New Line Cinema and HBO Max have just released the trailer for what is bound to be a new holiday classic for children and boomers alike. 8-Bit Christmas sees a grownup Jake (Neil Patrick Harris) sharing with his children the epic crusade of his childhood… to find the elusive Nintendo Entertainment System sitting pretty under that Christmas tree. You’re not going to shoot your eye out, but the adults have new concerns. Don’t they always??
New Line Cinema and HBO Max describe 8-Bit Christmas as, “a humorous and heartfelt look back at the adventures of childhood. Set in suburban Chicago in the late 1980s, the story centers on ten-year-old Jake Doyle’s herculean quest to get the latest and greatest video game system for Christmas.”
While the premise might be borrowed, it’s hard to say from who. The story of a child taking extreme measures to ensure the toy of their dreams is waiting for them on Christmas morning is a story most kids and adults can relate to. And it’s usually not just one Christmas in particular. Sure I would not be able to live without a Gizmo doll to cuddle and possibly pour some water on him (You’ve got to at least try!), but that didn’t stop me the following year from torturing the folks for an Easy Bake Oven. You could literally bake your own junk food!
Full transparency, we did get a Nintendo for Christmas, and it was enjoyed by my dad and his buddies for the holidays. While the tag said it was to me and my sister, my dad must have been a good boy that year, because he got what he wanted. That was also the year he and his pals had to stop their video-gaming in time for the NASCAR race to begin, and my sister and I were asked to leave the room, as we were in a complete free fall of hysterical, eye-watering, can’t breathe anymore laughter as they announced the racer, Dick Trickle. I make no apologies!
Anyway! Nintendo was huge, not just for kids, but for the adults that used to plunk their quarters in at the arcade like everyone else. My love for Atari still Iives, but Nintendo elevated the video-gaming experience for the entire world. I’m not good at any of those games. I’m a leaner, steering with my whole body and fingers frantically pushing all the buttons at random. I’m one of those. Now you know.
The film stars Neil Patrick Harris (upcoming The Matrix Resurrections, A Series of Unfortunate Events) and Winslow Fegley (Come Play, Fast Layne) as the adult and young Jake, respectively, June Diane Raphael (Long Shot, Grace and Frankie), with David Cross (Pitch Perfect 2, the Kung Fu Panda films), and Steve Zahn (The White Lotus). Michael Dowse (Coffee & Kareem) directed the film from a screenplay by Kevin Jakubowski, based on his book of the same name. Tim White, Trevor White, Allan Mandelbaum, Jonathan Sadowski and Nick Nantell produced, with Nikki Ramey, Richard Brener, Celia Khong, Kevin Jakubowski and Whitney Brown executive producing.New Line Cinema and HBO Max present a Star Thrower Entertainment Production, 8-Bit Christmas. The film will debut exclusively on HBO Max on Wednesday, November 24 2021. 8-Bit Christmas has been rated PG for rude humor and some mild violence, language and suggestive references.