The door to the Netflix Holiday Movie Universe (or NHMU) has been blown wide open! For realsies this time.
The Hallmark-style seasonal film franchise that pairs copious amounts of hot chocolate with time travel and human cloning has finally given us the cameo crossover we deserve, and with it comes the canonization of the most magical universe on television. No, I’m not taking this too seriously! At first glance, The Princess Switch: Switched Again might seem like the latest addition to Netflix’s harmless ode to the spirit of the holiday season. You’d, of course, be wrong because it’s so much more.
This sequel to 2018’s The Princess Switch once again pairs Vanessa Hudgens (as Stacy) with a clone of herself (Duchess Margaret) as they play switch-a-roo on their respective boy toys — this time with a third clone, in the form of Margaret Delacourt, Duchess of Maldonaro’s villainous cousin, Lady Fiona. For those keeping track: That makes four Vanessa Hudgens so far in the NHMU, with the addition of the time-travelling tale The Knight Before Christmas.
Everything hinges on Duchess Margaret’s coronation as she’s made queen of Maldonaro — which in itself makes little sense, as I was under the impression someone could be made the duke or duchess of a province, or “duchy,” not an entire nation (only exception seems to be Luxembourg, kinda, but I also know jack shit about royalty so you’re free to correct me). During her grand event, during which she’s dressed exactly like Anastasia from that animated movie about Anastasia, we see Margaret look upon the crowd as, lo and behold, she spots a couple of familiar faces.
What the fuuuuuuuuuuu —
That’s right, Aldovia’s Queen Amber and King Richard, of A Christmas Prince fame, are guests at Margaret’s coronation. NHMU experts (like myself) might initially assume that’s no big deal, as in A Christmas Prince: The Royal Baby we saw a map that clearly showed Aldovia and Belgravia (from The Princess Switch) are neighbouring nations. But it’s one thing to glance at a map and another to see the stars of A Christmas Prince in the flesh. That’s because, in the first The Princess Switch…we saw Margaret watching A Christmas Prince on television.
All you have to do is put the pieces together to realise that this could only mean one thing: A Christmas Prince, as well as its sequels The Royal Wedding and The Royal Baby, aren’t just movies that share Easter eggs with others in the NHMU. They’re documentaries. Bonafide true accounts of how Amber, the world’s worst blogger, schemed her way into the royal family for a scoop only to find herself the dullest king on the planet to marry. That likewise means everything in that world is real, from the holiday-dependent economy to the royal family curse from The Royal Baby that threatened to destroy a centuries-long alliance between two nations whose only thing in common was thinking Christmas is cool.
If you go one step further, this one cameo seemingly canonizes everything in the NHMU. Because they’re all connected! For example, remember that time Abby Reilly, the recipient of the 100% magical advent calendar in The Holiday Calendar, watched A Christmas Prince on television? That’s real now, suckers. Remember how in The Princess Switch there was a weird old man whom Stacy saw in Chicago and Belgravia? He’s magical. After all, A Christmas Prince is real and there’s magic in that world because of curses and The Holiday Calendar.
There’s now a thread you can connect between every movie in this nonsensical holiday universe — bringing time travel, sorceresses, and the ever-growing number of Vanessa Hudgens clones together into what I will insist become a giant crossover event on par with The Avengers: Endgame. I will accept nothing less.
The Princess Switch: Switched Again is currently available on Netflix. The streaming platform has already greenlit a third Princess Switch movie, although Hudgens said she doesn’t think they’ll introduce another lookalike. If true, this is a crime against humanity and I will not stop until justice is served.
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