Netflixable? “Angela’s Christmas Wish” lacks the warm narration, and the warmth of “Angela’s Christmas”

The McCourt family’s “Angela’s Ashes” brand finally produces one offshoot too many with the animated sequel, “Angela’s Christmas Wish.” It’s an inferior and longer follow-up to “Angela’s Christmas” of a few years back, with a little sentiment but barely enough warmth to be worth the bother.

Still, if your kids are into wee children with wee brogues, it’s only 47 minutes of TV-worthy (far short of feature film) animation. They’ll have time left over to watch “Angela’s Christmas” all over again.

What’s missing is the charming voice-over narration of Malachy McCourt, brother to family memoirist Frank McCourt, who told the story of their mother’s hard Irish upbringing in “Angela’s Ashes.” Malachy provided the twinkle and context in the first film, about their mother’s infatuation with the baby Jesus doll in their local church’s Nativity scene (creche).

“Angela’s Christmas Wish” is set after their father goes off to Australia “for work,” and mother (voiced by Ruth Negga) has to keep spirits up for the holidays two long years later.

Angela’s (Lucy O’Connell) still talking to Baby Jesus, and making wishes. But to make this Big Wish come true — getting Da’ home for Christmas — she’ll need bother Pat (Brendan Mullins) to pitch in. I mean, a girl can’t dig all the way to Australia by herself — in winter, no less.

The story’s got a couple of things Angela wants to happen, the one closer to home being that neighbor McGinty’s new calf survive the holidays. A visit from the vet (Jared Harris) would make all the difference. But he can’t be persuaded. Perhaps his daughter Dorothy (Lola Metcalfe) can use her influence.

The shenanigans this time include attempts to book passage — or stow-away — on a departing ship (World War I, underway in 1915, impacted Ireland indirectly and is never mentioned).

There are songs, as the kids try to earn money singing for the men down t’the pub, and there’s a bit of lump in the throat sentiment for the finale. The funny stuff isn’t as funny, the cute moments not cute at all, and the humor?

Not enough, alas. The animation seems malnourished even if the kids don’t, and the laughs are in short supply.

You’re better off re-watching the first film, to be Frank. Or Malachy.

MPA Rating: TV-Y

Cast: The voices Lucy O’Connell, Ruth Negga, Lola Metcalfe, Brendan Mullins and Jared Harris.

Credits: Scripted and directed by Damien O’Connor. A Brown Bag Films production, for Netflix.

Running time: :47

About Roger Moore

Movie Critic, formerly with McClatchy-Tribune News Service, Orlando Sentinel, published in Spin Magazine, The World and now published here, Orlando Magazine, Autoweek Magazine
This entry was posted in Reviews, previews, profiles and movie news. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Netflixable? “Angela’s Christmas Wish” lacks the warm narration, and the warmth of “Angela’s Christmas”

  1. Mary Crellin says:

    I thought the movie was very pretty and the idea that gave me was that being together as a family is more important that gifts.
    I do not agree with your comments. It reminded me of my childhood and how beautiful it was with being simply around my family.

  2. Amanda says:

    , this short movie set aback more than 100 years ago shows the culture of the time, and the importance of relationships over that of material goods. It shows emotions that are near unexplainable, such as when Angela’s father walks into the room and Angela cannot even speak but her facial expression and body language doesn’t need words to move the viewer to tears. Another scene, the pub, the brother and sister duet, captured the hearts of the gruff and tough men, why? Because the call of duty has affected these people so deeply, something our current culture really doesn’t know the pain of.

    Also the concept that everyone knows about the girls who took the baby Jesus. Totally accurate of small village gossip.

    This movie was fantastic and I’m so grateful of the LACK of silliness so often found on our modern kids shows that really teach worthlessness.

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