X + Z = Alien Xmas?
The possibility of not being able to spend Christmas with our loved ones this year feels a bit alien, doesn't it? So, it's nice of Netflix to get us prepared with Alien Xmas, a holiday special executively produced by Jon Favreau who helps bring about the return of the stop motion style we are all familiar with from the Christmas specials of the1960s.
The movie begins with Santa telling stories until he actually runs out and has to delve into the 'crazy' pile, which is where 'Alien Xmas' comes in.
The story revolves around an alien race called the Klepts which is nothing more than an abbreviation on the word kleptomaniac because essentially, the Klepts are big-time thieves. Santa narrates the tale of how Klepts have no kindness or joy and only greed, and from the offset, it's pretty obvious we're in for some galactic Grinch sort of story.
X is the smallest of the alien race and becomes the central character in this 45-minute adventure.
The Klepts evil leader Z has an evil plan to eradicate gravity from earth or as she calls it, 'the most stuff filled planet'. Once the gravity is gone, they plan to steal everything, as that's pretty much what they were born to do. All summed up in this direct quote from the special, "We will stuff their stuff into our stuff chambers and then their stuff will be our stuff' - truly diabolical.
X wants to prove he has what it takes so he volunteers himself to install the gravity stealing gyrotron machine on earth and obviously, it's two days before Christmas, and the location of the machine must be built in the North Pole. He and his robot buddy SAMTU head to Earth and X is quickly mesmerised by Christmastown.
The shift in the narrative comes when X is discovered and gifted as a doll to a little elf named Holly. X discovers love, kindness and even cuddles while he is with Holly as he begins to find the joy of gift-giving, which is a big message throughout this short film. X has a full-blown shift and becomes nice and tries to stop the initial plan of stealing gravity from the earth.
Alien Xmas is a weird sci-fi that in many ways becomes a strange Elf meets The Grinch hybrid, which is even stranger to admit it works. The decision to have X and SAMTU as silent characters made the special more visual and added depth to them as characters. Sure, there's a bunch of clichés and overused elements, but it's Christmas, and it is the one time of the year where you can get away with it.
Netflix sells Aliens at Xmas as a heartfelt, kids movie, and it is exactly that. Stuffed with big morals and Christmas cheer. It is a wholesome return to the old look and feel of stop motion. This movie will have no trouble keeping the children amused over the holiday season. The Klepts discover kindness and save Christmas from despair, leaving the big question - will Santa be delivering the presents this year or will he have a few alien helpers putting presents under your tree?
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