Like many Christmas movies, Disney’s Dashing Through the Snow is sometimes predictable and a little saccharine but worth watching regardless. It’s a tried and true story about a single person’s past deterring them from enjoying the spirit of the holidays, and it relies entirely on old tropes to revive said love. The jokes don’t always land, and the pacing is a bit off, but the emotional crux of the film closes the narrative with a memorable, winning arc.
Starring Lil Rey Howery, Chris “Ludacris” Bridges, Madison Skye Validum, Teyonah Parris, Oscar Nunez, and more, Disney’s Dashing Through the Snow follows Eddie Garrick (Ludacris), a social worker whose plans with his nine-year-old daughter, Charlotte (Validum) are deterred by Nick (Howery). The change in plans results in helping a version of Santa Claus that helps restore the spirit of Christmas into Eddie’s life while simultaneously helping him understand what’s necessary to reconcile with his wife.
Because the meat of the story follows a familiar structure, what holds it down and makes it thoroughly enjoyable is the dynamics sprinkled throughout. Whether it’s the banter we get between Eddie and Nick or every lovely moment between Eddie and his daughter, the film highlights that the very essence of the holidays is tethered to the people we spend them with. Whatever said holiday is, it’s understanding that neither work nor any responsibility should get in the way of people and their loved ones.
That’s largely why the film’s heart orbits around a family reconciling and healing from childhood traumas in order to move forward to the future with the understanding of why growth is necessary. Therefore, in more ways than one, Disney’s Dashing Through the Snow is a character journey. It’s not a Scrooge tale per se because Eddie isn’t at all someone who needs to understand the point of kindness or giving, but he’s someone who needs to understand that work isn’t everything. And in a capitalist society, that’s something we could all learn.
At the end of the day, the final scene in the film sells it all—it’s always brave and beautiful to choose to end something on a happier note, and Disney’s Dashing Through the Snow celebrating romance and a family’s lasting love makes the film a must-watch. We’re part of a structure that loves to subvert expectations for the sake of doing something different—leaving characters sad and alone, but sprinkling humor with a happy ending will always work in a film that’s all about the magic of the holidays.
And although it’s imperfect, trying a little too hard at times, there’s no denying the cast had a blast while filming. There’s a lot to grasp onto, fun moments for the whole family, and the kind of wholesome message everyone could use around the holidays. It’s a celebration of love, families, unlikely friendships, and the importance of looking out for people who need a little extra love in their lives. And well, in my book, that’s always a sweet success, no matter how imperfect.
Dashing Through the Snow is now streaming exclusively on Disney+.