickel’s plan would end Christmas forever and mean the end of Santa himself.
The first film is less successful. The whole movie feels like we’re supposed to think it’s the end of the world if some people don’t get Christmas. Ultimately, it seems to suggest the whole thing was just a ruse to make Teddy a true believer again, making much of the movie pointless.
3 The Original: The Ticking Clock
While the stakes might not seem high enough in the original movie, there is a good “ticking clock” formula that allows the story to move along at a quick and entertaining pace. In movies, a “ticking clock” is a concept that forces the characters into a race against time.
The sequel is really a battle against Belsnickel and the pacing seems a bit off at times. But the first movie finds its groove early on and rides it all the way to the end.
2 The Sequel: Mrs. Claus
After getting a brief cameo at the end of the first movie, Goldie Hawn has a more expanded role as Mrs. Claus in the sequel. While Santa still takes center stage, the addition of Mrs. Claus adds a nice touch to the story.
Not only do Hawn and Russell have an unsurprisingly easy chemistry, but the movie takes a unique approach to Mrs. Claus. Rather than being pushed to the background as Santa’s supportive spouse, she is just as important to the success of Christmas as anyone else.
1 The Original: The Musical Number
Quite out of nowhere, both of these movies break into a big musical number in which Kurt Russell really commits to the singing Santa routine in a charming way. The first movie finds Santa leading a jam session in prison set to the Elvis song “Santa Claus is Back in Town.”
The sequel makes the risky decision of using an original Christmas song. Despite Russell doing a duet with the great Darlene Love, the song is just not very catchy and the big lavish musical number suffers greatly as a result.
NEXT: 10 Non X-mas Comedy Movies That Are Actually Perfect For Christmas
Best Scenes From The Mandalorian Season 2 (So Far)
About The Author