Everyone has their own meaning of Christmas. For some, it’s about presents, while for others, it’s about being together. Netflix’s Polish fantasy film, David and the Elves, is the story of 10-year-old David and a young elf, Albert, trying to find their own meaning of Christmas Eve.
Directed by Michał Rogalski, the film is filled with magic and a roller coaster of emotions. Let’s find out what surprises and lessons await David and Albert the Elf.
‘David and the Elves’ Plot Summary
The screen opens with Santa Land, the snow-covered village of Santa Claus, and the Elves, where a young elf, Albert, shows Santa’s gift factory to the young elves. Albert the Elf is Santa’s most efficient elf and has won the title of employee of the year for the fifth consecutive year. But the achievements fill Albert with pride. He becomes self-absorbed and believes that every kid misses him or loves him more than Santa Claus.
On the other side of the narrative, the film captures the story of 10-year-old David Kosmala. He lives in the Tatra mountains with his parents, Hania and Piotrek. On Christmas Eve, Hania and Piotr plan to leave David’s grandparents’ house and move to Warsaw for better work opportunities. At night, Piotrek points at the sky and asks David to wish for a gift from Santa. He lies to David that he can actually see Santa’s invisible sleigh, and together they wave at the sky.
Coincidentally, at that exact moment, Santa’s sleigh passes by. Albert, taming the reindeer, thinks David can see him. In his pride, he magically gives David a miniature toy that looks like Albert, the elf.
A year later, David and his family decide to celebrate Christmas Eve in Warsaw without David’s grandparents. David’s parents are always busy with their work, and David is having a hard time adjusting to the new school. In his loneliness, David remembers Albert, the elf. Albert watches over David from Santa’s magical telescope and decides to visit him. Santa warns Albert not to go to human land, but David wants to experience a real Christmas celebration. He takes a holiday and jumps down to earth to spend Christmas Eve with David.
Major Spoilers Ahead
The Diminishing Christmas Spirit
Albert’s companion, Erwin, at Santa Land, explained the importance of the Christmas Spirit in the film. Santa and the elves loved humans (not literally), so they gave them presents (not out of love). The innocent children loved Santa and the elves for the gifts they received. This love maintained the Christmas spirit and became the source of Christmas magic. It was the fuel that ran Santa’s magical land.
However, when Albert conjured gifts for strangers in the human world, they refused to accept them. Some even got scared of Albert’s magical presents, so no one loved him back. His Christmas spirit was quickly draining away. Santa told Mrs. Claus that if Albert’s powers continued to drop, he would turn into a figurine and vanish forever. Thus, Santa and Mrs. Claus decided to save Albert and looked for him in human land.
‘David and the Elves’ Ending Explained
David wrote a letter to Santa for his Christmas present and asked to meet Albert the Elf. Hence, when Albert came to earth, unaware of David’s request, David held himself responsible for his diminishing Christmas spirit. To help Albert, David decided to bring him to his grandparents’ house in the Tatra mountains. He believed that their house was always filled with the Christmas spirit and would eventually save Albert’s life. But none can save a soul that has rotted from within.
In his pride, Albert blamed the 11-year-old David for bringing this doom upon him. But even in the last moments, David didn’t leave Albert alone. They spent the most beautiful Christmas Eve in the woods. Together, they imagined a Christmas wafer, a lavish Christmas dinner prepared by David’s grandparents, and in the end, sang Christmas Carols together. Albert perished as his only wish of spending Christmas eve with David was fulfilled.
David took Albert’s figurine and ran towards his grandparents’ house, hoping the Christmas spirit there would save Albert. But in the absence of David and his parents, his grandparents decided not to celebrate Christmas Eve. It was all dull and dark, with no magic around. David and Santa believed that they had lost Albert forever, but he came back to life, fortunately.
In the end, Albert explained to Erwin that through this journey, he understood a valuable lesson that eventually saved his life. Albert sought love from others throughout his life and didn’t bother to love people in return truly. But the real magic lies in loving people and not expecting them to love you in return. For the first time in his life, Albert felt that he would lose the precious ones forever, and thus he expressed a true feeling for David. This magic that he felt in his heart saved Albert’s life.
Even Santa invited David’s family to Santa Land to spend the day with them. Due to some misadventures, Santa started hating humans and the human world, and he cut himself off from the species that loved him so much. Hence, at Mrs. Claus’ insistence, Santa decided to befriend David’s family. It was his way of bridging the gaps between the two worlds.
While for David’s parents, they realized how dull the grandparents’ house had become in their absence. The true meaning of Christmas eve, or any festival, is to spend the night together and share the same roof with your loved ones. David wanted Santa to bring the family together on Christmas Eve, and eventually, his wish was fulfilled. Maybe, David’s parents will move back to the Tatra mountains again after the incident. Who knows?
David and the Elves is a 2021 Polish Christmas Fantasy film directed by Michal Rogalski. It is streaming on Netflix.