World’s First Christmas Parent Guide
It may be bright and energetic, but this film can't compensate for the weaknesses in its script.
Parent Movie Review
Combining two families can be challenging, and the degree of difficulty ramps up at Christmas. Mom Tina (Ingrid Guimarães) is exhausted by the shopping and her ever-growing to-do list. Dad Pepê (Lázaro Ramos) is doing everything to replicate the traditions his daughters expect. There’s not a whole lot of Christmas cheer to spare.
The holiday implodes when an accidental tumble by the tree breaks a treasured keepsake young Maju (Valen Gaspar) made with her late mother. Distraught, Maju runs to her bedroom and makes a sincere wish that Christmas will disappear forever.
That wish packs a punch and immediately Christmas lights flicker out around the world, and the memory of the holiday fades from people’s minds. When Maju’s family awaken in the morning, they are disoriented to learn that they are the only people in the world who remember Christmas.
The loss of the holiday has some unexpected consequences – there are wild turkeys roaming the streets of their hometown of Rio de Janeiro, the kids have to go to school, people are estranged from extended family members they never see, and everyone looks sad. Everyone, that is, except Tina. Without all the work generated by Christmas, she’s enjoying an unexpected period of relaxation.
The disappearance of Christmas gives Pepê a mission: he’s going to do everything he can to jog people’s memories and bring the holiday back. Soon Tina’s on board, but it looks like their different approaches to Christmas might tear their new family apart…
There’s the seed of an interesting idea in this plot, but it isn’t well developed. A big part of the problem is that no one can decide what Christmas is: it’s hard to recover something you can’t define. Tina talks about Christmas as celebrating the solstice and Pepê focuses on family togetherness. He briefly mentions a star, wise men, and an unnamed baby, but he’s shut down immediately. The one thing about Christmas that seems to resonate is gift-giving and the commercial aspect of the holiday is soon adapted as a profitable, new idea by an entrepreneur (Fabiana Karla), who quickly replicates the excesses of the real season. It’s tacky and greedy, but I have to give points to anyone who puts Santa on a jet-ski pulled by a pair of capybaras. Frankly, if Santa is visiting countries in the Southern Hemisphere, I’m sure he’d appreciate a cooler wardrobe and mode of transportation during their hot summer months.
World’s First Christmas has minor levels of negative content and offers strong positive messages about kindness, determination, the strength of families, and accepting difficult circumstances. It also has lots of energy and the Brazilian setting is bright and colorful. On the downside, the script is often silly and Tina and Pepê demonstrate poor communication skills, with Tina gaslighting her own son. Worst of all, the story often feels forced and unconvincing and that’s a problem. In a fantasy, viewers need to be able to suspend their disbelief and that doesn’t happen here. The ending is sweet, but it isn’t worth the ride.
Directed by Susana Garcia, Gigi Soares. Starring Ingrid Guimarães, Lázaro Ramos, Igor Jansen, Yasmin Londuik, Theo Matos, Valen Gaspar, Fabiana Karla. Running time: 93 minutes. Theatrical release December 8, 2023. Updated December 8, 2023
World’s First Christmas
Rating & Content Info
Why is World’s First Christmas rated Not Rated? World’s First Christmas is rated Not Rated by the MPAA
Violence: Children dump an unidentified white powder all over an adult. A teenager drops a frog down a woman’s dress.
Sexual Content: A married couple kiss.
Profanity: There are a handful of terms of deity.
Alcohol / Drug Use: None noted. (Possibly some social drinking, but not sure.)
Page last updated December 8, 2023
World’s First Christmas Parents' Guide
Do you celebrate Christmas? Why does the holiday matter to you? What traditions are the most important? Where do they come from? If you could change how your culture celebrates Christmas, what would you do?
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