Neil Patrick Harris and June Diane Raphael star in HBO Max’s upcoming family holiday movie 8-Bit Christmas, streaming on the platform on Nov. 24
Advertisement

Neil Patrick Harris and June Diane Raphael are starring in an HBO Max family Christmas movie of epic proportions. 

In a PEOPLE exclusive first look at the trailer for 8-Bit Christmas, Harris plays Jack Doyle, a father who reminisces about "the one gift" he wanted more than anything for Christmas to his daughter.

The film flashes back to the late '80s in Chicago, where a young Jack (played by Winslow Fegley) embarks on a quest to get the latest and greatest video game system, Nintendo, for Christmas. Despite his wish to get the system, Jack's parents, played by Raphael and Steve Zahn, are vehemently opposed to video games.

"I needed a Christmas miracle," Jack recalls, telling his daughter, "One thing became clear: I needed to get my own."

Facing opposition from his parents and competition from every child in his neighborhood for a gaming system, Jack comes up with a series of plans to land himself an 8-bit Nintendo.

"This is bigger than Christmas," a young Jack tells his friends. "This is our Vietnam." 

8 Bit Christmas
Credit: Sabrina Lantos
8 Bit Christmas
Credit: Sabrina Lantos

Coffee & Kareem's Michael Dowse directed the film which is an adaptation of Kevin Jakubowski's book of the same name. 

"The first time I read the script I cried," Raphael said. "It was so nostalgic to me, so similar to the way I grew up. It felt so real and these people felt so specific, funny, and hilarious."

Never miss a story — sign up for PEOPLE's free daily newsletter to stay up-to-date on the best of what PEOPLE has to offer, from juicy celebrity news to compelling human interest stories.

Dowse said, "The script spoke to me on multiple levels as a parent, as a kid that grew up in the '80s, I thought it was a funny script with a great voice and needed to get made properly," he said. 

And at the heart of the film is "a really important message about family," he added.

"[It's] about putting down the screens and spending time together," said Dowse. "Getting what you need rather than getting what you want."

8-Bit Christmas debuts exclusively on HBO Max on Wednesday, Nov. 24.