An Italian children’s Christmas film is also reaching USA cinemas a year late. And he’s irritating, because… The Legend of the Christmas Witch is neither a film for children nor one that exudes a cozy Christmas feeling. We reveal more about this in our review.
The friends investigate their teacher’s disappearance on their own.
The plot summary
Paola (Paola Cortellesi) has a secret: the popular teacher works at the local school during the day, has a dear boyfriend and is about to get engaged. But at night she transforms into the quirky Christmas witch Befana and is hardly recognizable anymore with her long nose and the warts on her face. Nevertheless, she loves her calling. Her children, to whom she brings presents at Christmas, are sacred to her. But many, many years ago, one of their missions went wrong. And now of all times comes the revenge of the little boy who was “forgotten” by her back then. He has now become the successful toy manufacturer Mr. Johnny (Stefano Fresi), who only lets Befana out once she tells him where she keeps the children’s many letters. Speaking of children: When a group of students notice their teacher’s disappearance, they set out to search for her on their own in order to not only save Paola, but also the children’s Christmas…
The Legend of the Christmas Witch Movie Meaning & ending
At the end of every Christmas film, the world is (back) in order, evil is defeated and the Christmas magic comes into its own. That’s what makes the Christmas film genre so exciting, because when the ingredients for all these films are so similar, the challenge is even greater to simply create something completely new from them. In a way, the Italian director Michele Soavi (“Dellamorte Dellamore”) succeeded in this and at least for that we want to pay him our tribute here. His Christmas adventure “Our Teacher, the Christmas Witch” is not another softened fairy tale, but a pretty nasty story that is not stingy with violence and, in its harshest moments, is far too dark and pessimistic to be considered a “children’s film”. Since Soavi ultimately wants to tell one – we experience the story through children’s eyes and the message about friendly solidarity is repeated like a prayer wheel several times so that everyone really understands it – “Our Teacher, the Christmas Witch” falls between the two stools and is more than irritating entertain.
In a particularly nasty scene, we see the villain Mr. Johnny ramming a syringe into the kidnapped Paola’s nose in close-up. It is said to contain a truth serum, which is why the Christmas witch is supposed to babble away and tell her kidnappers the location of the letters. Recut. Shortly after the injection, Paola collapses in sleep, the kidnappers are happy and disappear. This short scene perfectly describes the two major weaknesses that “Our Teacher, the Christmas Witch” suffers from and through which the film never rises above mediocrity, even in its strongest moments. On the one hand, there is the violence. Regardless of whether it’s syringes, the children narrowly escaping a scrap press or the bad guys being brutally beaten: Michele Soavi doesn’t do things by halves in his film. Maybe because he’s not used to it any other way thanks to his previous works like “Dellamorte Dellamore”, “Aquarius” or “Arrividerci amore, ciao”. The man comes from the genre and horror sector. These roots can also be noted in “Our Teacher, the Christmas Witch”.
The many connection errors, logic holes and narrative incoherences are at least as disturbing. Sometimes it’s just abundantly clear to see that scenes have been strung together here that were never shot one after the other. Other times, characters or things in the film change their attitude or effectiveness without comment (see: the truth serum, which instantly becomes a sleeping pill). In addition, there is a sound mix that is sometimes much too loud, sometimes much too quiet, but never makes watching the film a pleasure. Small technical inaccuracies are especially difficult to bear when a film is aimed at a young audience. But in the case of “Our Teacher, the Christmas Witch,” we’re not even sure who exactly should watch the film. The technical deficits are so great that even children are likely to notice them. There is no Christmas spirit there. The actors – especially the young actors – all perform well. They can’t do anything about strange script content like relationship stress and French kissing exercises (the children apparently just look like elementary school students!!). Instead, the newcomers all perform confidently and also benefit from strong synchro in the German version. The main advertising here is news anchor Judith Rakers, who takes on the role of the Christmas witch herself. It is not apparent from her portrayal that the lady comes from a non-synchronous subject. As Paola and Befana, she turns out to be absolutely the right choice. It’s a shame – Rakers would have deserved a better film for such a great dubbing debut.
The Legend of the Christmas Witch Ending Explained
“The Legend of the Christmas Witch” takes viewers on a whimsical and magical journey, full of surprises and enchantment. The film follows the story of Clara, a young girl who discovers a hidden world of Christmas magic and learns about the legendary Christmas Witch.
Unveiling the Christmas Witch’s Purpose:
In the final act of the film, the true purpose of the Christmas Witch is revealed. Contrary to popular belief that she is a force to be feared, the Christmas Witch is actually a guardian of the holiday spirit. Her role is to ensure that the magic of Christmas remains alive in the hearts of those who have lost their way. The climax showcases Clara’s realization that the Christmas Witch is not an antagonist but a misunderstood figure trying to spread joy and kindness.
Clara’s Personal Transformation:
Throughout the movie, Clara undergoes a personal transformation. At the beginning, she is skeptical and almost loses faith in the magic of Christmas. However, her encounters with the Christmas Witch and the magical creatures of the holiday world help her rediscover the importance of belief and wonder. The ending sees Clara embracing the spirit of Christmas, not just as a recipient of gifts but as a giver of joy and love.
Resolution of Subplots:
The film’s subplots, including Clara’s relationships with her family and friends, are woven together in a heartwarming resolution. The magic of Christmas extends beyond the fantastical elements and becomes a catalyst for reconciliation and forgiveness. Viewers witness the strengthening of bonds and the healing of wounds, emphasizing the message that the true magic of Christmas lies in compassion and understanding.
The Christmas Witch’s Departure:
As the climax unfolds, the Christmas Witch must depart, leaving behind a world touched by her magic. This departure symbolizes the transient nature of the holiday season but leaves a lasting impact on those who have experienced her enchantment. Clara, now a believer, understands that the Christmas Witch will return when needed, continuing to spread joy to those who have forgotten the true meaning of Christmas.
Conclusion: In conclusion, “The Legend of the Christmas Witch” concludes with a celebration of love, belief, and the enduring magic of Christmas. The ending invites viewers to carry the spirit of the Christmas Witch throughout the year, keeping the magic alive in their hearts and spreading joy to others.
Nothing fits together here: The children’s Christmas film “The Legend of the Christmas Witch” is too scary and violent for children and has far too little harmony for a Christmas film. At least the actors, especially Judith Rakers as the voice actress, are convincing in the (USA) version.
“The Legend of the Christmas Witch” can be seen in selected USA cinemas from November 7th.