Vertical Entertainment brings a wonderful Norwegian Christmas story to the U.S. in the English dubbed version of Journey to the Christmas Star. Agnes Kittelson perfectly portrays the evil witch while 12-year-old newcomer Vilde Marie Zeiner stars as the heroine, Sonja, with Anders Baasmo Christiansen as the devastated king. The rated G movie comes to DVD on Nov 5th and is a perfect match for families looking for a Christmas movie the entire family will enjoy.
The movie opens with a picture book style series of drawings depicting the sad story of a distraught king searching for his missing daughter, Princess Goldenhair. The young princess vanished after heading into the forest to find the Christmas star and upon hearing of her disappearance the king cursed the Christmas star thus causing the star to disappear from the sky. The king was informed that if the Christmas star is found before the tenth year the young princess would return to the castle.
Sonja, a young orphan forced to live with a family of thieves, escapes her horrible slave-like home and finds herself hiding in the castle listening to the king’s sad tale and pledges to help the king find the Christmas star thus allowing the young princess to return. However, Sonja’s journey is filled with mishaps and obstacles, primarily at the hands of the evil witch that vanished the young princess and her cohort, the count. But don’t worry, Sonja finds a slew of magical friends to help her along the journey, including Father Christmas himself.
The first thing I noticed was the obvious dubbing of English over the original language of the film which is not noted anywhere on the cover and thus a tad misleading for someone browsing a DVD collection looking for a movie to watch. However the dubbing, once identified as dubbing and not a misaligned voice track, does not interfere with the movie watching experience.
The story is simple to follow for young viewers but interesting enough to keep the bigger kids and adults entertained. The special effects are good but a few things are out of sorts, primarily when the bear is on screen. The only extra provided on the DVD is the trailer for this movie although you do have the option to choose Dolby 5.1 or Dolby stereo, display English subtitles, and the standard scene selection. Journey to the Christmas Star will quickly become a family favorite in your house.