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The Flight Before Christmas

3.8 out of 5 stars 101 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

A young reindeer named Niko dreams about flying like his father who he believes is a member of Santa's famous Flying Forces. Despite suffering from severe vertigo, he sneaks out of his home to take flying lessons from his friend Julius, a clumsy flying squirrel. Soon after, Niko and Julius learn that Santa and his reindeer are in serious trouble so the pair gather their forest friends and head North to save the day.

Special Features

None.

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 (101 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B001B3LIRE
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #50,582 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Flight Before Christmas" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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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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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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The animation in this movie is wonderful, and while I thought it a little strange that Niko's father never stayed, the rest of the movie was amazing and even funny in places. I think if I'd have written the movie I'd have had Niko's father die or something instead of the one night stand type of thing, it would have been morally better. After all these movies are for kids and should be morally sound, just my opinion, but it is very true that children learn what they live.
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I've chosen a 5 star rating because I think it is a great movie. My grandsons enjoyed the sequel "Big Brother, Big Trouble" on Netflix so we wanted to see the first one. It is colorful, has a fun family theme & a teaches us to not give up no matter how difficult things become along the way to achieve our goal.
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