Eloise: Little Miss Christmas
returns young viewers to the cheerful animated world of Eloise, the
six-year-old girl who lives at the Plaza Hotel in New York City.
Eloise is excited about the coming Christmas, and as she dashes
around the hotel, accompanied by her faithful dog Weenie, Eloise
recalls a Christmas that "almost didn't happen."
The story here is fairly simple:
Eloise and her young friends decide to stage a holiday show that
celebrates the traditions of many countries. At the same time, Mr.
Salamone, the manager of the hotel, is trying to get the hotel ready
for an important inspection. We get a lot of detail about the
arrangements for the show, and a long time spent on the actual
holiday party and gift-giving. There's not a lot of material here,
and it feels a bit padded to get to the full 66 minutes. One of the
things that would have made Little Miss Christmas more meaningful is
if the program had actually shown something about the "traditions
from many cultures," but in fact these are just given lip
service to, and kids won't learn anything particular about other
There's an attempt to put a good
moral to the story; Eloise tells viewers at the end to pay attention
to the spirit of the season, no matter how you celebrate it, and to
keep the holiday spirit in your heart all year round. It's a nice
idea, but I found it to be so generic as to almost be meaningless. I
also found the relentless focus on gift-giving to be perhaps not the
best complement to that "spirit of the season" idea: while
it's implied that the real reason to celebrate is the company of
family and friends, that's more evident to adults; kids might very
well conclude that the holiday spirit is 100% about gifts. On the
more positive side, there are a few nice notes about being inclusive
in friendship, with several child characters who could be seen as
"outsiders" being drawn into the celebration.
The story works best if you've
already met Eloise; there's a quick introduction to her, but I think
viewers should definitely start with Me, Eloise before
watching Little Miss Christmas. Among other things, Me, Eloise
introduces the character of Yuko, who appears here without additional
Viewers have the choice of watching
Little Miss Christmas in either 1:33:1 format or an attractive
widescreen format that gives additional picture information on both
sides. The image is clean and clear, with bright colors and a
generally attractive appearance overall.
The Dolby 5.1 and Dolby 2.0 tracks
are clear and satisfactory on all counts.
There's not too much material here.
There's a memory game in the form of "Gift-Wrapped Kids," a
sing-along carol, a section with information on the characters, a set
of storyboard-to-film comparisons, and some DVD-ROM content.
Eloise: Little Miss Christmas
isn't bad as far as Christmas-themed children's films go, but it's
not a particularly stellar example either. It's a bit thin as far as
story goes, and will probably appeal most to viewers who are already
whole-hearted fans of Eloise and are just looking forward to seeing
more of her antics. Rent it.