When returning home for Christmas, Jake Doyle begins to tell his daughter the story of Nintendo and how it was the most wanted gift in 1988, along with a Cabbage Patch doll.
8-Bit Christmas is a nostalgic trip to the 1980s and how Jake wants nothing more than to have the Nintendo games system as a present in 1988 despite his parents thinking that video games are very bad for children. It creates such an outrage in the neighbourhood and at school when the groups talk about getting them banned and removed from stores.
One kid in the neighbourhood had one and all of the other children used to queue outside of his house to get inside for a chance to play. When this goes horribly wrong that is when the parents all decide that it would not be a good present for any of the children.
The mixture of the 80s and Christmas was certainly nice to watch and enjoy making you think about how things have changed so much over the years and how utterly huge video gaming has become. We are also reminded about Cabbage Patch dolls and that was what Jake’s sister wanted as her main present, we then see that Jake and his father meet someone who is selling knockoff ones out of the boot of his car!
The thing is though the Nintendo story is a lot more than just wanting a present and Jake actually gets a much better/nicer surprise that Christmas and works hard to save to actually get the console himself. Telling his daughter this story took longer than she expected and the change in wanting to know more was a nice touch.
I thought Winslow Fegley drove the film in an impressive manner for such a young actor and that was certainly a highlight. Neil Patrick Harris being the older version worked in a good way as well. Steve Zahn and June Diane Raphael were a good match playing Jake’s parents in the flashbacks.