There is something magical about watching the same films every year to bring back that special Christmas feeling. With typical Norwegian Christmas films, as with other Christmas traditions, it's same procedure as every year.
Come holiday season in Norway, we like to watch the same films every year. Outrage breaks out if the national broadcaster, NRK, tries to change the Christmas program.
The most watched and loved features include a German/Czech version of Three Wishes for Cinderella (Tre Nøtter til Askepott) with epic Norwegian dubbing; a Swedish animated short film, Sagan om Carl-Bertil Jonssons Julafton; as well as legendary Dinner for One (Grevinnen og hovmesteren) and many famous Disney films. Home Alone and Love Actually are two other popular films Norwegians enjoy leading up to and during Christmas.
Norway has also produced some more and less memorable Christmas movies as well:
1. Flåklypa Grand Prix -1975
Even if this legendary film doesn’t have anything to do with Christmas, it has become a tradition to watch it every year in December and it’s aired on national TV December 23. Plot: Bicycle repairman Reodor Felgen decides he will enter a car race to defeat his former friend who has stolen his plans for a car. He gets help from his friends, eternal optimist Solan and pessimist Ludvig. Sponsored by oil sheik Ben Redic Fy Fazan, they build the car “Il Tempo Gigante”, and the race of the decade is happening.
Illustrator and author Kjell Aukrust (1920-2002) portrayed the bustling life of his home village in a colourful way in a number of books. In his crazy parodies of village newspapers, Folk og Fe and Flåklypa Tidende, he created a most original cast of characters. Flåklypa Grand Prix (1975) is one of the greatest box office hits in the history of Norwegian film, made by Ivo Caprino (1920-2001) based on Aukrusts’ texts and illustrations.
2. Tante Pose (Aunty Grudges) -1940
Tante Pose (1940) is the story of the unpleasant Blanca Bals who celebrates Christmas with the family of her brother, judge Bals. She makes life miserable for both the family and the other guests. She makes all kinds of drama; locks herself in her room and refuses to eat only to sneak out in the middle of the night to eat. There are many complications, which do not get resolved until Christmas Eve is over. The film was made by Leif Sinding, and has become a treasured classic. Henny Skjønberg plays the character ‘Tante Pose’.
3. Reisen til Julestjernen (Journey to the Christmas Star) – 1976
Princess Gulltopp is played by Ingrid Larsen, in the Norwegian Christmas classic Journey to the Christmas Star (Reisen til Julestjernen) (1976) by Ola Solum. Little princess Gulltopp disappears from the castle on Christmas night. She’s gone out into the woods all alone to find the Christmas star, and can’t be found. Her uncle, who wants to take over power, set her up to it. Out of despair and grief, the King casts a spell on the star, the queen disappears, and the star stops shining. Many years later, a group of traveling jugglers comes to the castle. Along with them is a young girl called Sonja, played by Norwegian singer Hanne Krogh. When Sonja hears of the King’s grief, she offers to find the Christmas star for him.
The film has been shown in Norwegian Cinemas every year around Christmas since its release and is a staple on National TV Christmas Eve.
4. The remake: Reisen til Julestjernen (Journey to the Christmas Star) – 2012
The famous tale was released in a new version by Walt Disney Nordic, directed by Nils Gaup. This adaptation is more dramatic, and also inspired by many other fairytales and classics.
5. Jul i Flåklypa (Christmas in Flåklypa) – 2013
The small town of Flåklypa is experiencing great lack of snow, which is why the inventor Reodor Felgen is asked to create a snow machine. However, things do not go as planned. This animation made by Rasmus A. Sivertsen brings the beloved characters back to life in a charming way.
6. Mirakel (Miracle) – 2006
Karsten (35) became a widower four years ago, and has no plans to meet anyone new. He thinks he’s fine until he meets Victoria. She is a strong and successful business woman, and Karsten is absolutely certain that she stands for everything he despises. But love conquers all, right? Made by Thomas Kaiser, with Eva Röse and Christian Skolmen.
7. Karsten og Petras Vidunderlige Jul (Karsten and Petra’s Wonderful Christmas) – 2014
This movie is made by Arne Lindtner Næss, known for the Olsenbanden Jr movies. Næss also made two previous films about Karsten and Petra, based on the popular children’s books by Tor Åge Bringsværd.
8. Hjem til Jul (Home for Christmas) – 2010
This film with the cozy soundtrack looks at those who are desperately trying to connect or reconnect with their families, friends, or anyone who will listen. Made by Bent Hamer, known for Kitchen Stories, 2003, and 1001 gram, 2014.
9. Himmelfall (Falling Skies) – 2002
Not your typical Christmas film. Reidar (Kristoffer Joner) is a resident at Sollihøgda psychiatric institution. He is expecting the Earth to be hit by a huge meteor any time now, but until then he is busy trying to keep his fellow patient, Juni (Maria Bonnevie), from killing herself. Directed by Gunnar Vikene, and beautifully filmed.
10. Snekker Andersen og Julenissen (Carpenter Andersen and Santa Clause) – 2016
Recently released, this film is based on Alf Prøysens treasured book about the carpenter Andersen. He loves Christmas more than anything, and goes above and beyond to make everyone happy. Directed by Terje Rangnes, starring Trond Espen Seim and Anders Baasmo Kristiansen.