Do you remember your first video game console? Mine, like many other old fogies around here, was the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES). It was one of the most desired toys for years, and I still remember the news stories about it today. 8-Bit Christmas, an HBO Max movie starring Neil Patrick Harris, seeks to relive those days by telling a story about a group of friends in a suburban town doing their best to get the NES in the middle of Mario Madness (no, not the upcoming Mario movie). Check out the trailer here:
John Doyle (Winslow Fegley, Harris) and his friends are tired of not having a Nintendo. Christmas is a disappointment, and the only way to play is to bribe the local bully. John’s parents, in their infinite capacity to not understand, do not want video games in their house. It’s sold out everywhere. What else is there to do but come up with a scheme to win one?
The 8-Bit Christmas trailer and its pursuit of NES hits a lot of the hallmarks of ’80s kids movies, like the fashion, the cars, the cinematography — even the promise of at least one montage. The story seems to hit a lot of familiar beats, too, with a bunch of childhood friends banding together to do something great. Even Neil Patrick Harris narrating a story that happened a long time ago feels a bit like classics such as The Princess Bride and The Wonder Years. In all, 8-Bit Christmas looks to be a lot of fun for the whole family, and I can’t wait to watch it. The movie premieres on November 24, 2021 on HBO Max.