A World Record Christmas, premiering on Hallmark Movies & Mysteries on November 16, is inspired by a true, real-life story. The character Charlie is based on Auldin Maxwell, who achieved a Guinness world record in Jenga and, just like the character in the movie, is also on the autism spectrum. Maxwell also appears in the movie inspired by his story.
The Movie Is Based on a True Story
This new movie is based on a true story about a boy on the autism spectrum who wants to get the world record for stacking 1,400 Jenga blocks.
According to Guinness World Records, in real life, Auldin Maxwell earned the record title when he was only 12. In November 2020, he became a viral sensation online after stacking 693 Jenga blocks and earned a record for the “most Jenga blocks stacked on one vertical Jenga block.”
He then balanced 500 giant Jenga blocks on a single block, earning another record. In 2023, he broke both of his records again, this time stacking 1,840 blocks on the original Jenga and another 900 on the giant Jenga.
It was by chance that he discovered his talent, Guinness World Records shared. He had to use trial and error to finally find the right path to his big wins.
“When I got my first record, I knew I had more in me. I kept running out of Jenga blocks, which motivated me to push myself further,” he told Guinness World Records. He added that this is an engineering challenge for him that really taps into his creativity.
Maxwell said finding a base that was sturdy enough to keep the structure stable was his toughest feat. When he’s working on a tower and it falls, he takes a 30 minute break to “reset” his mind and “pretend that I never build that tower,” he said.
When he’s not playing Jenga, Maxwell also enjoys playing basketball or riding his unicycle, he told Guinness World Records.
Aias Dalman, who is from Vancouver, plays Charlie in the movie (the character based on Maxwell.) Dalman also is on the autism spectrum. He turned 14 just about a week before the movie’s premiere, according to his Instagram.
Although Dalman portrays Maxwell in the movie, Maxwell does appear in the movie himself at one point, Guinness World Records reported.
“I had an absolute blast going to the set!” Maxwell said. “As we drove in, we stepped out and were greeted by the sight of a scene being filmed where my character was building the Jenga structure… It was truly amazing to witness how well they replicated the Jenga structure and the platform it sat on. Seeing all the actors in their costumes added an extra touch of excitement to the whole experience for me.”
He said his role was small, since he’d never been on camera before, and he was glad for that.
Maxwell was diagnosed with autism when he was seven, Vancouver Sun reported. He began playing Jenga when he was only six.
“It’s really hard to believe. I would have never thought that playing with my Jenga blocks when I was six would lead to a movie and five Guinness World Records,” he told Vancouver Sun.
Viewers Loved the Movie When It Aired Early on Hallmark’s Streaming Service & One Fan Said It Was ‘The Best Christmas Movie Made This Year’
The movie aired a week before its TV premiere on Hallmark’s streaming service, Hallmark Movies Now. Viewers were already raving about how great it was, even before it aired on TV.
In a public Hallmark Facebook group, one viewer wrote: “If you haven’t watched ‘A World Record Christmas’ yet, do yourself a favour and watch! Hallmark has hit it out of the park with this one! The acting is superb, the story is heart warming and everything you want in a classic Christmas movie, one you’ll want to watch again and again ❤️ If you’re anything like me it’ll make you cry, sad tears & happy tears. Enjoy everyone ❤️❤️❤️”
Another viewer wrote: “It was beyond amazing! The best Christmas movie this year.”
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