Here we have another example of a WTF directorial moment, as this family-friendly title, aimed fairly heavily at children, is directed by Robert Lieberman. This is a man who once traumatized me as a kid with his movie 'Fire in the Sky', which I still claim to have the scariest movie scene of all-time (at least according to my tastes).
One might be relieved to know that this is a very far cry from anything horrific though. The plot is incredibly basic, and looking at the movie poster, I have to admit that I kinda hoped for it to be another movie. It looks as though two kids manage to trap Santa Claus and gangster-style him into giving them presents. It could have been laughably out of hand.
The real story, however, is the simple case of a little girl named Hallie (Thora Birch) and her brother, Ethan (Ethan Embry), facing Christmas with their parents separated (Jamey Sheridan and Harley Jane Kozak). Hallie wants nothing more than for her parents to get back together, so that they could celebrate the holidays as a family, and the film pretty much unfolds with her attempts at making her Christmas wish come true.
Meanwhile, Ethan is chasing preteen love, pursuing a girl named Stephanie (Amy Oberer), who also helps them on their mission in her own way. But really, she's mostly there to give Ethan something to gravitate towards while Hallie takes part in the main plot a little bit more. And being that this was still cute, little Thora Birch, things are easier to forgive. This was even before 'Hocus Pocus', so very early in her career, and we can actually see by her performance here, why she took off as a child actress.
But for as much praise as I might give Thora on her early acting, there's much more to this movie than one person's performance. Really, this is just another story about kids wishing their parents back together, and it's been done before and since then, and probably better. With that said though, it's still a harmless flick, and I'm not gonna sit here and pick it apart for being "bad". It's just a simple family flick from the early 90s, and it manages to do a lot without the use of Christmas magic so much as keeping things grounded in reality.
If you're currently on board with Disney Plus, and you have kids to entertain for Christmas, this isn't a bad title to tune into. But I will say that there are better Christmas movies out there, and this does kinda fade into the background as its not classic. It's just something that's been done before, with Christmas as its setting. The most interesting part about it, perhaps, is seeing these current grown adults as children who still have a sparkle of Christmas magic in their eyes.