8-Bit Christmas is a Christmas comedy starring Neil Patrick Harris (as adult Jake) telling a story to his daughter Annie (Sophia Reid-Gantzert) about the Christmas when he desperately wanted a Nintendo.
Sometime in the late 80’s, a young Jake (Winslow Fegley) and his friends descend on Timmy Keane’s house to play Nintendo – Keane was a rich kid and the only kid in town that owned a Nintendo. After an incident at Keane’s house, their Nintendo playing days are over…until there’s a wreath selling contest and the winner gets a Nintendo. This sends Jake and all his friends into frenzy to sell the most wreathes.
While the kids are laser focused on acquiring a Nintendo, there is a group of parents sharing information about how dangerous video games are for kids.
8-Bit Christmas is a fantastic look at what Christmas was like for kids in the 80’s. It includes the doll craze, video game craze, and all the scary stories about what video games would do to kids. Not to mention, a lot of communities had a kid like Timmy Keane.
The best part of the film isn’t the nostalgia that shows up at every turn in the film or the hilarious Max Malas as the pathological liar Jeff Farmer (who said he missed school to be a stunt double for Tom Cruise). Or even the hilarious look back at the Nintendo Power Glove. The best part is the third act of the film when you realize the story Jake is telling to his daughter. The plot goes from hilarious 80’s comedy to heartwarming family film. It will take you by surprise in the best way.
Time will tell if 8-Bit Christmas will have the legs to be a holiday classic but it has all the tools necessary to show on television for the next 20 years while the family puts up Christmas decorations.