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Nativity 2

Nativity 2

Released 23 November 2012
Director Debbie Isitt

David Tennant, Marc Wootton, Joanna Page, Jessica Hynes, Ian McNeice
Writer(s) Debbie Isitt
Producer(s) Nick Jones
Origin United Kingdom
Running Time 105 minutes
Genre Comedy
Rating G


Here we go then. Christmas trees in department stores, decorations and lights illuminating town streets, the annual fret of where oh where is the money going to come from to buy all those presents is upon us once again. And, to add to it, in mid-November we have our first festive movie of the season in Nativity 2: Danger in the Manger. Having not seen the first in the series I wasn't at all sure what to expect and, being a sequel, expectations were low. But after accepting that delving into the inner ten year-old was a necessary evil, this innocent flick is actually rather enjoyable.

Three years after the first helping at St. Bernadette's primary school, David Tennant comes in to replace Middle Earth bound Martin Freeman as the unlucky teacher who must control a wistful group of young kids and their misfit assistant teacher Mr. Poppy, who without qualifications only has the job because his aunt is the principal. After learning of a national 'Sing a Song for Christmas' competition, the class set off on adventure to reach the Welsh Castle where they are due to perform their musical number. However, what can go wrong does go wrong and unbeliever Mr. Peterson, played by Tennant, must relinquish himself to the spirit of Christmas in order to save the school's chances of success.

In essence, there's nothing really more to say here other than this film boasts a surprisingly funny story, played with honesty by both the adult and child actors alike. It goes without saying that this isn't aimed at an adult audience but even the scrooges among us would struggle not to be a little entertained by some of the jokes provided. The narrative, at times cutely stealing bits from Mary and Joseph's quest to find a safe place for baby Jesus to be born (expect donkeys and barns), is simple but effective – and not at all offensive.

Of course, there are stupid moments but they can be forgiven and so too can the length, which in truth is far too long for a film of this genre. This is mainly the case because so much time is spent on the competition itself where too many songs from different schools are unleashed. The fact that it is the official Children in Need film of 2012 could answer the question why this was the case with perhaps a follow up album being released for further proceeds to charity.

Either way, Nativity 2: Danger in the Manger is one for the whole family to enjoy over the holidays.

- David Caulfield