It’s Christmas Eve and two young children find themselves home alone after their police officer mum is called to investigate a robbery in the neighbourhood.
No, this isn’t another spin-off from the popular 1990 kid’s movie Home Alone. But fans of the Home Alone franchise will enjoy the gentle capers of these two hapless crooks who find themselves out witted and softened by two curious kids.
Dressed as Santa and his elf, thieves Frank and Vince flee the scene of their crime and break into another nearby home only to find this one isn’t as empty as they hoped. Inside are 8-year-old Liam and his younger sister, Olivia, 4 (played by real life siblings Lorenzo and Mia McGovern Zaini). Being Christmas Eve, their usual babysitter isn’t available from the agency. So, imagine their surprise when they think their mum has arranged Santa and his helper to step in.
Inside the Santa/Looter’s sack the children find a magic book that brings to life a cast of animated characters whose stories reflect elements of all their lives and lead the two villains to start considering the rotten choices they’ve made in life.
Youngsters who have access to Amazon Prime Video will no doubt recognise PB, Swifty and the other characters from animated series, Arctic Friends. And while it seems strange to give the cartoon new life inside this story, the familiarity of the characters works well to quickly draw kids into these sub-plot adventures.
Meanwhile, just like the Joe Pesci turnaround from GoodFellas’ gangster to comedy villain in Home Alone, here the grown-ups can have a chuckle at seeing Reservoir Dogs actor, Michael Madsen swap his hard man Mr Blonde image for jester elf, Vince.
Back in their real world, Liam starts to suspect that Frank (Tom Arnold) may not be either Santa or the babysitter his mum has hired to read their bed time stories for the night.
Expect high jinks and some twists and turns along the path to a feelgood, happy ending with a touch of make believe – it is Christmas after all.
Christmas Thieves rated PG is available on Digital Download.