One Magic Christmas - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

One Magic Christmas Reviews

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December 22, 2016
One of my favourite Christmas movies of all time, sad in parts but great acting and a wonderful finale, perfect. A modern retelling of It's a Wonderful Life
Super Reviewer
½ February 7, 2016
From Disney comes the rather unusual holiday film, One Magic Christmas. The story follows an angel who's assigned to help a working mother find the Christmas spirit, and to do so he enlists the help of her daughter. Mary Steenburgen and Harry Dean Stanton lead a somewhat eclectic cast. And the plot too has its share of quirks, with the angel teaming up with Santa Claus, and the use of a Christmas Wish to bring back the dead. The tone shifts so wildly that it's hard to tell what kind of film you're in half the time; fantasy, comedy, tragedy. Still, One Magic Christmas manages to come through with some heartwarming moments.
December 25, 2015
Surprisingly morbid for a Disney Christmas movie, but it does have a similar feel to several of the other live-action features made by Disney in the eighties. It was interesting to see once, but I wasn't too crazy about it. (First and only viewing - In my mid-twenties)
December 21, 2015
Terrible movie! If this is what a magic Christmas looks like, I'll just take a regular one thanks...
½ December 19, 2015
a great way to spend this afternoon
December 12, 2015
One of my all time favorites although it does take you to some dark reality. By films end all is well. Kind of like Christmas itself with ups and downs but in the end is all worth it.
February 7, 2015
No stars. Who was this movie made for? It's creepy, upsetting, and it's ending is a total slap in the face to anyone who got through this muck without feeling like killing themselves. Watch this if you hate Christmas and Christmas films.
½ December 28, 2014
One suicidal Christmas. Some surprisingly decent performances, though.
December 20, 2014
Wow, these critics are really getting the point of this movie. Yes, the things that happen throughout are devestating, and as I child I thought so too, but now I realize that these things happened to Ginny in order for her to realize how much she has been blessed with the things she already has. Geez guys, maybe look a little deeper next time.
January 11, 2014
Not as good as I hoped, but, it was an ok Christmas story about the importance of Christmas spirit
½ December 11, 2013
While its dips into fantasy and lanky dialogue may bog it down, 'One Magic Christmas' is a surprisingly moving film. Aided by a quality cast, special notes going to the always dependable Stanton and Steenburgen, a whimsical yet subdued score that makes clever use of 'O Christmas Tree', the film provides a much bleaker and more straight look at the holidays for those who are less well off in society than one would expect from Disney.
½ December 11, 2013
This movie is insane! If you want to teach your kids that it's okay to talk to creepy strangers (Harry Dean Stanton portrays a convincing sex offender) or that requests to bring people back from the dead will be granted by Santa Claus (all you gotta do is write a letter!), this is the movie for you.
December 8, 2013
A "Christmas Carol" update for mid '80s middle America. It's nice (and rather surprising) to see the ordeals really mattering, and refreshing to see a live-action Disney Christmas movie dealing with real economical and familiar hardship ("It's a Wonderful Life" is obviously another source of inspiration and it does a lot of the same things very well). Things are handled with a lovely kind of restraint--even the trip to the North Pole, while magical, is all fairly ordinary: An old, bearded Italian saint and his wife in their cottage, elves working in the factory. Ultimately, however, the story brings up some thorny problem-of-evil stuff that it's rather short-sighted Santa theologizing is under-equipped to deal with, and, while "One Magic Christmas" really works quite well in each of its individual components (the family relationship is tenderly, convincingly, and pretty unsentimentally drawn, the small kindnesses for others are moving, the environment of the town and community are all nicely, quietly rendered), the machine as a whole has some engineering problems, though it certainly surpasses the expectations (and then some) of its unfortunate title.
December 6, 2013
Childhood favorite of mine! Appreciate it even more as an adult and it can still make me cry!
December 2, 2013
superb film, captures the reality of a family struggling to make ends meet and deal with the expectations of their children. Some superb performances from Stanton and Steenburgen and the children. The Paris Texas of Christmas films, amazed that Disney released this!!
May 9, 2013
One Magic Christmas seems to fall under the category of fantasy films that are suitable for the whole family, but especially relevant to adults. After 28 years from it's release the movie is out dated and astonishingly not Disney's typical sentimental garbage. The storyline is relatable but the slow tracking and jumping scenes throws my interest out the door.
½ May 4, 2013
The movie is entertaining enough, but you could open a Dairy Factor with all the cheese in this thing. Basically an Angel is sent over a struggling family, NOT to help them get back on track, but to make the mother believe in the Christmas Spirit again. And he even allows her to go down a horrible path at one point that is way to mature for a G rated Disney flick imo!!!

The acting is okay. I always dig Koteas, but his character never goes anywhere and he only has maybe two scenes. But it was fun seeing the two young girls, as one is Sarah Polley, still had awful teeth then, and the other is Elizabeth Harnois, who steals the film here with her massive and adorable eyes. She makes the film watchable. I actually watched a more recent film not to long ago of hers, Ten Inch Hero, and her eyes had me under her spell even in the present.

But other than her, this film felt like a made for TV mess. Nice to see some famous actors in their youth, and it's harmless, but just not really good.
April 16, 2013
I wouldn't mind seeing this again. It sticks out in my mind as a uniquely gritty family film. Why I ultimately gave it two stars, I can't remember. Maybe I did give it another chance and it failed to live up to my expectations - I can't recall.
½ January 1, 2013
Not terrible, but it hovers somewhere between being a Christmas movie for kids, and a depressing drama for adults.
December 20, 2012
I know, I know, it's seriously flawed. But there's something truly magical about this little production, shot in Nelson, BC and featuring some fine Canadian talent. Not the least of which is Haygood Hardy, who composed the first-class soundtrack.

Maybe it's the roughness around the edges that lends such realism, or the extra motivation of the film crew, but this little movie works. Its story is far too tough-love to get filmed today, and about Harry Dean Stanton's character, fuggedaboudit!

None of this matters when we're watching the thing. It's become a little ritual in this house. Even after viewing it as many times as we have (since it was available only on VCR), we still can't help being swept away.
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