Downtown Phoenix Featured in New Disney Film

Cody FitzpatrickSeptember 2019
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The calendar may have only just flipped to September, but Phoenicians—and Disney fans—already have one great excuse to get into the holiday spirit early: Downtown Phoenix (and possibly the Glendale Tanger Outlets mall) features in the upcoming Disney holiday comedy Noelle, starring Anna Kendrick and Bill Hader. 

For obvious reasons, Arizona typically gets a raw deal when it comes to representation in Christmas movies—why have one set here when the Valley doesn’t look classically Christmas-y? But when the trailer for Noelle dropped, astute minds were quick to notice a shot of Santa Claus’ reindeer trotting above the downtown Phoenix skyline, sleigh in tow (one minute and 53 seconds in).

“Is that @ChaseField????? Is this in PHOENIX?????” tweeted KJZZ producer Amanda Luberto. It’s pretty crystal clear that it is, with Chase Field, Talking Stick Resort Arena and the Copper Square condos in plain view.  Another reindeer clip, writer Madalyn Heimann pointed out, looks an awful lot to be set at the Tanger Outlets in Glendale, though that one’s harder to confirm as distinctly Arizona. With all this in mind, the whole trailer can feel like a Valley of the Sun scavenger hunt.

The film stars Kendrick as Kris Kringle’s daughter, Noelle, and Hader as Noelle’s brother, Nick. When Nick, next in line to be Santa Claus, is having a “nervous breakdown,” Noelle encourages him to “get away for the weekend.” However, the plan backfires when he goes missing entirely, and Noelle is tasked with going out into the world and finding him in order to “save Christmas.” 

To catch the movie when it comes out, on November 12, you won’t even have to leave your home—it premieres on Disney+. The forthcoming streaming service will be available for $6.99 per month or $69.99 per year, meaning Noelle will cost less than seeing a movie in theaters, and you can watch it with your family beside the glowing fireplace, presuming it gets cold enough for that by then.

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