Reviewed by Amanda Hayes
Running Time: 120 minutes (approx.)
Release Date: 21 November 2016
Filmed in Karasjok Norway, 200 miles from the Arctic Circle this 2 hour production gets you into the festive sprit without the need for any gimmicks. Don’t expect Christmas Carols and silly acting just beautiful scenery and snowy landscapes.
The film shows the ancient route of the Sami people as they travel by reindeer through the glistening snow. The camera is set onto the sleigh to get a beautiful moving view as they slowly move through forests and frozen lakes. The sleigh passes through icy settlements where traditional tents and Sami people sit round lit fires sheltering from the cold. There isn’t any commentary or music, all you can hear is the sound of the snow crunching and the reindeer bells ringing. Although there is no commentary facts pop up on the screen in air bubble style graphics, they have interesting information about the reindeer, the Artic Circle and the Sami people. Due to the lack of light in the Arctic Circle a lot of the time the reindeer walk in a half light backed by a glowing red sky and the Sami leader carries a lit torch to light the way. The path along the ancient route is also lit with glowing fires edging the pathway.
Although this isn’t a film to sit there studiously watching it makes a brilliant backdrop to other festive activities. My son, husband and I sat there Sunday afternoon making Christmas Cards to the sound of crunchy snow and travelling reindeer and it was so festive, we both felt so relaxed and Christmassy afterwards.
All Aboard! The Sleigh Ride is a beautiful festive production full of interesting facts and makes a brilliant alternative to all the usual Christmas hype. Grab yourself a hot chocolate or glass of mulled wine and sit back and enjoy the ride.
Available to buy from Amazon here.