The Christmas Dragon (2014)
Directed by: John Lyde
Written by: David Addante, John Lyde, Shylah Addante
Starring: Bailee Michelle Johnson, David DeVilliers, Jacob Buster, Jake Stormoen, Melanie Stone, Paris Warner, Renny Grames, Ruby Jones, Talon G. Ackerman
THE CHRISTMAS DRAGON (2014)
Directed by John Lyde
After the horrifying death of her parents, young Ayden grows up in an orphanage with other young kids who’ve lost their parents. Six years after her traumatic ordeal, she bumps into an elf in the woods who tells her she’s been chosen to find the lost magic of Christmas and that she must do everything within her power to find and restore the magic before it’s too late. With the help of fellow orphans Fin, Rosalynne and twins Rand and Hoyt and a magic compass crystal, Ayden must battle and survive ogres, goblins and more as they attempt to save Christmas from being lost forever.
Children’s fantasy adventure film THE CHRISTMAS DRAGON brings back the thrilling, fun-filled childhood flicks that seem to have disappeared from out screens in recent years. Focusing on a group of kids, including the mischievous brother/sister twins Rand and Hoyt, the Bart Simpson-esque Fin complete with slingshot and The Crow eye-makeup, the stuck-up Rosalynne who always thinks she knows best and the brave, bold Ayden, the film has a energy to it that immediately sucks you in. Adults play second fiddle in this movie allowing the kids to take the lead to create an adventure full of hope and innocence that will thrill any child watching and any adult who’s in touch with their inner-child. With the idea of Christmas, something that every child looks forward to, slipping away into oblivion along with everything good in the world makes the quest that bit more special and urgent, especially as the kids only have two weeks to complete their mission.
Set in medieval times where dragons are a real threat to the people and with slavers keen to exploit orphaned children, there’s plenty of obstacles and enemies in the children’s way. Lead character Ayden has already had her fair share of trauma in her life and it doesn’t look like it’s going to stop. However, this time she’ll have her ‘brothers and sisters’ from the orphanage to help her with her quest.
The group get into some right scrapes and it’s not long before they bump into Scottish rogue Airk, who seems to have taken a leaf out of Jack Sparrow’s book in terms of appearance and comical stunt ability. There’s even a strong female to match Airk, an elf named Saerwen, who’s skills will prove useful to aid the children’s quest. With Christmas being so special for the children, it’s only fair that this is their adventure and that the adult characters Airk and Saerwen provide mere backup for the kids.
The film manages to balance the right amount of drama with action adventure with plenty of enemies to cause our young heroes problems. Prosthetics and costumes are used well to create fearsome goblins and the ogre whilst the filmmakers rely on CGI to create their dragons. Whilst the CGI isn’t the best out there, it’s still pretty decent to create powerful, flame-breathing beasties and the cute, cuddly titular dragon. This combination of practical and computer effects compliments each other nicely and kids will have a whale of a time watching, as did I.
THE CHRISTMAS DRAGON is a completely feel-good movie with a solid message to share about Christmas. Whilst some of the dialogue may sound a little too forced and scripted rather than natural, the overall moral of the story is quite heartwarming and it’s lovely to see the kids in the film, and the adults, having a blast as they battle evil so that good may triumph.
There needs to be more of these movies but THE CHRISTMAS DRAGON has hit some pretty high notes in my book to be enjoyed by the little ones this Christmas.