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The Flight Before Christmas

90 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

A reindeer boy named Niko dreams about flying like his father, whom he has never met. Despite suffering from severe vertigo, he sneaks out of his home valley to take flying lessons from Julius, a rare member of a Finnish family of flying squirrels.

Stills from The Flight Before Christmas (Click for larger image)


Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: Carly Baker, Patrick Fitzsymons, Morgan Jones, Norm MacDonald, Andrew McMahon
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, Full Screen, NTSC, Subtitled
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: G (General Audience)
  • Studio: Weinstein Company
  • DVD Release Date: October 28, 2008
  • Run Time: 81 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (90 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B001B3LIRE
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #17,086 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Flight Before Christmas" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

24 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Rowana on December 14, 2008
Format: DVD
When this popped up on CBS TV the other night, I started watching it, and the first thing I thought was "This is not an American-made film." For one thing, it's fairly densely plotted and has a much more complex and dark storyline than a U.S. cartoon would have. Sure enough, although CBS zipped through the ending credits almost too quickly to read them, I saw that it was made in Finland. That explains it! The night I watched, it followed on the heels of the awful 1996 "The Return of Frosty" cartoon, which made the Finnish production seem that much more intelligent.

As a grown-up viewer, I thoroughly enjoyed the story -- a young reindeer searching for his father, whom he believes to be one of Santa's heroic flying squadron. The youngster is helped along his way by a fatherly, protective flying squirrel and a female ermine/weasel (?) who warbles pop tunes like an American Idol contestant. There's also a pink French poodle who appears suddenly and disappears mysteriously once her plotline is over (what becomes of her??). Yes, there are implications of reindeer one-night stands (how very Scandinavian of them!), and Niko's real dad turns out to have, shall we say, commitment issues (many kids will relate, I'm afraid). And there are some scary wolf villains -- but really, no scarier than the hyenas in "The Lion King," which this production seems to channel (one could say "copy" if one were ungenerous) more often than not. The digital character animation looks a bit clunky, with giant grinning amorphous faces that too often really look computerized -- but the backgrounds and landscapes are quite lovely. There are shots of the Scandinavian forest with the aurora borealis overhead that are very memorable.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Victoria L. on December 20, 2012
Format: DVD
This beats the vast majority of those sickeningly-sweet holiday specials out there, but it's obviously not for everyone. I think that little kids would be entertained by the animation and the characters, but until they are old enough to understand they probably won't realize that the reindeer Niko was the result of a "one night stand". And, really, kids are so much more sophisticated these days so although I would expect that a middle-school age child would "get it", it probably doesn't affect them as much as most of the other shooting and killing and maiming that goes on in tv shows and movies anyway.

It's entertainment, nicely done and quite unique at that. Kids will watch it as such, and some adults can continue to pull it apart if they want to. But they shouldn't-- just watch and enjoy and don't feel the need to analyze or explain everything.
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16 of 22 people found the following review helpful By cbh on December 13, 2008
Format: DVD
I'm 33 years old & saw this for the first time on tv . I couldn't move from my seat. a new Christmas classic . maybe it should've been PG but it wasn't even close to being as "bad" as some of the reviews made it out to be , saying that it was not for kids because it was to scary or violent . there are alot worse cartoons than this . for example Shreck , kids love that cartoon and the same parents that are trashing this cartoon , I bet , has bought Shreck & lets there kid watch it over & over and scary images ? what about all the walt disney cartoons ? what about Cruella Devil wanting to kill puppies ? or hunters shooting Bambi's dad ? don't listen to these uptight people , it is worth the money & your children will love it . I thought it was a very cute cartoon & I'm plan'n on buy'n it for my daughter .
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Joe on December 28, 2012
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I first saw this as a 45 minute special on CBS a few weeks ago. It looked pretty good from the previews, so I had to check it out. While I thought the story was pretty good, I thought it left a lot of loose ends and unfinished plot. So imagine my surprise when I did a web search on it, and found out this was actually an 80 minute movie made in Finland! So I immediately sent for the DVD, which features the full length movie, and I have to say it was much better than the 45 minute "condensed for TV" version. All of my questions were answered and all of the loose ends were tied up. I honestly don't know what CBS was thinking, making a 45 minute special out of an 80 minute movie (essentially, cutting out half of the movie!) All of Niko's quest to find his father, and all of the dangers he encounters along the way, make the story so much more epic! Also, one reviewer pointed out that in the TV special version, the poodle character, Essie, simply vanishes once her part is complete - well, in the full length movie, you do get to find out what happens to her (nothing bad, by the way). I thought it was a very enjoyable story, and it's become my favorite Christmas movie this year. Santa's Flying Forces are a riot, as well! And I really liked the main message of the story, that if you believe in yourself, you really can accomplish your dreams. Another good message was that your heroes often just turn out to be ordinary people like you and me, so don't put them up on a pedastal. I know a lot of reviewers don't like the "one night stand" aspect of the story, but it's not really dwelt upon to any extent. Overall, I think this is a really great and exciting Christmas story, which I am sure I'll be watching every Christmas from now on.Read more ›
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