Back on November 17, the studio released Santa’s Little Helper starring The Miz and Paige, alongside TV and movie star Annalynne McCord on DVD and digital format. The movie casts The Miz as Dax “The Ax” Ardwick, a man reminiscent of Scrooge or The Grinch, who has more money in his bank account than kindness and cheer in his heart. He does not believe in Christmas and only cares about himself and everything he owns. McCord plays an elf named Billie who is chosen by Santa to recruit Dax to be the next head elf and Paige plays Eleanor, the daughter of the recently resigned head elf, who feels she should get the job automatically.
WWE superstars are known for acting in and entertaining fans in the ring, multiple nights a week, on TV and off camera, in countless arenas and venues, across the world. Two of those superstars have become household names and trigger cheers whenever they walk down the ramp. They are Mike “The Miz” Mizanin and Paige. Mizanin won seven different championships so far with WWE and as of now, Paige has won two Divas Championships in her career. In 2002, WWE created WWE Studios to make movies, using superstars in the cast. The movies have covered various genres from action to horror to family fun.
I’ll be honest and say Santa’s Little Helper isn’t meant to be some kind of blockbuster film. It’s just a simple family film that teaches a lesson, gives a few laughs and spreads Christmas spirit. The plot starts the day after Dax happily tells a youth center they don’t have enough money to stay open and must shut down immediately. The next day, he is fired from his job, goes home to find his wife with her bags packed because she’s leaving him, and loses all of his possessions. The hilarity ensues when Billie appears, by order of Santa, to test Dax and see if he’s cut out for head elf. Dax is given a battery of tasks including escaping a biker bar brawl, dressing up as a monkey for a child’s birthday party, and trying to motivate the senior residents of an assisted living facility to exercise. When he gets back to the North Pole he is challenged by Eleanor to a “Santa’s Boot Camp” obstacle course to determine head elf. I won’t give away the ending, but it’s pretty easy to figure out what will happen next and how the movie will end. “The Miz” Mizanin is WWE Studio’s go-to guy lately for their movies so he’s become a professional and does his job well whether it’s as an action hero or a man on the naughty list. Annalynne McCord did a great job as Billie and emanated the kindness of the holidays in her acting. Paige, in her acting debut, was a natural as Eleanor. She used her in-ring gimmick very well without going to over-the-top with it. Eleanor was mean, but not evil and Paige did a great job of keeping that balance in her acting. I’ve met Paige personally and she has such a down-to-earth personality so it’s no surprise seeing her succeed in her first role. The action and fight scenes were as if we were watching a wrestling match on a very small scale. We see the same punches and kicks and takedowns we’d normally see Paige and Mizanin perform on a nightly basis in the ring so it’s nothing for parents or kids to be concerned about watching.
If you look past the small budget, the WWE branding and straight-to-DVD label, Santa’s Little Helper is like any other Christmas movie you’d see on TV during the holiday season. In between Dax’s misadventures, we see tender moments like when Santa shows him a memory of his teenaged self in the youth center being wrongfully accused of stealing and when we learn that he had no real family life as a child. We get the jokes that are enough for the kids to laugh at and adults to get what they mean. I would recommend this film if you’re looking for something different to watch this holiday season in between the usual classics. The bonus features are limited, but fun to watch because we get to see how much fun the cast and crew had making this movie. Oh and one more thing, there is a Simpsons reference in Santa’s Little Helper.
I give Santa’s Little Helper three candy canes because that’s the type of movie it’s supposed to be. It’s not meant to bring in huge ratings, just a good time for those who watch it. Enjoy the movie and Happy Holidays everyone!