'Spirited' with Will Ferrell and Ryan Reynolds becomes holiday hit

Spirited with Will Ferrell and Ryan Reynolds becomes holiday hit for Apple TV+

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Ryan Reynold share a new enthusiasm for tap dancing in the teaser for the Apple TV+ musical
Ryan Reynolds and Will Ferrell share a new enthusiasm for tap dancing in the Apple TV+ musical "Spirited."
Photo: Apple TV+

Spirited, with Will Ferrell and Ryan Reynolds starring in a comedy musical version of A Christmas Carol, is pulling in a sizable audience. It was one of the top five most-watched streaming shows last week, despite premiering halfway through the week.

The Christmas special is available now on Apple TV+.

Spirited puts Will Ferrell and Ryan Reynolds into A Christmas Carol

Spirited turns Charles Dickens’ classic on its head. It is told from the point of view of the ghosts, and there’s no one named Ebenezer to be seen. In this version, the Ghost of Christmas Present (Will Ferrell) selects a dark soul to be reformed by a visit from three spirits each Christmas Eve. But this year, he picked the wrong Scrooge. Clint Briggs (Ryan Reynolds) turns the tables on his visitors until Present finds himself reexamining his own past, present and future.

While that could be the synopsis of a dark drama, keep in mind that Spirited is a musical starring two of the best comedians in the business singing and dancing. Their star power propelled the special into the No. 5 spot on JustWatch’s list of top 10 most-watched movies during the week of November 14-20.

Spirited currently ranks No. 1 on the Apple TV+ “most popular” list. Not everyone loves new the musical comedy, though. Cult of Mac’s review called it a “gaudy waste of money and talent,” with plenty of singing and dancing but a dearth of actual laughs.

Apple TV+ and the other streaming services do not report viewership for all their shows. But JustWatch runs a video recommendation service, so it knows what people are looking for. That lets the company estimate the popularity of films and series.

Rated: PG-13

Watch on: Apple TV+

More holiday fun on Apple TV+

Those looking for more holiday cheer can tune in to Maria Carey’s Magical Christmas Special from 2020 and its follow up from 2021.

And, of course, there’s the Peanuts gang in A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving and A Charlie Brown Christmas.