Inside Netflix’s Clever Interconnected Holiday Movie Universe
If Hallmark movies usually top your holiday to-do list, you won’t want to miss out on the holiday cheer being pumped out by Netflix recently. With an ever-expanding audience, Netflix has stepped up its Christmas movie game since theaters remain closed around the world this holiday season.
So, to capitalize on their increased audience sizes, and make use of our true love for holiday films, Netflix continues to produce more and more original holiday content. The intriguing part of their more recent holiday films is that they all seem to be connected to one another, at least marginally.
Creating a universe of interconnected characters and plot lines isn’t new to the entertainment industry, but it is the first time we’ve seen it tackled by this streaming platform.
Netflix has a royal line up of original Holiday films
Netflix has rolled out at least seven new holiday movies this season according to the New York Times, including your typical, and predictable, rom-coms: Holidate and Operation Christmas Drop. This year also includes a few musical choices including Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey.
In Jingle Jangle, A toymaker gets some inspiration and guiding life lessons thanks to his granddaughter. Entertainment Weekly lists out the other 2020 offerings to include the sequel to last year’s popular Christmas Chronicles and a musical heart wrencher with Dolly Parton’s Christmas on the Square.
But, Netflix’s Christmas hierarchy is truly led by a monarchy. Their royal Christmas film collection offers up a few new films this season too with the sequel to the popular The Princess Switch being top on our list.
There are Easter eggs laid out in the films which tie them together
Netflix had an opportunity to create ties between these movies in an inconspicuous way, and mostly because they had to. There was a TV playing in their film The Holiday Calendar and producer Amanda Phillips Atkins needed to play a Christmas film on that TV.
So, she thought that A Christmas Prince was a good choice. According to Netflix’s official Twitter account, Atkins said: “That one seed of an idea soon turned into fun opportunity to tie the various worlds together with small Easter eggs from movie to movie.”
“We planned to branch out from just having our characters watch each other on TV,” Atkins said of creating one world for three films. “We thought it would be a great opportunity to build out a whole universe, not just for Aldovia but for the whole world of our Christmas movies!”
Cameo appearances seem to negate most fan theories
More than just Easter eggs, there have been specific instances of cross over characters and concrete connections. There have been some straight forward references that seem to indicate that these movies actually all exist within the same universe.
Most notably, this season’s Princess Switch: Switched Again has a cameo appearance from another royal family. Social media was buzzing with both delight and confusion when fans noticed the Aldovian royal family (King Richard and Queen Amber from A Christmas Prince) at Duchess Margaret’s coronation.
To make things even more complex, The Knight Before Christmas has a moment in which includes a line in which one character tells her daughter, “Your grandma and grandpa picked this up on their trip to Aldovia” (It’s also an ACORN ornament, which has sentimental importance in Aldovia.) thus indicating that the kingdom setting of A Christmas Prince is also a real place in the world of The Knight Before Christmas.
Then, just to further tighten the ties, a map can be seen in A Christmas Prince: The Royal Baby which shows that Belgravia (the country appearing in The Princess Switch) happens to be one of Aldovia’s nearby neighbors.
While fans battle the hows and the whys of these connections, Netflix bigwigs simply promise that “the best is yet to come”.