The Naughty Nine is an American Christmas heist television film directed by Alberto Belli. The film stars Winslow Fegley, Camila Rodriguez, Derek Theler, Deric McCabe, Clara Stack, Anthony Joo, Ayden Elijah, Imogen Cohen, Madilyn Kellam, and Danny Glover. It premiered on Disney Channel on November 22, 2023.[1]

The Naughty Nine
Promotional poster
Written by
  • Jed Elinoff
  • Scott Thomas
Directed byAlberto Belli
Music byKenny Wood
Country of originUnited States
Original languageEnglish
Executive producers
  • Amy Gibbons
  • Jim Kontos
EditorEvan Ahlgren
Running time83 minutes
Production companiesNeoReel
Rotten Eggs Productions
Poutine Productions, Inc.
Original release
NetworkDisney Channel
ReleaseNovember 22, 2023 (2023-11-22)

Plot edit

Andy Steele is a 5th grade boy who constantly gets into trouble with his best friend Dulce Gutierrez. They recently pulled a heist involving stealing confiscated toys from the faculty to return to kids, albeit for money. Andy is constantly at odds with his sister Laurel who always does the right thing and constantly tries to out Andy for his schemes, though she is usually outwitted.

On Christmas day, Andy realizes that he did not get his video game console for Christmas while Dulce similarly did not get her bow and arrow set. They learn from their tech savvy friend Lewis Sobong that they are most likely on the naughty list. Through his internet algorithm, he reveals the numerous other kids also on the list. Feeling that Santa's selectiveness has gone too far, Andy and Dulce decide to go to the North Pole to get their presents with Lewis agreeing, despite him not being naughty.

Andy and Dulce have Lewis narrow the naughty list candidates to the locals. From the results, Andy, Dulce, and Lewis recruit the following:

  • Ha-Yoon Si-u, a girl with a love for daredevil stunts who is naughty due to her reckless behavior.
  • Rose Wingert, an animal whisperer who was caught letting loose wild animals.
  • Jon Anthony Dizon, a boy and fashion designer whose naughty behavior is not made obvious.
  • Albert Reyes, a young boy who uses his cuteness to get what he wants.
  • Laurel's snooty gymnast rival Bethany.

Andy learns that one of his father's coworkers, a pilot named Bruno, claimed to have seen Santa's reindeer during one of his cargo flights. He decides to help Andy out so that he can be vindicated. At the last minute, Dulce contacts Andy telling him that Bethany has backed out after she ends up getting the cell phone that her parents finally got her. Andy manages to recruit a reluctant Laurel to fill in for her by claiming that Bethany made fun of the fact that Laurel can't pull off the job.

Bruno flies the kids to the North Pole where Jon Anthony privately admits to Rose that he is on the naughty list because his "originals" are actually stolen designs. Nevertheless, he manages to make compelling elf costumes for everyone. The group is forced to make an emergency landing, though Bruno manages to coax the local air force that he is simply taking inventory. The kids sneak into Santa’s Village by using Albert's cuteness to distract an elf. Rose and Ha-Yoon recruit some of Santa's reindeer for a getaway while Lewis finds the security room. Andy, Dulce, Jon Anthony, and Laurel stop by an elf party where they briefly have fun, but Andy forces everyone to leave. When they find the naughty list, they discover that they are indeed on there, except for Laurel and they find Santa's mostly empty vault along with each of their gifts and they take them. As payback, Laurel takes what was supposed to be Bethany's phone.

The group manage to escape thanks to Rose and Ha-Yoon and grab Lewis and Albert while fleeing from elf security. When Andy sees that Laurel snatched Bethany's phone for herself, he becomes disillusioned. Bruno warns them that he is being forced back into the air and the kids are forced to jump into the moving plane. However, Andy decides not to get on and retains the gifts as elf security catches him.

He is taken to Santa Claus himself who threatens to put him and everyone else on the naughty list permanently, but Andy insists that he should be the only one punished. When Santa limits the list to simply him and Laurel, Andy is shocked. The rest of the Naughty Nine are brought in and Andy and Laurel make amends with each other. Santa tells them that no one is ever kept on the naughty list permanently and that they just need to be nice, but not change who they are. The Naughty Nine are allowed to leave. Though Bruno does get a selfie with Santa who allows it.

One year later, Andy has been extra good all year and is called into the principal's office. Upon arrival, Andy is greeted by Santa who tells him that he needs him to re-recruit the Naughty Nine for an unknown purpose.

Cast edit

  • Winslow Fegley as Andy Steele, a fifth-grader that prepares the heist of the North Pole. He's on the naughty list for this reason and many more.[2]
  • Camila Rodriguez as Dulce Gutierrez, Andy's best friend who is really good with a bow.[2]
  • Derek Theler as Bruno, a pilot that Andy recruits into the Naughty Nine to take them to the North Pole.[2]
  • Deric McCabe as Jon Anthony Dizon, a boy that is really good at making clothes, although he's never designed anything himself. He's on the naughty list for fraud and designs the Naughty Nine's disguises.[2]
  • Clara Stack as Rose Wingert, a girl that understands and can talk to animals. She's on the naughty list for freeing captive animals and is the Naughty Nine's animal whisperer.[2]
  • Anthony Joo as Lewis Sobong, a boy that has studied the North Pole and Santa's Village for years.[2]
  • Ayden Elijah as Albert Reyes, a young boy that takes advantage of others because he's cute. He's on the naughty list for this reason and is the Naughty Nine's "adorable innocent".[2]
  • Imogen Cohen as Ha-Yoon Si-u, a daredevil girl that loves driving recklessly. She's on the naughty list for this reason and is the Naughty Nine's getaway driver.[2]
  • Madilyn Kellam as Laurel Steele, Andy's "goody two-shoes" sister who is a gymnast.[2]
  • Danny Glover as Santa Claus[3]
  • Liyou Abere as Bethany, a snooty gymnast and Laurel's rival who was an original candidate for the Naughty Nine. She's on the naughty list for her snootiness.

Production edit

Development edit

On February 7, 2022, it was announced that Disney Branded Television was developing a holiday heist film titled The Naughty Nine for Disney Channel and Disney+. The film was set to be directed by Alberto Belli and executive produced by Suzanne Todd, Jed Elinoff, and Scott Thomas. Elinoff and Thomas also served as the writers for the film.[4]

Casting edit

On September 28, 2023, it was announced that Danny Glover joined the cast as Santa Claus in the film.[5]

Filming edit

Principal photography was already underway in Montreal, Canada in February 2022. Filming continued until April 2022.[6] A lot of the pivotal scenes were shot in Point-Claire in March 2022. The filming unit covered the grassy green area in the middle of the street with gravel. It was done to turn it into a temporary parking lot for trucks and trailers. Many residents of the area were upset about this and complained about the green space and thought it was too disturbing and disruptive for locals.[7]

Release edit

The Naughty Nine premiered on November 22, 2023, on Disney Channel.[8] It was released on November 23, 2023, on Disney+.[9]

Reception edit

Critical response edit

On the review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, 67% of 6 critics' reviews are positive, with an average rating of 5.80/10.[10]

Maddy Casale of Decider wrote, "The Naughty Nine is an entertaining film that is full of holiday fun for the whole family. Just keep an eye on your kiddos after watching to make sure they don’t start planning hell-raising heists of their own!"[11] Randy Myers of The Mercury News called the film "clever" and complimented the performances of the cast, describing The Naughty Nine as a "gift that won’t wear out its welcome in years to come."[12] Fernanda Camargo of Common Sense Media gave The Naughty Nine a grade of four out of five stars and complimented the depiction of positive messages and role models, citing friendship and responsibility.[13]

Accolades edit

Kenny Wood was nominated for David Raksin Award for Emerging Talent at the 2024 Society of Composers & Lyricists Awards.[14][15]

References edit

  1. ^ Miller, Caroline (November 19, 2023). "Disney's The Naughty Nine Director and Star Get Into the Christmas Spirit". MovieWeb. Retrieved November 30, 2023.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Disney Original Movie The Naughty Nine to Premiere Wednesday, Nov. 22, on Disney Channel and Thursday, Nov. 23 - Thanksgiving Day - on Disney+". The Futon Critic. September 28, 2023. Retrieved September 28, 2023.
  3. ^ Tapp, Tom (September 28, 2023). "Danny Glover To Play Santa Claus In The Naughty Nine For Disney Channel & Disney+; Photo & Teaser Released". Deadline Hollywood.
  4. ^ Rosario, Alexandra Del (February 7, 2022). "Disney Orders Under Wraps Sequel & The Naughty Nine Original Movies For Disney+, Disney Channel". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved September 28, 2023.
  5. ^ Nelson, Dustin (September 28, 2023). "Danny Glover to play Santa Claus in Disney's holiday heist movie". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved January 13, 2024.
  6. ^ Shrestha, Naman (November 22, 2023). "The Naughty Nine: All the Shooting Locations of the Disney Movie". The Cinemaholic. Retrieved February 18, 2024.
  7. ^ Meagher, John (March 30, 2022). "Disney movie shoot leaves Pointe-Claire neighbourhood stoney". The Gazette. Retrieved February 17, 2024.
  8. ^ Disney Channel [@DisneyChannel] (September 28, 2023). "They're assembling a team. Their mission? Break into the North Pole and take back Christmas. 🎁 #TheNaughtyNine, an Original movie, premieres Wednesday, November 22 on #DisneyChannel and Thanksgiving Day on @DisneyPlus!" (Tweet). Retrieved September 28, 2023 – via Twitter.
  9. ^ Lerato, Kate (October 29, 2023). "Every Movie Coming to Disney+ in November 2023". MovieWeb. Retrieved November 30, 2023.
  10. ^ "The Naughty Nine". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango Media.
  11. ^ Casale, Maddy (November 23, 2023). "'The Naughty Nine' Disney Plus Review: Stream It or Skip It". Decider. Retrieved November 30, 2023.
  12. ^ Myers, Randy (November 25, 2023). "2023 holiday movies: Here are 6 releases you can watch now — from a slasher flick to a beloved fairy tale". The Mercury News. Retrieved January 13, 2024.
  13. ^ Camargo, Fernanda. "The Naughty Nine Movie Review | Common Sense Media". Common Sense Media. Retrieved November 30, 2023.
  14. ^ Grein, Paul (December 22, 2023). "Jon Batiste, Nicholas Britell & More Are Nominated for 2024 SCL Awards: Full List". Billboard. Retrieved January 13, 2024.
  15. ^ Haring, Bruce (December 21, 2023). "Society of Composers And Lyricists Sets SCL Nominees". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved January 13, 2024.

External links edit