By Ryan O’rouke | Collider.com | November 17, 2023
We’re bringin’ back Christmas for a limited theatrical run!
THE BIG PICTURE
- Apple’s original musical comedy Spirited, starring Ryan Reynolds and Will Ferrell, will return to theaters this holiday season on Black Friday.
- Both the original and sing-along versions will be available.
- The film flips the script on A Christmas Carol, showing Christmas Eve through the eyes of the ghosts who enlighten scrooges.
Apple is “Bringin’ Back Christmas” in theaters this holiday season with its original musical comedy Spirited. The Ryan Reynolds and Will Ferrell-led modern take on A Christmas Carol will have another limited run on the big screen starting on Black Friday, November 24 in the U.S. and Canada and December 1 in the U.K. and Ireland, just in time to get everyone in the spirit of the season before Christmas rolls around. Both the original and sing-along versions will be available to see and, as a bonus, Apple TV+ will finally add the sing-along version to its catalog for anyone looking to belt out the bevy of musical numbers.
Spirited flips the script on Charles Dickens‘s original story and shows Christmas Eve through the eyes of the ghosts who help enlighten scrooges around the world about their moral wrongs. Their target for this story is Clint Briggs (Reynolds), a media consultant with a soul as dark as night who seems irredeemable, even to the ghosts of Christmas Past (Sunita Mani), Present (Ferrell), and Yet to Come (voiced by Tracy Morgan). Present is determined to turn Clint from naughty to nice, but things go south when his target turns the tables on him, forcing him to confront his own past, present, and future and question if he’s truly redeemed himself.
Behind the camera for the project is Instant Family and Daddy’s Home director Sean Anders who also co-wrote the script with his frequent writing partner John Morris. To nail down the musical numbers, Spirited landed Oscar-winning songwriting duo Benj Pasek and Justin Paul, whose work can be heard on everything from La La Land to Only Murders in the Building. Excellent songs wouldn’t work without an excellent cast, which the film certainly has with its main trio of Reynolds, Ferrell, and Academy Award winner Octavia Spencer joined by Mani, Morgan, Marlow Barkley, Patrick Page, Joe Tippett, Aimee Carrero, and Jen Tullock. Making things extra special is that the film marked Ferrell’s long-awaited return to holiday filmmaking for the first time since his 2003 classic Elf.
‘Spirited’ Puts Humor and Heart Into a Classic Tale
Released in time for the holidays last year, the spirited (pun intended) film earned high praise as an instant seasonal classic thanks to its mix of talented actors, showstopping musical numbers, heart, and humor. Rotten Tomatoes has the film at a solid 71% critic score with audiences even more in love with the film at an 81% mark. Collider’s Ross Bonaime was generally in agreement, giving the film a B- and saying, “Spirited knows they’re telling you a story you’ve heard countless times before, yet at least it imbues its version with enough heart and unique ideas to make this one worthwhile.”
Spirited is currently available to stream on Apple TV+, but you can see it in theaters for a limited time starting November 24 in the U.S. and Canada and December 1 in the U.K. and Ireland. Check out the trailer below.