Christmas comes but once a year, but Christmas movies start showing up around Halloween and run straight into the new year. That's true whether or not you're a professional Christmas Movie channel, like Hallmark, or a part-time dabbler in Christmas content like HGTV. For Netflix, Christmas originals have only been big part of the business since 2017. But that doesn't mean these specials and movies aren't spreading across the calendar from November to January. The first release, Holiday in the Wild, arrives on Nov. 1, 2019. The Holiday In The Wild trailer suggests it will be a welcome arrival when it does.
When most people think of Christmas movies, certain standard issue images come to mind. There's winter coats, hats, and scarves. The ground is snowy; the trees are evergreens, both decorated and not. There's probably a fire, hot cocoa, and carols – the works.
But Holiday In The Wild looks to be refreshingly devoid of these clichés. That's because this movie decided to send its holiday tale to the Southern hemisphere, in the country of Zambia. The film is set in the heart of an African safari, starring Kristen Davis and Rob Lowe. Forget reindeer and sleigh bells, this movie has elephants and jeep horns, with romance under a hot blazing sun.
Check out the trailer:
Here is the film's synopsis:
To keep her spirits high when their son leaves for college, Manhattanite Kate Conrad (Kristin Davis) has booked a ‘second honeymoon’ with her husband. Instead of thanking her, he brings their relationship to a sudden end; jilted Kate proceeds to Africa for a solo safari. During a detour through Zambia, she helps her pilot, Derek Holliston (Rob Lowe), rescue an orphaned baby elephant. They nurse him back to health at a local elephant sanctuary, and Kate extends her stay through Christmastime. Far from the modern luxuries of home, Kate thrives amidst majestic animals and scenery. Her love for the new surroundings just might extend to the man who shared her journey.
Speaking to Entertainment Weekly, Davis called the movie, which she produced, a "passion project." She's been a wildlife activist, specifically for elephants, since 2009, when she helped rescue an orphaned elephant during a trip to Kenya.
My own story is not a romantic comedy, per se. It’s just me falling in love with elephants and learning about the poaching crisis and trying to help... the idea was to make a romantic comedy, where you might be attracting a different group of people but yet have the real situation be the backdrop, without it being too scary or too harsh.
It might not seem like a traditional holiday film, but Davis promises it will have plenty of good cheer. Those who know Christmas movies know it's the spirit that matters, not the trappings.
We wanted to make it fun, and we wanted to make it Christmassy and romantic. And to me, elephants — nothing’s cuter than elephants!
Perhaps an elephant under the Christmas tree isn't exactly practical, but that's what movies are for. Holiday In The Wild premieres on Netflix globally on Friday, Nov. 1, 2019.