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48 Christmas Wishes UPD

Parents need to know that 48 Christmas Wishes starts out as a light tale for young kids about careless elves misplacing a town's Christmas wishes. But the ending goes dark and teary when two kids face the deep sorrow brought on by the death six years earlier of their wonderful father. The tone of the film shifts so dramatically that parents should be prepared to console sensitive kids who may feel blindsided by the dramatic and out-of-the-blue shift in tone.

48 Christmas Wishes

The 48 CHRISTMAS WISHES that were sent from a small town to the North Pole are lost by a careless elf just two days before Christmas. The elf in question, Mindy (Clara Kushnir), feels terrible, partly because she has been complaining about being assigned to the mailroom instead of the toy-building workshop she feels she is better suited to. Certain that she and the two mailroom elves she works with -- Cam (Ethan Yang) and Sammy (Maya Franzoi) -- have ruined Christmas for the town's people, Mindy schemes to head for the town with Cam, both disguised as humans. The mission is to trick humans into divulging their wishes so the undercover elves can let Sammy know back at the North Pole and quickly make all the gifts the humans yearn for. Pointy-eared Mindy and Cam cluelessly try to blend in with the humans until they run into Blake (Liam MacDonald), a 9-year-old boy who immediately figures out that they're elves and that they've got a problem. He comes to their aid, putting them in proper human clothes and helping them learn everyone's Christmas wishes. All of this is played for comedy until the plot becomes maudlin and teary as Blake dresses in his dead father's old Santa suit and performs in front of a crowd the poem his father used to read every year for the Christmas show. Even Blake's Scrooge-like older sister, Emma (Elizabeth Ellsworth), who has hated Christmas ever since her father's death, is imbued with Christmas spirit as everyone else watching either cries or looks moved.

Those looking for a sweet, traditional Christmas tale should look elsewhere. 48 Christmas Wishes seems at odds with itself as it attempts to promote the usual ideas that the spirit of Christmas should be valued over a desire for material gifts and that the season should be a magical time for people to love each other. At the same time, the hapless elves who lose the town's wishes fear that Christmas will be "ruined" unless they redraw the lost list and deliver all those material gifts. As for the title, surely a bustling town, like the one depicted in the movie, has more than 48 residents. Do the elves not care about the town's other hundreds, or even thousands, of residents? More quibbling: Kids don't usually go to school on Christmas Eve.

48 Christmas Wishes contains magical elements related to the holiday season. One element is when a bag of Christmas wishes get destroyed at the North Pole. When Cam, Sammy and Mindy are playing catch with the bag of letters, Mindy accidentally tosses the bag into the fireplace. The magical effect is that the bag disappears within the green sparkles, never to be seen again.

After accidentally destroying a bag of Christmas wishes from a small town on the eve of Christmas Eve, two junior elves learn that if even one wish goes unfulfilled, Christmas could be extinguished forever.

For the first time in their lives, the elves Mindy and Cam venture out of the North Pole and sneak into Minnedoza to collect the lost wishes. Along the way they enlist the help of young Blake whose family has a difficult time celebrating Christmas since his father died.

Everything about "48 Christmas Wishes," a family-friendly holiday fantasy about North Pole elves saving Christmas by ensuring all human wishes are fulfilled, is paper thin. The premise is both routine and flimsy, setting up a disposable story; the production is thin and styled like down-market television, generating little visual spark; and the tone tries to poke its audience in every emotion, pummeling viewers with cutesy sweetness and tread-worn tears. Paint-by-numbers scripting, tinny production values, and stale schmaltz, however, still can not fully undercut the experience; and, somehow, the film brushes off its hollow elements and succeeds at landing as a watchable, if quickly dismissed holiday film.

After accidentally destroying a bag of Christmas wishes from a small town on the eve of Christmas Eve, two junior elves blend into small town life in order to retrieve every missing wish before Christmas Eve. 041b061a72

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