Super producer Will "Power" Packer and director Tim Story have teamed up again for the fifth time to bring us a heartwarming family holiday film called "Dashing Through the Snow" on Disney+. The film's screenplay, written by Scott Rosenberg, follows the story of Eddie Garrick (played by Chris "Ludacris" Bridges), a kind-hearted man who has lost his love for Christmas after a traumatic childhood experience.
Eddie takes his 9-year-old daughter Charlotte (Madison Skye Validum) to work with him on Christmas Eve at the request of his separated wife, Allison Garrick (Teyonah Parris). While at work, they meet a mysterious man in a red suit named Nick (Lil Rel Howery). Eddie, a social worker, initially thinks Nick is delusional and needs professional help. However, things turn when Eddie angers a local politician (Oscar Nuñez), and he and his daughter are taken on a magical adventure that might restore his faith in Christmas.
Over the course of this week, I had the opportunity to watch two wondrous Christmas movies. The first movie was titled Dashing Through the Snow. As I anticipated, both movies followed the classic Christmas movie formula. However, despite a clichéd backstory for Ludacris's lead character, the film managed to charm me with its innocent appeal.
What I particularly appreciated about the movie was Garrick's decision to not overdo the Scrooge factor for Eddie's character. Often, Christmas movies try to force a character to change their ways by making them too villainous, but in this case, the gentle approach taken to the character was much appreciated. As a father myself, I could empathize with Eddie's motivations and found myself agreeing with his character's struggles. Overall, the movie was a delightful watch, and I would highly recommend it to anyone looking for a heartwarming, family-friendly Christmas movie.
In the role of Santa Nick, Lil Rel Howery is all but playing but himself. However, that's fine in a film like this since the comedian has a boisterous personality. Fresh off her scene-stealing role in The Marvels, Teyonah Parris doesn't have much to do here, but her essence is lively as always, and I just like to see her smile on screen.
The antagonists in the movie were quite underwhelming and failed to make an impact. On the other hand, the characters played by Zulay Henao and Kevin Connolly, who portrayed Nick's co-workers, had the potential to be more fleshed out and explored in greater detail since they added a lot more to the storyline. However, the film's true star was undoubtedly Eddie and Allison's daughter, Charlotte (Madison Skye Validum). Her presence in every scene was magical and captivating, with her perfect balance of wide-eyed innocence and adorable charm.
Dashing Through the Snow isn't about to win awards, and I'm sure most critics will write the film off. However as a one time watch with the film family, it's perfectly fine.
Final Grade: B-
Dashing Through The Snow is avaiable to stream now on Disney +